New research reveals homeowners are suffering a dose of garden envy with the UK spending £14 billion keeping up with the Joneses.
The study from multi-media retailer, QVC, into the nation’s gardening habits found one in seven (15 per cent) homeowners are jealous of their neighbours’ garden – forking out £657 each a year to make sure their garden is the best on the street.
Determined for their garden to be the jewel in the horticultural crown, two fifths (40 per cent) of nosey neighbours admit to peaking over the garden fence to spy on the state of their neighbours’ garden, whilst one in eight (12 per cent) have even taken a quick snap of a garden they like so they can re-create the look at home.
Such is our garden envy, nearly a tenth (9 per cent) admit to spending more doing up their garden than their house, whilst a further one in ten (10 per cent) people splash out on a gardener to ensure their garden stays groomed.
To keep their outdoor settings looking spectacular, homeowners are investing in state-of-the-art gadgetry and statement pieces of furniture. Top of the garden wishlist is a suped-up barbecue (38 per cent), followed by a Scandi-inspired Summerhouse (37 per cent).
QVC Garden Wishlist
1. Suped-up barbecue (38 per cent)
2. Summerhouse (37 per cent)
3. Water feature (37 per cent)
4. Patio (36 per cent)
5. Decking (30 per cent)
6. Solar-powered lanterns (29 per cent)
7. Hammock (27 per cent)
8. Organic vegetable patch (27 per cent)
9. Pond (27 per cent)
10.Chimenea (24 per cent)
Green-fingered gardeners in the West Midlands city of Worcester admit to spending the most (£1,082 a year) giving their garden a makeover whilst the Welsh report suffering the biggest dose of garden envy with over a third (38 per cent) of people in Aberystwyth channeling the green-eyed monster over gardens.
Brighton residents are the biggest nosey parkers with over half (54 per cent) admitting to spying over the garden fence, followed by people in Southampton (52 per cent).
In a bid to help Brits transform their gardens, QVC’s Gardening Expert, Richard Jackson, offers his top tips on giving your garden a facelift.
Spring clean the paving. Forget pressure washing, it’s much too much hard work. Simply spray on one of the new outdoor multi-surface cleaners and in a matter of days, your paving, decking, fences, walls, roof and even gravel can sparkle like new.
Brighten up walls and fences. They needn’t look dull and boring. Simply hang some pots from them (buy the pot hangers from garden centres) or a multi-pocketed Verti-plant (Burgon & Ball) and fill with cheery geraniums.
Green the lawn. A good-looking lawn helps the rest of the garden look great. Most lawns are looking lousy after the winter. A quality lawn food (like Lawn Magic which is used by most of the premier football and rugby grounds) will green the grass in days and toughen it up too.
Go for colour. Pop some pots of flowering plants either side of the front door. You’ll be amazed what a huge difference it makes and how much more home loved and welcoming your home feels.
Shape up. A lovely shaped, evergreen box ball or pyramid will add a touch of class to any garden.
For more information about sprucing up your garden, visit: www.qvcuk.com
A Windfall for a Wonderful Garden
If you need a windfall to invest in your garden it could be beneficial to learn if you are entitled to a tax refund. Good accountancy services will let you know for free if you are entitled to a tax rebate on your self employed income, your mileage, your tools, your uniform and many other things. Try one of the tax calculators now to see how much you could be owed, and receive the money you need to invest in your garden this spring.