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New Survey From Zoopla and the Society of Garden Designers

Half of all Brits say a well -designed garden is as important as a designer kitchen or bathroom

  • Research reveals 50% of Brits believe a well-designed garden is as important or more important than a well-designed bathroom or kitchen
  • Nearly half of people (47%) have been put off buying or renting a property because of the condition of the garden
  • Brits are prepared to pay an average premium of nearly £15,000 for a garden when buying a property
  • 40% of Brits would consider employing a professional garden designer
  • The Society of Garden Designers reveal the biggest garden design trends this summer
  • New film from the SGD explains how to find and work with a professional garden designer


New research from property website Zoopla and the Society of Garden Designers reveals that the nation’s love of gardens is as keen as ever, with 50% of Brits believing a well-designed garden is as important or more important than a well-designed bathroom or kitchen.

The poll of 2,000 Brits found that the desire for good design is not exclusively limited to interiors, with nearly half of respondents having been put off buying or renting a property because of the condition of the garden, and 40% saying they would consider employing a professional garden designer to transform their outside space into the garden of their dreams, suggesting that professional garden designers are no longer just the preserve of property developers or wealthy landowners.

Meanwhile, the research also found that around three quarters (74%) of homeowners either already have or would consider spending money on their garden to increase the value of their property and that, on average, Brits would be willing to spend an extra £14,448 to purchase a home with a garden. Therefore, sellers and landlords are right not to overlook the condition of outside space when marketing their home to buyers and renters.

Sarah Morgan, Chair of the Society of Garden Designers, comments: “It’s well known that the Brits have a passion for gardens and gardening, so it’s not surprising that so many of us consider a beautiful outside space important in our own home. We know from our members that having a garden created by a professional garden designer can add significant value to a property but, quite apart from the overall ‘wow’ factor, a good garden design can also add something really special to a home. Whether it’s a family garden to engage children with the outdoors or a garden room to escape, relax and entertain in, well-designed gardens can truly enrich the lives of the people who live there”. 

Regional Breakdown

Breaking down the premiums Brits are willing to pay for outside space regionally, those living in the South East would invest the most for a garden, £21,925 on average, and unsurprisingly its importance also rose to 91% - the highest of those polled. People in Scotland would spend the smallest premium with those north of the border willing to pay £10,207 for a garden with only 74% there believing having outside space to be important. Meanwhile those living in London would be willing to invest  £13,388 to secure their own garden with 79% believing it is important to have private outside space. 

Average Spend

The research also found that Brits spend on average £648 a year to keep their current gardens, terraces and courtyards blooming, with gardening enthusiasts in the South East spending the most (£812) and those living in the North West spending the least (£518), followed closely by those in London (£554). When it comes to the amount people are willing to spend on getting the garden of their dreams at their existing property, Brits are willing to spend on average £7,339. Those in the East of England are prepared to spend the most (£10,882) whilst those in Wales would spend the least (£5,832) on their outside space.

Laura Howard, spokesperson for Zoopla, comments: “The annual weather in the UK might be changeable but the requirement for a garden is steadfast. A whopping 86% of both renters and homeowners in our survey consider outside space to be very or extremely important. The need for a garden is not just practical either, with both sunshine and relaxation ranking above a space for children and pets. 

“The amount of sunshine enjoyed across different areas of the UK appears to influence the importance of a garden, however. For example, while 91% of house-holders in the typically sunnier South East consider outside space to be very important, the number falls to 74% in Scotland. And, at £10,207, the premium buyers in Scotland are prepared to pay for a home with a garden is much lower than in the South East, where £21,927 is average.

“Overall though, it seems that come rain or shine, nothing will stand between UK residents and their very own slice of the outdoors.”

Finally, the survey asked Brits to rank the most important design features of a garden and found that ‘having somewhere to sit and relax’ is the most popular element, whilst surprisingly it would appear we have fallen out of love with a water feature as this came last one this list with less than 1% of the votes:

  1. Somewhere to sit and relax (36%)
  2. Maximum sunlight throughout the day / south facing (15%)
  3. Somewhere for the children to play (12%)
  4. Flowers / shrubs (8%)
  5. A space for pets (7%)
  6. Somewhere to entertain (6%)
  7. Growing my own fruit/vegetables (4%)
  8. Extra storage space/shed (2%)
  9. A water feature (0.4%)

How to Find and Work with a Professional Garden Designer

The SGD has launched a new film to explain the process of finding and working with a professional garden designer. Aimed at anyone wishing to create a brand new garden or for those simply looking for an inspired planting plan, the film highlights the processes and stages involved from the initial brief through to a finished garden. Watch it here. 

Images from top to bottom: Charlotte Rowe MSGD, Cheryl Cummings MSGD, Jon Sims MSGD, Lisa Cox MSGD, Lee Bestall MSGD 

2,161 respondents were included in the survey – 1,673 were homeowners, 465 were renters. Survey taken in early July 2019. 

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