Direct Line Insurance Group plc

03/30/2021 | Press release | Archived content

Garden glow-ups: Britain's back gardens set for investment boom in last months of lockdown

Garden glow-ups: Britain's back gardens set for investment boom in last months of lockdown

4min read
30 Mar 2021
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  • Britain's homeowners have spent £18.6 billion on improving their gardens over the past year - and are set to spend a further £10 billion before July
  • More than half of those with a garden have already invested in improvements since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, spending an average of £942 each
  • New garden furniture, barbecues or pizza ovens and landscaping are the most popular additions so far

New research from Direct Line Home Insurance1 reveals that Brits have fallen in love with their gardens again over the past year, with an estimated £18.6 billion spent giving them makeovers since March 2020.

As the UK has now had over a year of social distancing restrictions being in place, Brits appear to have invested the money they may have saved on holidays or socialising by making significant improvements to their gardens. Alongside new plantlife such as trees, plants and scrubs, which have been planted by more than 11 million (29 per cent) of Brits, new garden furniture (7.4 million, or 19 per cent), cooking equipment such as barbecues or pizza ovens (5.5 million or 14 per cent) and landscaping such as decking or ponds (5.3 million or 14 per cent) have all been popular additions to the nation's gardens over the past year.

As spring has now officially begun and Britons are starting to enjoy better weather, the research suggests that homeowners aren't done with revamping their gardens: an estimated 10.5 million people (27 per cent) say that they are still looking to make improvements to their gardens before the current lockdown restrictions end - currently scheduled for the 21st June.

The most common items homeowners are looking to have installed in time for summer are plantlife (14 per cent), landscaping (nine per cent), new garden furniture and cooking equipment (both seven per cent), with many homeowners having one eye on the fact that they are now able to welcome another household into their garden.

Table one: Those who have made - and plan to make - improvements to their garden

Garden improvement type

Percentage who have bought this in the past year

Percentage who plan to buy before lockdown ends





New trees, plants or shrubs

29 per cent


14 per cent


New garden furniture

19 per cent


7 per cent


Cooking equipment (e.g. barbecue, pizza oven)

14 per cent


7 per cent


Landscaping (e.g. decking, pond, new lawn)

14 per cent


9 per cent


Weatherproofing (e.g. awning, gazebo)

12 per cent


6 per cent


Fire pit

11 per cent


6 per cent


Outdoor play equipment (e.g. trampoline, climbing frame)

8 per cent


6 per cent


External structure (e.g. office, games room, bar)

8 per cent


5 per cent


Hot tub

5 per cent


6 per cent


All items

51 per cent


27 per cent


Source: Direct Line Home Insurance 2021

When asked about their attitudes towards their gardens, 42 per cent of Brits who have an outdoor space (16.4 million) say that they now enjoy spending time in their garden more than they used to. One in six (17 per cent,6.3 million) claim that they spend more time in their garden than they used to, while a further 19 per cent (7.4 million) say they intend to continue spending more time socialising in their gardens even after the restrictions end.

With so many people making the most of their outdoor spaces, their passions have resulted in a significant financial investment. Across the UK people have spent a total of £18.6 billion on their garden glow-ups, at an average of £942 each. Over the course of the year, this works out at £51 million being spent every day. While the most common additions to gardens - new plants - have been relatively cheap, at an average of £167 each, more significant outlays have been made on offices or bars (£993), hot tubs (£867) and landscaping (£841).

Between now and late June, a further £9.9 billion is expected to be spent on the items at an average of £111 million every day, or £949 per person planning on making improvements to their garden.

Rob Fleet, Director of Direct Line Home Insurance, said: 'Those with gardens really benefitted from having an outdoor space to enjoy during the height of lockdown, and it appears that the restrictions have led millions to fall in love with their gardens again. With bars, hot tubs and offices springing up across the UK, staying in the garden could be the new going out in 2021, even after social distancing restrictions are lifted, as they provide a safe and comfortable environment for people to reconnect with friends and family.

'However, with so much money being invested into these luxury gardens it is important to make sure that any valuable items are covered in case of theft or damage. With the average household expected to spend a total of more than £700 on their gardens over the course of lockdown, having an up-to-date home insurance policy can provide homeowners with the peace of mind that their home investments are protected should an issue occur.'

The average Brit who owns a garden estimates that the total value of their outdoor space including any items stored in outbuildings is £1,159 - meaning the total value of UK gardens currently stands at £45 billion. On a regional basis, Northern Ireland (£1,317) has the most expensive gardens, followed by London (£1,280), Scotland (£1,266) and the East Midlands (£1,263).

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Notes to Editors

1 Research conducted by Opinium among a nationally representative sample of 2,000 UK adults between 16th and 19th March 2021

For further information please contact:

Chelsey Wheeler
PR manager - Direct Line

Tel: 01651 832 095

Email: [email protected]

Samantha Stewart

Citigate Dewe Rogerson

Tel: 0207 025 6497

Email: [email protected]

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0345 246 3761 or visiting