We're a nation of competitive gardeners, investing £17,000 on our patch over a lifetime or £345 a year - to impress neighbours and keep up appearances, according to new research from Policy Expert.
One in four of the 2,205 people surveyed complained of a green-fingered neighbour whose garden always upstages the rest of the street, with over one in ten claiming it's their own garden that's the talk of the town.
40% keep their gardens pruned out of sheer pride
People admitted to gardening because they're worried about what their neighbours might think of unkempt lawns, with more than a third of those surveyed stating they pulled weeds and potted plants in fear of others thinking their garden looks a mess. A further 40 per cent admit that they keep their garden pruned out of sheer pride.
When asked what would be at the top of their garden’s wishlist, nearly a third would opt for the perfect lawn, with a fifth plumping for a water feature. Gnomes also featured in the top 10.
Top 10 most-wanted garden features
- Garden shed
- Striped lawn
- Bird bath
- Vegetable patch
- Water feature
Adam Powell at Policy Expert, says: "Thousands of Brits choose to spend serious time and money on their gardens – whether it's for a genuine love of the pastime, or a case of keeping up with the Jones’. Either way, it's best to err on the side of caution and keep your garden and its contents secure. Also, make sure you’re clued up on what your insurance policy covers."
Tips to keep your garden safe
- Make sure you protect your garden with security measures e.g. outdoor lighting or a locked fence
- If you have a shed or outbuilding, make sure your home insurance policy includes outbuilding protection, and check exactly what this includes
- Make sure valuable items such as BBQs or sports equipment are shielded from view, under a cover or stored in a shed or garage
- If you're taking gadgets outside such as tablets or smartphones, ensure they're covered in your home insurance policy in case they're lost or damaged.
There are more money-saving tips in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.