2020 has been an unprecedented year for everyone. However, one of the largest changes has been our nation’s relationship with its gardens. During lockdown, and the uncertainty that followed, people reconnected with their gardens in a way which hasn’t been seen since wartime. People grew their own fruit and veg, fed the birds and simply sat and enjoyed the lovely weather. Here’s a closer look into how the nation gardened in 2020, and how they may continue to do so going forward.
Who we spoke to
In July 2020, we connected with 1201 respondents to talk about their garden and gardening habits.
- 61% had a medium sized garden
- 20% had a small garden
- 17% had a large garden
- 2% had a patio/balcony
During lockdown, 52% of people said they did more gardening, with an impressive 8% saying that they ‘started gardening for the first time.’ A further 22% detailed that they tried or did something gardening-related which they hadn’t done before.
What they did
Of all the people we spoke to, the top 3 categories were ‘growing new plants’, ‘growing fruit or veg from seed’ and ‘growing plants from seed’. Usually, we see that new gardeners are looking for instant gratification from gardening, such as potting up a hanging basket. However, with furlough and people having more time on their hands, the nation has been happy to ‘give it a go’ and dive into gardening headfirst. Another factor could be that with garden centres and non-essential shops being shut, live plants were harder to come by, encouraging more people to buy seed online which could be transported more safely.
Grow your own
Of all the people we spoke to, 90% had a ‘sense of achievement’ from grow your own, busting the myth that growing your own fruit and veg can be intimidating and largely unsuccessful. In addition to this, 84% said growing ‘makes them happy’, while 80% felt ‘self-sufficient’ and 78% gardened in a ‘natural/organic way’.
A total of 75% had success growing their own and 89% said they will try again next year.
As one of the most versatile and high-yielding crops, it’s no surprise that tomato plant sales were up 465%, with cucumber/courgette the next biggest category up 420%. Veg seeds were up 110% overall, with root vegetables the highest selling of the veg seed category. Salad seeds were up 178% and the sales within the potato category doubled.
One interesting statistic from our study is that 53% spent more money on gardening, including those on tighter budgets. This shows that even with the financial uncertainty at the moment, people are seeing more value in their garden than before. This could also indicate they re-allocated budget which they would normally spend on holidays, meals out and other leisure activities which weren’t accessible during lockdown.
Here is a general breakdown of what people bought where:
- Garden centres: plants, trees and shrubs, compost
- DIY retailers: tools, soil, decking/patio compost, sheds, greenhouses
- Supermarket: weedkiller
- High street: wild bird, solar
- Online: seeds, furniture, greenhouses and watering equipment
Of those we spoke to, 60% realised they can now buy many garden supplies online. Only 35% of people agree will go back to shopping for gardening in the way they used to, showing a shift towards online shopping.
In conclusion, nearly 80% say the appreciate and value their garden more, which can only be a positive thing for the gardening industry and our nation, as it reignites its love for gardening.