Our outside spaces are the new frontline in the battle to keep up with the Joneses, research by RatedPeople.com has found.
The survey of over 2,000 UK homeowners discovered that we are a nation of Hyacinth Bucket’s as 55 per cent of Brits think negatively of their neighbours who don’t have a well-maintained garden, with 12 per cent admitting that they’re embarrassed about the state of their own garden.
Almost all homeowners (92%) surveyed agreed it is important to look after your outside space.
The online trade recommendation service findings also highlighted what Brits consider to be unacceptable in the Garden, with litter named as the worst gardening gaffe, followed by an overgrown Garden, broken furniture and overgrown hedges. With a hosepipe ban currently in effect across much of the country, a dead lawn was the fifth worst gardening faux pas, but it might be unavoidable this summer.
The UK’s top 10 biggest gardening faux pas:
- Overgrown garden
- Broken garden furniture
- Overgrown hedges
- A dead lawn
- Half-finished decking or paving
- Completely paving a garden
- Children’s toys permanently left out
- Astroturf rather than a real lawn
- Mock Grecian statues
Toby Buckland, brand ambassador for RatedPeople.com and celebrity gardener, commented: “As we approach the summer, our attention once again turns to our gardens and the opportunities there are to make the most of whatever outside space we have, so I was pleased to see how much emphasis we Brits place on having a well-maintained Garden.
“But gardening needn’t be a chore for the time poor. Whether you’re a keen gardener or a novice, there are many easy things that you can do to help turn your garden into a space to be proud of; from planting undemanding long-flowering shrubs and perennials to laying decking suitable for summer parties and barbecues.
“Enlisting the help of a professional gardener is not always necessary, but for bigger projects and regular heavy-duty maintenance, working with a gardener can make the task more manageable and ensure it’s finished to a high standard so that you not only keep up with, but exceed the Joneses.”
While British homeowners set very high standards for their own, and other people’s gardens, lack of time was cited as the biggest problem for many would-be green-fingered Brits.
A third of those surveyed complained that they don’t have enough time to look after their garden properly and a further 24 per cent said that they don’t have enough time to relax in it.
Almost a fifth said they leave garden maintenance until it becomes an absolute necessity, while a more pragmatic 7 per cent of Brits admitted that they would like to turn their front garden into a parking space.
As the research has shown that we’re harsh garden critics, it’s perhaps unsurprising that over a quarter of people have decided to enlist a gardener to help get their garden up to scratch, with 7 per cent of homeowners admitting that they don’t do any gardening themselves at all.