From lockdown landlords setting up their own home beer garden, to fun-seekers using holiday fund savings to splash out on a hot tub; outdoor spaces have never been so popular.
With soaring online sales of seeds and sundries, garden centres classed as essential retail during the last two lockdowns and outside socialising allowed once more, it is little wonder that the average household had spent £241 on renovations and £180 on accessories during the pandemic.
Instagram was flooded with social media boast posts of vegetable patches, fire pits, outdoor lighting, garden gnomes and even back yard bars!
And a garden census, commissioned by power tool manufacturer STIHL, revealed further £140 has been spent on tools by DIYers with more time on their hands, helping to grow the trend for moving the indoors outdoors.
Hot tubs and exercise equipment also proved popular, with one in 20 respondents owning one or the other. Some households have spent cash from cancelled holidays on their own hot tub treat and others have hired them for family lockdown celebrations or birthdays.
Now – with National Gardening Week approaching (April 26- May 2) developer Linden Homes is offering new buyers across its Yorkshire developments a £3,000 voucher to spend on their garden if they reserve before 16 May 2021^* - whether making it a family friendly space or a haven for entertaining.
Sales director Steve Woomble said: “We have long been used to customers’ demands for a large kitchen or energy efficient features of a brand-new home, but the pandemic has certainly re-focussed what is important to some home hunters.
“For those who have spent months sharing living space with the rest of the family, those fortunate enough to have a garden will no doubt be thankful for that outdoor space – and along with people with no outdoor space, may crave something newer and/ or bigger.”
“One of the many benefits of new homes is that the majority come with a garden; often a blank canvas for buyers to put their own stamp.
“And as we approach summer, we have a fabulous incentive for customers to help them get their outdoor space ready for al fresco dining, enjoying socially distanced gathering or a school holiday stay-cation.
“Over the past year or so, we have seen so many people get creative with their gardens; from growing their own fruit and vegetables to installing a hot tub, landscaping their outdoor space to even building garden pubs!"
“None of us could have imagined that lockdown and the pandemic would last this long, and as we approach a second summer – albeit with less restrictions – many people continue to put a garden at the top of their priority list.”
And as well as the social and physical wins, gardening and being outdoors has huge benefits for mental health and wellbeing, particularly during the pandemic.
Steve added: “Simply sitting in a garden or outdoor space can evoke a feeling of tranquillity or happiness, whether it be tending to plants, enjoying downtime with the family, appreciating nature or relaxing with a book.
"A recent survey by the fencing supplier Forest Garden and the gardening charity Thrive found that 43 per cent of people agreed with the statement “gardening helps my mental health”, while 36 per cent agreed that “gardening keeps me fit and healthy”.
And a survey commissioned by the Royal Horticultural Society found that seven in 10 people (71%) who have outside space say that having a garden, courtyard or balcony has helped their mental health during lockdown.
Contact: Cetti Long, Media Matters, 01733 371363; email@example.com
^*Ts & Cs apply
References to “we”, “us” or “our” are to the part of the Vistry Group (including Linden Homes, Bovis Homes, Countryside Homes, Drew Smith, Vistry Ventures or one of Vistry’s joint venture companies) from which you are intending to purchase a new home. References to "you” and “your” are to the prospective buyer or buyers of a new home from us.
All images are used for illustrative purposes only and are representative only. They may not be the same as the actual home you purchase and the specification may differ. Images may be of a slightly different model of home and may include optional upgrades and extras which involve additional cost. Individual features such as windows, brick, carpets, paint and other material colours may vary and also the specification of fittings may vary. Any furnishings and furniture are not included in any sale. Please check with our sales consultants for details of the exact specifications available at the development(s) for each type of home and the associated prices.