5 most popular garden buys of lockdown – did you buy and if not, should you?

As the summer draws to a close, we look at the best-loved garden items of this weirdest of summers – and wonder if you should buy yours now for next year's staycation

Most popular garden items of 2020: Argos Home Pascal Sun Lounger
(Image credit: Argos)

The garden provided those of us who are lucky to have one with a refuge and, for many months, one of the only sources of entertainment during the coronavirus lockdown of 2020. Now that temperatures are beginning to cool, and our gardens are starting to look quite different with the arrival of autumn, we take a look at the garden items that were the most popular this summer – and wonder whether it might not be a bad idea to buy now so you don't miss out next year.

  • Still need that special patio or bistro set? Head to our garden furniture sales page to get yours in the end-of-season sales

What did we buy the most, or want the most, for our gardens? This brand-new research by The Greenhouse People reveals that garden furniture and gardening items that shot up in popularity during the pandemic summer. We bet you have at least one of these in your garden. 

1. Vegetable seeds

Radishes by Philippe Collard

(Image credit: Unsplash/Philippe Collard)

Whether it was to try out something new in the garden, or out of a real fear of not having access to fresh veggies, a huge number of us decided to take up vegetable gardening in 2020. Online searches for vegetable seeds went up a staggering 2,414 percent from 3,600 in 2019 to 90,500 this year, making growing your own the favourite gardening activity of summer 2020. 

2. Sun loungers

Sun lounger

(Image credit: Argos)

This one will come as no surprise to the sun worshippers among us; while just about everything else seemed to be going wrong, nature gave us the gift of a warm, sunny summer with some proper hot spells. Many took this an opportunity to create a Costa del Garden with a comfy sun lounger Online searches for sun loungers soared in 2020, reaching 1.5 million average monthly searches at its peak compared to just 165,000 in 2019 – that’s an increase of over 900,000 per cent. We do hope everyone was wearing sunscreen!

Check out the best sun loungers in our guide.

3. Flower seeds


(Image credit: Darren Coleshill/Unsplash)

As we were spending so much more time in our gardens, many decided to give their planting schemes a rethink, with searches for flower seeds going up six times compared to last summer. In summer 2019 there were on average just 4,400 online searches for flower seeds, jumping to 33,100 in summer 2020.

4. Outdoor hot tubs

What is the one garden item that can (just) compensate for the lack of a summer holiday, closed spas, and overcrowded UK beaches? That's right, the outdoor hot tub – an item that has been growing in popularity steadily over the last few years, with demand exploding this year. Monthly searches for hot tubs peaked in 2020 at over 2.2 million, up from 346,000 in 2019.

Still want but don't have a hot tub? Check out our hot tub deals page and get one for less (they're not cheap, after all).  

5. Garden bars

Garden Bar Outside Pub

(Image credit: Etsy)

With pubs, wine bars, and restaurants all closed for months, many of us were missing the sociable atmosphere of drinking out. And a garden bar proved to be a popular alternative to just having a drink inside, with both DIY and shop-bought versions popping up all over social media during the summer. Search interest around outdoor bars peaked this year at over 60,000 googles a month, compared to just 12,100 last year – that’s a rise of 400 per cent.

Discover how to make a home bar in our guide. 

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Anna is a professional writer with many years of experience. She has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening. She covers a range of topics, from practical advice to interior and garden design.