Hot tub and veg plots are modern must-haves in Brits' dream gardens

Relaxing, entertaining and growing their own top the list of what people want to use their gardens for

town garden in Stockwell by My Landscapes
Companion flowers grow alongside vegetables in a garden filled with colour and good things to eat
(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

When it comes to a dream garden, the average Brit has a fairly precise list of ‘wants’. To be exact: it must be 48 feet long, south facing, and contain a vegetable plot and a hot tub, research has found.

Also high on the list when planning their plot were cosy seating areas, a barbecue and a well-kept green lawn. For maximum enjoyment, decking or a patio and a summer house were required.

Revealed in a survey carried out for Outdoor at B&Q, the findings indicate how much the modern garden has come to be regarded as a space for entertaining and relaxing, and not simply somewhere to grow flowers, fruit and veg, and to do battle against weeds and fast-growing grass.

Brits in possession of a garden are so committed to socialising in it that a drinks' bar and a pizza oven both made the top 20 list of items needed for the ideal garden, too.

When it comes to creating their own piece of paradise just beyond the patio/bi-fold doors, the people questioned reckoned it would take money – approx £1,770 – as well as a lot of digging, planting, mowing and power washing to achieve their dream plot.

Steve Guy, market director for Outdoor at B&Q, says, ‘With Brits spending a significant amount of time enjoying their outdoor spaces during the warmer months, it makes sense they’d want to create somewhere to be truly proud of.

‘Whether it’s a fun area for entertaining or a tranquil spot with lots of greenery, they need to remember that to have their "dream garden" come summer, the groundwork needs to start in spring.

‘The research also shows that almost half of us worry the journey to a dream garden would take a serious toll on the wallet, believing it will set us back by an average of £1,770.’

The quest for the dream garden starts in March, with one in three starting outside prep then, and spending on average of 10 hours getting their outdoor space ready. During the summer, on average, Brits spend five and a half hours a week in their garden, with one in 10 saying it is the ‘most important’ aspect of their home.

Four in five said they would definitely spend more time outside if they had their dream space while one third confessed that the unkempt state of their current garden made them ‘sad’.  

However, many were being held back from enjoying the garden because they didn’t know where to start when it came to making it over, or they felt it was too small. Almost half felt they couldn’t afford to do what they wanted, while one sixth admitted they lacked the creative vision.

When it comes to planting, traditional lavender, daffodils and roses are colourful and fragrant favourites. But people are also keen to start growing things to eat as well as to admire. Three in 10 wanted their own vegetable patch, with over half wanting to grow strawberries, followed by tomatoes, apples and blueberries – spurred on by the sense of achievement and the idea of free produce.

Top 20 things Brits want in their dream garden

  1. Flowers
  2. Plants
  3. Cosy seating area
  4. Decking/patio area
  5. Large lawn
  6. Garden path
  7. Summer house
  8. Bird feeder
  9. Pollinating plants
  10. Vegetable plants
  11. Barbecue
  12. Dining area
  13. Storage
  14. Hot tub
  15. Pressure washer
  16. Hand tools
  17. Pizza oven
  18. Swing
  19. Drinks bar
  20. Sandpit