The best & worst garden trends revealed

27th May 2020

The best & worst garden trends revealed

The best and worst garden trends of all time have been revealed in our latest research – with bird feeders and vegetable patches among the good, and gnomes and fake grass among the bad.

Best & worst trends

Water features, summer houses and decking are also viewed favourably among green-fingered Brits – as are herb gardens, living walls and outdoors kitchens. But they’re not quite so enamoured with hot tubs, trampolines or wind chimes – and they’re also not keen on fences painted with orange wood stain, or conifers.

Sustainability in the garden is increasingly popular too, with trends including composting and wildflowers or wild meadows making the top 30 list. Added to this, over half of the nation said the best thing about having a garden was attracting birds and wildlife to it. And a further third of people said the best thing was growing their own good.

Strong views

Commissioned to support the wide range of gardening essentials available from Draper Tools, the study found 83% of the population believe they have impeccable taste when it comes to their garden. Although 4 in 10 admit they regret some decisions they’ve made in relation to their outside space.

Kev Smith Head of Marketing at Draper Tools said: “The research goes to show just how passionate we are about our gardens – clearly those polled have pretty strong opinions on what works and what doesn’t.”

“However, gardens are a very personal thing and what is right for one person isn’t necessarily right for another, so if you’re happy with your garden then that’s all that matters.

“But it’s certainly fascinating – and a bit of fun – to find out what people are keen on and what they’re not quite so keen on.”

Around a quarter of gardeners revealed they make a concerted effort to keep up to date with the latest trends in the world of gardening.

Garden inspiration

Three in 10 get most of their inspiration upon visiting garden centres, but gardening TV programmes are also a popular source (26 per cent) – as are family members (21 per cent).

When shopping for the garden the chances are Brits won’t be spending too much time looking at items such as shoe planters resembling old shoes, faux bicycle planters or metal wall ornaments resembling birds, animals or butterflies.

These are all considered to be bad trends – as are artificial topiary balls, sonic animal repellers and patio heaters.

However, some fashions have divided the nation’s gardeners – namely that staple of 1990s gardening TV shows, decking.

Wildlife enticing garden trends such as hedgehog homes, meadow areas and bumblebee nest boxes fall safely into the good trends list.

As do tree houses, lanterns and ponds areas. Sustainable trends such as composting were poplar too.

The Draper Tools study also found the typical garden owner has spent £1,909 to date on making their backyard just right.

And 39 per cent reckon they’ll spend more on it this year than they’ve ever spent during a single year before.

A nation of garden lovers

Over the course of a typical 12-month period, those polled will spend a total of 86 hours working away on their beloved gardens – that’s three days and 14 hours.

Further to this, seven in 10 said they have been spending more time in their garden during recent weeks.

And as such 48 per cent said improving this area of their home is currently their ‘main priority’.

Kev Smith of Draper Tools added: “The findings suggest those lucky enough to have a garden are very thankful to have one.”

“And rightly so, because gardens can be a wonderful and rewarding place to escape to - I know mine is and I love nothing more than relaxing in the hot tub with a gin…though clearly I’m off trend!”


  1. Bird feeders
  2. Vegetable gardens
  3. Water features
  4. Lanterns/outdoor lights
  5. Summer houses
  6. Hanging baskets
  7. Bird bath
  8. Herb garden
  9. Solar lighting
  10. Green houses
  11. Raised garden beds
  12. Decking
  13. Hedgehog homes
  14. Ponds
  15. Wild meadow area/growing of wildflowers
  16. Fire pits
  17. Composting
  18. Built in BBQ/Outdoor kitchen
  19. Planters
  20. Garden pathways/stepping stones
  21. Bumblebee nest boxes
  22. Rose gardens
  23. Tree houses
  24. Rock gardens
  25. Terracotta plant pots
  26. Patio heaters
  27. Garden bar/pub in a shed
  28. Living walls
  29. Repurposing household items to grow plants in - such as bathtubs, sinks, old bikes
  30. Bird/animal box cameras


  1. Gnomes
  2. Fake grass
  3. Plastic ornaments
  4. Fake animal/bird statues e.g. Flamingos
  5. Artificial topiary balls
  6. Buddha statues
  7. Trampolines
  8. Hot tubs
  9. Recycled old tires as plant containers
  10. Pub in a shed
  11. Ivy
  12. Fences painted with orange wood stain
  13. Wind chimes
  14. Shoe planter (a planter that looks like a shoe)
  15. Fairy gardens (tiny mini gardens for fairies)
  16. Pretend bicycle planters
  17. Metal bird/animal/butterfly wall ornaments
  18. Garden tiki bar
  19. Repurposing household items to grow plants in - such as bathtubs, sinks, old bikes
  20. Outdoors beanbags
  21. Crazy paving
  22. Sonic animal repellers
  23. Conifers
  24. Decking
  25. Patio heaters
  26. Gas powered barbecues
  27. Fire pits
  28. Topiary (trimming hedges into shapes)
  29. Chimeneas
  30. Decorative crates

Do you agree with the findings? What do you think are the best and worst garden trends? Let us know in the comments or on social media.

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