UK's Best & Worst Garden Trends Revealed

6th Jul 2022

UK's Best & Worst Garden Trends Revealed

Brits are embracing wildlife and sustainability in their gardens with bird feeders and baths, veg patches and bumblebee nest boxes – but garden gnomes and artificial grass have had their day.

The latest Draper Tools research polled 2,000 adults with an outdoor space found more than one in ten describe their entire garden as “intentionally wild” in style to encourage biodiversity.

Fruit trees, composting areas, ponds and greenhouses appeared on the list of what people most like to see in a garden.

But wind chimes, recycled old tyres, artificial topiary balls and anything painted in an orange wood stain are unlikely to be bought in 2022.

Water features and “living walls” are also among the most popular garden trends of the moment, while fake animals, buddha statues and plastic ornaments are out.

Sustainable trends

Kevin Smith, Marketing Director at Draper Tools, said: “So many of us have got into gardening in recent times, and it’s fascinating to take a look at the top trends – as well as those that have fallen out of favour.

“It’s great to see the number of people focusing on sustainability by growing their own food, composting, harvesting rainwater and encouraging biodiversity in their gardens. Hopefully these are long-term trends that are here to stay.”

Other elements Brits are now turning away from in their gardens are hot tubs, perhaps as a result of rising electricity costs. Another 27% don’t like to see trampolines in their back gardens, and 15% consider topiary to be “over”.

Investing in the garden

Exactly one in five respondents say keeping up with the latest garden trends is very important to them, while three quarters reckon they’ve got great outdoor taste. And during a typical week, green-fingered Brits will spend an hour and 20 minutes pondering how to get the best from their outside space.

Nearly a fifth (17%) admit they get inspiration for their garden by peering over their neighbour’s fence.

In the summer months, adults spend nearly two and a half hours each week outside tending to their garden areas.

In total, respondents estimate having spent an average of £1,732 per person on buying new bedding, plants, tools and other garden costs since they moved in, according to the data. And it’s seen as money well spent, as 34% said spending on their gardens is a worthwhile investment. This is especially the case when it comes to garden tools, with more than a quarter of the nation saying that it was worth investing in quality tools.

Two out of five people are actually planning to spend more on their gardens this year than they did last year. This is perhaps not surprising given that more than a third of people (36%) say their garden is their happy place. The same number admit that recent times have made them appreciate how important their gardens are.

When it comes to what’s on the nation’s shopping list for the garden, 30% of gardeners have watering on the brain and are looking to buy a sprinkler or spray gun for the garden. A quarter of Brits are hoping to purchase a garden caddy or cart in future. And 16% want a lawn mower and more than one in ten are prioritising comfort and looking for a garden kneeler.

Relaxing in nature

Respondents also say their top priority for their garden is simply having a place to relax (49%). However, just under a quarter (24%) say sustainability is their number one goal, and 31% want a space they can grow their own fruit and veg.

Sheds remain popular with gardeners; 64% of Brits have one – but what’s inside certainly differs. While the majority of those polled (71%) use their shed for garden tool storage, more than a quarter use it as a space to do DIY. Two out of ten shed owners have turned theirs into a place to escape to – a “man cave” or “she shed”. While 16% have a pub in a shed and the same number have their home office in a shed. 

Kev Smith added: “Our results found people use their gardens for many different things – and there are certainly strong feelings out there – but almost everyone wants their space to look good.

“This is the time of year when all the work you put in during winter and spring should be paying off, letting you enjoy that outdoor space.

“And if wild animals, birds and bugs are also able to thrive in the space, then that’s just perfect.”


  • 1.Bird feeders
  • 2.Planters
  • 3.Birdbaths
  • 4.Fruit trees
  • 5.Hanging baskets
  • 6.Lanterns/outdoor lights
  • 7.Solar lighting
  • 8.Vegetable gardens
  • 9.Garden pathways/stepping stones
  • 10.Herb gardens
  • 11.Rainwater harvesting
  • 12.Terracotta plant pots
  • 13.Water features
  • 14.Wild meadow area/growing of wildflowers
  • 15.Raised garden beds
  • 16.Successional gardening (ensuring there are plants are flowering all year round)
  • 17.Decking
  • 18.Rose gardens
  • 19.Ponds
  • 20.Composting areas
  • 21.Greenhouses
  • 22.Summer houses
  • 23.Natural stone/minerals
  • 24.Hedgehog homes
  • 25.Trellises
  • 26.Firepits
  • 27.Glazed plant pots
  • 28.Rock gardens
  • 29.Bumblebee nest boxes
  • 30.Immaculately trimmed lawns
  • 31.Greenhouses
  • 32.Naturalistic planting
  • 33.Built-in BBQs/outdoor kitchens
  • 34.Pergolas
  • 35.Repurposing household items to grow plants in – such as bathtubs, sinks and old bikes
  • 36.Bird/animal box cameras
  • 37.Palm trees
  • 38.Pizza ovens
  • 39.No-dig gardening – also known as rewilding (involves minimal interference to the garden)
  • 40.Stripes in the lawn


  • 1.Fake grass
  • 2.Plastic ornaments
  • 3.Gnomes
  • 4.Trampolines
  • 5.Artificial topiary balls
  • 6.Fake animal/bird statues (e.g. flamingos)
  • 7.Buddha statues
  • 8.Hot tubs
  • 9.Recycled old tires as plant containers
  • 10.Pub in a shed
  • 11.Garden tiki bar
  • 12.Shoe planters (a planter that looks like a shoe)
  • 13.Fairy gardens (tiny mini gardens for fairies)
  • 14.Ivy
  • 15.Pretend bicycle planters
  • 16.Anything painted with an orange wood stain
  • 17.Brightly painted fences
  • 18.Outdoors beanbags
  • 19.Sonic animal repellers
  • 20.Wind chimes
  • 21.Repurposing household items to grow plants in – such as bathtubs, sinks and old bikes
  • 22.Gas-powered barbecues
  • 23.Crazy paving
  • 24.Flowers that don’t smell very nice
  • 25.Trees that drop leaves everywhere
  • 26.Topiary (trimming hedges into shapes)
  • 27.Decking
  • 28.Over-pruned shrubs
  • 29.Metal bird/animal/butterfly wall ornaments
  • 30.Conifers
  • 31.Patio heaters
  • 32.Decorative crates
  • 33.Firepits
  • 34.Chimeneas
  • 35.Ponds
  • 36.Rattan furniture
  • 37.Garden clocks
  • 38.Plain lawns with borders around them
  • 39.Garden kitchens (for adults)
  • 40.Gazebos

Survey of 2,000 UK residents with an outside space. Research commissioned by Draper Tools and carried out by OnePoll in June 2022.

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