Brits show passion for outdoor living

Barbecues, conservatories and garden furniture continue to grow in popularity as garden product market reaches £4.9 billion.

Figures released by AMA Research earlier this month show that British homeowners’ love affair with their gardens shows no sign of going away. With a 3% growth in 2017, the UK domestic garden products market is now worth an estimated £4.9 billion, and is predicted to grow by a further 2% year on year until 2020.

A strong nationwide interest in home improvements has been partly credited for the sector’s strong performance, with many homeowner’s extending this interest out to the garden. Another possible reason for this steady growth is our growing appetite for an outdoors lifestyle.

Outside living

‘Al fresco’ living is a key trend in the UK at the moment, with many homeowners wishing to maximise the recreational potential of their garden, and this is reflected in the growth of products that enable and support this lifestyle, such as barbecues, conservatories and garden furniture. These products have always been popular sellers, but increasingly, consumers are showing a willingness to ‘trade-up’ to more premium styles and materials, as demonstrated by the recent explosion in stylish rattan furniture sets.

In particular, luxury bespoke conservatories with high-end features such as bi-fold doors, are proving popular, enabling homeowners to blur the boundary between indoor and outdoor living, and enjoy their garden all year round.

Shrinking space

Although outdoor living is on the rise, the average size of the UK garden is actually decreasing and, with the rise of apartment living, many households lack a garden altogether. This has led to an increase in the sale of garden items that are more suited to a smaller space, such as vertical gardens, and plant pots and containers which look just as at home on an apartment balcony as they do on a garden patio.

Areas for growth

As well as the more established garden products, the market is also seeing new areas of growth, including garden decorations and artificial grass, which has experienced a huge surge in popularity in recent years. Customers are also increasingly concerned about environmental credentials and are paying closer attention to the ingredients and materials used in their garden products, which could have a big impact on the sustainable garden products market in the years to come.

More than a garden

Perhaps one of the more striking findings of the research is the expansion of the garden beyond its traditional uses. These days many homeowners choose to make improvements to their existing property rather than move house. When inside space is limited, many look to the garden to provide valuable extra room for working, playing and storage, and the purchase of garden sheds, summer houses and conservatories makes this possible.

Of course, the success of the garden product market is dependent on a number of external factors, not least the weather. For example, barbecue and garden furniture sales are boosted by sunny weather, whereas a wet and windy month can lead to an increase in sales for fencing products. The economy can also have a big influence on sales, with poor consumer confidence tending to push down the sales of ‘big ticket’ items.

But even with these caveats it’s clear to see that the garden product market is on the rise. And whether you’re looking for an entertaining space, a hardy playing surface for your children, or just somewhere to sit and relax, with so much choice available you are sure to find great products to help your garden look its best.