Top five reasons to invest in your garden

We are a nation of budding Monty Dons and Alan Titchmarshes.

Brits spend a massive 4.2 billion a year on their gardens, and while most see it as a relaxing haven, one in six view it as an investment, hoping to see an increase in the value of their property in return for spending in their garden.

These are the findings of National Savings and Investments (NS&I), the government-backed savings and investment provider.

Gardens are seen as such an asset that one in five Brits will spend their hard-earned savings on them. A further one in ten reach for the plastic - going into debt for their little patch of Britain.

More than twice as many men as women view their garden as an investment. One in four men cite a potential increase in their house price as the main reason for spending on their backyard compared to only ten per cent of women. This may explain why men spend slightly more on average per year than women (227 compared to 208).

Gardens are mostly seen as money-makers by those aged 16-24, with a quarter spending on the garden to increase the value of their property, compared to a national average of 17 per cent. This is also the only age group with more people investing in their garden for a monetary return rather than to encourage wildlife - only 21 per cent of 16-24 year-olds rate this as important, compared to an average of 32 per cent.

The top five reasons for spending on the garden are to provide a relaxing space for the family, or for yourself, to encourage wildlife, to increase the value of your property and just "because you feel you should" - to impress the neighbours.

On average, we spend 217 a year on our gardens buying new plants, garden furniture and landscaping. Even those in rented accommodation will spend an average of 155 a year.

Nicholas Leeming, director of national property website, says: "Gardens play a hugely important role in selling homes and can add significant value to a property. Our research shows that a well tended front gardens are the most important factor that attracts buyers to a street. Back gardens are even more important.

"Simply having a garden can enhance an average property's value by perhaps up to 15 per cent as a rule of thumb. As always, the closer matched the style of garden is to your target market, the quicker you can expect to sell and the more money you can bank on raising".

Karen Jones, marketing director at NS&I, adds: "There is an increasing trend among savers for more unusual investments, from property to art to and even wine. Gardens are an extension of this".


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