The value of a garden…

A new survey conducted by YouGov for STIGA, reveals that people would rather have smaller house if it came with a garden than a large house with no outside space.

Garden with roses, foxgloves and catmint
credit: Petra Hoyer Millar

People in the UK love a patch of green. The Covid-19 pandemic not only led to a surge of interest in gardening but also increased the public’s appreciation of gardens and green spaces. Gardens are prevalent and of cultural significance, where their salutary properties have been documented for centuries but it was the pandemic that truly highlighted their value to our lives, nature and wildlife.

The survey, conducted by YouGov on behalf of Stiga, the gardening machinery manufacturer, indicated that in terms of choice of house and garden, 69% of the respondents said they would prefer a smaller house with their own garden rather than a bigger house without outside space. A result, which would probably have been different pre-pandemic. According to the survey results, the figures are similar across the country, with those in London (71%) and the South (76%) preferring the smaller house with a private garden.

More than half of those interviewed (61%) believed that taking care of their green space would not require a lot of their time. That may either indicate that time in the garden is viewed as time well spent, or possibly underestimation as to the amount of work required for maintenance. However, what is most important about that result is that the time needed for the garden isn’t viewed as barrier to engage in gardening.

The survey also showed large disparities in garden size across the UK. Across the UK, survey respondents indicated that 20% had no garden, which rises significantly in London (32%) and Scotland (30%). Small gardens of less than 125m2 are more evenly spread around the country ranging, from 36% in the North, 32% Midlands , 27% East, 21% London and South 31%.

The survey was conducted by YouGov Italia in March 2024 on a sample of 6101 residents in Italy (1010), Spain (1029), France (10123), Germany (1019), Poland (1020), UK (1010). STIGA and YouGov will be releasing further insights on Europeans’ use and perception of their gardens, as well as on their approach and vision towards sustainability in relation to gardens and gardening.