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    Hot tub vs greenhouse? The changing face of British gardens

    New B&Q / YouGOV research on Brits outdoor habits

    The spring sunshine has given Brits something to think about other than the election - enjoying the great outdoors this summer. YouGov recently took time out from political polls to question 3000 Brits on what they'd most like to add to their garden this summer.

    The most desired garden items are post recession Jacuzzis and hot tubs (16 per cent) and swimming pools (15 per cent), with the former being most popular in Scotland (19 per cent), the North and in Northern Ireland (both 18 per cent), and swimming pools in London and the south (both 17 per cent).

    The wish for a hot tub is cross generational as it makes the top ten list of every age group for men and women. In fact because so many Brits are planning hot tubs in their gardens B&Q is offering an all weather Tub Gazebo (£3,499) for those who want to enjoy their dream tub whatever the weather.

    However, there is a clear age split appearing in what Brits want in their gardens. While the MTV generation put a hot tub as their number one garden wish, the over 55s take a more pragmatic view and have a greenhouse as their top desire, followed by a vegetable patch.

    B&Q has seen sales of greenhouses rise 34 per cent so far this year.

    Other items Brits desire in their gardens are hunky gardeners, perhaps not surprisingly these are just on the hit list of women with one in five (19 per cent) putting them in their top three items, compared with just three per cent of men.

    According the SPATA (Swimming Pool and Allied Trade Association) its members will install pools this year costing Brits £200m. The growth of green energy sources such as Ground Source Heat Pumps mean that running costs for a modern heated pool can be minimal compared to those installed even ten years ago.

    Tony Welsby, Chairman of the British and Irish Hot Tub Association (BISHTA) said, "Over the last few years, there has been a huge increase in the popularity of hot tubs. There are currently over 100,000 in the UK and Ireland and during 2009 4,000 hot tubs were installed in the UK alone. They are a fantastic focal point for family relaxation and summer garden fun. They can also offer a benefit to arthritis sufferers, help with type 2 diabetes and can assist in sports injury recovery."

    Steve Guy, B&Q Horticultural trading manager comments: "It's interesting to see veg plots and greenhouses have made it into the top five of garden most wanted.

    "Today's gardeners are more confident than ever before and would like their outdoor spaces to reflect everything about their lifestyle, from relaxing in a hot tub, to entertaining friends and serving up their homegrown produce."

    The top ten things Brits would most like to have in their garden

    Hot spa/ Jacuzzi 16%
    Swimming pool 15%
    Vegetable plot 13%
    Water feature 12%
    Greenhouse 11%
    Hunky gardener 11%
    River / streams 11%
    Garden lighting 10%
    Decking 9%
    Garden table and chairs 9%


    Young Brits are unsurprisingly more likely to want MTV style hot tubs and pools in their gardens, but while they are not dreaming of vegetable plots seven per cent of them would like to keep chickens.

    The top ten things young Brits (18 to 24) would most like to have in their garden

    Hot spa/ Jacuzzi 25%
    Swimming pool 23%
    River / streams 12%
    BBQ set 13%
    Decking 11%
    Hunky gardener 10%
    Water feature 9%
    A tree house 9%
    Tennis court 9%
    Chickens 7%

    Older Brits are much more practical in their garden wish list with greenhouses and vegetable plots making the top two items. However, the lure of the hot tub continues with one in ten over 55s hankering for one in their garden.

    The top ten things older Brits (55+) would most like to have in their garden

    Greenhouse 17%
    Vegetable plot 14%
    Water feature 15%
    Hunky gardener 13%
    River / streams 12%
    Hot spa/ Jacuzzi 10%
    Garden lighting 10%
    Swimming pool 10%
    Pond 9%
    Garden table and chairs 8%

    N.B. The information contained in this story is provided by the supplier and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of lets-do-diy.com.

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