Gardening is changing, as is the role of the garden in family life.

New research suggests that of the 86% of UK homes with gardens, around three in four have removed part of the original lawn in favour of other surfaces such as artificial turf, or a patio. The research was carried out by Studio, after noticing that consumers were spending more on accessories and furniture for patios than they were on plants and other gardening products.

It’s easy to see why artificial turf is growing in popularity: the perfect lawn all year round with almost no maintenance?

What else did the study say?

The report also found that garden get-togethers are soaring at the expense of formal dinner parties. Around 90% of those surveyed said that they would rather entertain guests outdoors than have a formal sit-down dinner party.

Sales of gazebos, outdoor dining sets, outdoor lighting and outdoor cooking equipment has increased significantly in recent years. And the sale of garden furniture seems unaffected by the recent Office of National Statistics figures showing that British retail sales experienced the biggest quarterly fall in seven years during the first three months of 2017.

According to a Studio spokesperson, “More and more people are looking to create that extra room where they can eat and drink in the open air and relax in the sun as they seek to take advantage of a Mediterranean lifestyle and spend more time outdoors”.

Climate change

The changing climate is also predicted to have a major effect on British gardens. A Royal Horticultural Society report predicts that the traditional lawn will be ripped up in favour of artificial grass. They conclude that the predicted milder winters and harsher summers will make it a greater challenge to maintain a garden. The changing climate could even result in lawns needing to be mown all year round!

All of this means that now is as good a time as ever to jump on the artificial-turf bandwagon!