When summer finally arrives there are few places we want to be more than our own garden – if we’re lucky enough to have one.
Having our own plot of outdoor space where we can go and soak up the sun in privacy really is a luxury.
However, while sunshine and fresh air is free, many Brits have much bigger ambitions for their gardens.
Fire up the barbie
A barbecue is the outdoor feature people most want to have in their gardens; with a quarter of respondents to a recent survey* for Ocean Finance revealing this is a product they dream of owning. And not just any old BBQ either, but one that’s built in as a permanent feature.
This would suggest that once the evenings get longer and the weather improves, we long for nothing more than to indulge in a bit of alfresco dining. And with the second-most longed-for garden fixture being a summer house, it seems people want to be able to enjoy views of their garden while they dine come rain or shine.
Another popular item on the list of outdoor products people wish they own is a hot tub, with more than one in five respondents revealing they long to have one. This really is a luxury addition to a home, and shows that what people dream of owning is very different to what they actually have.
While more than 22% of respondents want to install their own hot tub, fewer than one in 20 people with garden access actually have one. In contrast, the most popular outdoor feature is the humble shed – with 60% of people with gardens having one.
Making the most of outdoor living
One thing that the respondents’ list of dream garden additions showed was how much people appear to want to use their gardens. Longed-for purchases like outdoor soft seating, built-in BBQs, dining table and chairs and a patio or decking area suggest that when the sun is shining Brits want to take full advantage and spend as long outside enjoying it as they can.
Whatever budget you’re working on, it’s possible to spruce up your garden so you can spend long hours in it too. While a hot tub may be a little pricey, a paddling pool can help keep you cool when the sun is at its hottest. A built-in barbecue may be something you can have a go at building yourself when you have time at the weekend, and if you can’t afford a summerhouse to keep you dry in the summer rain, you could opt for a gazebo instead.
If you have more ambitious plans for your garden, you could consider a home improvement loan to help you create the outdoor space you’ve always wanted.
*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 6th June and 16th June 2014, of whom 500 were Scottish residents.
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