National Gardening Week

Saturday 19 April 2014

A survey to over 1,500 respondents commissioned by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS)* has found that 80% of the UK is getting outside gardening over the 2014 National Gardening Week, 14th to 20th April, and Easter Weekend.

The top three gardening activities of the moment are weeding, mowing and cutting back last year’s foliage on herbaceous perennials and grasses.

The survey suggests more male members of the household will be cutting the grass with nearly 70% of them saying they’ll be mowing their lawns compared to 57% of females. Generally men appear to care more about their turf, with over half of the men questioned saying they’ll also be tending their lawn this week to help it recover from the winter and get in shape for spring, compared to almost 35% of women.

Slightly more women than men said they would be cutting back foliage on herbaceous perennials and grasses, 45% compared to 42%, pruning shrubs after flowering, 42% compared to 40% and sowing seeds in-doors, 39% compared to 31%.

RHS Head of Advisory, Guy Barter, says: “After the challenging cold weather last spring, gardeners are enjoying a great start to the season this year and making the most of the sunshine. In March at the RHS we had record calls to our advisory team and answered over 6,000 gardening questions. Most of the questions have been about pruning trees and shrubs, particularly those damaged by winter gales, and dealing with lawns rich in moss and with sparse grass, in this case a consequence of prolonged wet weather.

“We also enjoyed the highest number of visitors to our four RHS gardens in March, with almost 172,500 in total, and are expecting thousands to join us over the Easter break too.

“I’m not surprised that one of the top gardening jobs is looking after the lawn, as a nation we’re passionate about our turf and the survey found that only 14% of us think our lawn is perfect. The main complaint people had with their lawn was moss, with nearly a quarter saying their lawn has quite a lot of moss and 7% saying it’s nearly completely moss.

“Moss can be a temporary problem following drought or waterlogging, or more persistent, suggesting a problem with underlying conditions. Killing and removing the moss is just the start. To remain moss-free, the vigour of the grass must be improved and any other contributory factors addressed.

“It’s great the survey suggests that gardeners tend to get along with their neighbours, with only 3% saying that one of the reasons they garden and grow plants is to block out the neighbour’s garden.”
Almost 80% of respondents said they’d never thrown a slug or snail into their neighbour’s garden. The survey found Londoners were most likely to throw a slug into their neighbour’s garden, with over 30% admitting that they had and people in Scotland least likely to, with just 14% saying they’d never got rid of the garden pests that way.

Over 60% of people said that the main reason they garden and grow plants is to create a beautiful space to relax and enjoy and over 40% will mainly use their garden for family gatherings and barbeques this spring.

Guy adds: “People wanting to use their gardens as an extension of the home is a trend we’ve seen growing at RHS Chelsea over the last decade and there’s no doubt there’s an appetite to create beautiful social spaces to enjoy with our family and friends outside in our gardens. This is reflected in the many gardeners intending to have more pots (25%) and more flowers (22%) to decorate their gardens this year – garden centre tills will be ringing this holiday.”

 

-Ends-

Notes to editors

For more information, please contact the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3043 or call 07764787037 or email pressoffice@rhs.org.uk.


*Censuswide conducted the survey and there were 1,532 respondents from across the United Kingdom

• 80% said they would be gardening during National Gardening Week between 14th to 20th April
• Gardening Jobs the 1,532 respondents said they would be doing between 14th to 20th April
o 80% said they would be weeding
o 63% said they would be mowing the lawn
o 44% said they would be cutting back last year’s foliage on herbaceous perennials and grasses
o 43% said they would be spending time on lawn care to help it recover from the winter and get in shape for spring
o 41% said they would be pruning shrubs after flowering
o 36% said they would be sowing seeds indoors
o 70% of men said they would be mowing the lawn compared to 57% of women
o 54% of men said they would be spending time on lawn care to help in recover and get in shape for spring compared to 35% of women
o 45% of women said they would be cutting back foliage on herbaceous perennials and grasses compared to 42% of men
o 42% of women said they would be pruning shrubs after flowering compared to 40% of men
o 39% of women said they will be sowing seeds in-doors compared to 31% of men
• The top answers to ‘what in your garden most demonstrates the start of spring and the gardening season to you?’ were
o Daffodils coming out with 32%
o Bird song in the morning with 19%
o Grass growing and the need to mow the lawn with over 18%
• 32% said the Daffodil was their favourite spring bulb, followed by the tulip with 18.2% and the bluebell with 18%
• The top reasons respondents said they gardened and grew plants were:
o to create a beautiful space to relax and enjoy with 64% of respondents
o Satisfaction of growing plants with 41% of respondents
o For wildlife with 30% of respondents
o 30% said to enjoy my favourite flowers
• 23% of respondents said their garden had quite a lot of moss
• 20% said their lawn had a few bare patches
• 14% said their lawn was perfect
• 7% said what lawn, it is mostly moss?
• Top answers to the question, how do you plan to use your garden this spring?
o 43% said for family afternoon gathering
o 42% said barbeques
o 27% supper on the patio with friends
• Top answers to what do you intend to have more of this spring?
o 25% said pots
o 22% said I don’t intend to do/have more of anything
o 21% said to splash out on pretty summer flowers
o 19% said to plant more herbaceous perennials
• 78% said they have never thrown a snail into their neighbour’s garden
• 22% said they had thrown a snail into their neighbour’s garden


About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood for the encouragement and improvement of the science, art and practice of horticulture. We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, our flagship garden, in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity.

Today the RHS is committed to providing a voice for all gardeners. We are driven by a simple love of plants and a belief that gardeners make the world a better place. 210 years on we continue to safeguard and advance the science, art and practice of horticulture, creating displays that inspire people to garden. In all aspects of our work we help gardeners develop by sharing our knowledge of plants, gardens and the environment.

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

 

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About the RHS

The RHS believes that gardening improves the quality of life and that everyone should have access to great garden experiences. As a charity we help to bring gardening into people's lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturists or children who are planting seeds for the very first time.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262