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Brits spend £14bn trading-in horticulture for hot tubs

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Homeowners are spending thousands converting their traditional English gardens into luxury havens, according to a new report.

The study by Lloyds TSB found homeowners are splashing out on luxury outdoor items and garden furniture, on average spending £894 on outdoor furniture and decorations for their garden in the past year. 

It is estimated that £14bn was spent on gardens alone last year and the average garden is now worth £1,928.

Many Brits now have items such as hot tubs (10%), trampolines (22%) and summer houses (8%), as well as fixing up their current spaces (4%) instead of putting their homes on the market.

One in 10 admits to spending money on their gardens as they can’t afford to move home, while a third of homeowners say spending a lot of time outside is the main reason for splashing out.

Frances Tophill, presenter of ITV’s Love Your Garden, said: “We don’t often get a chance to peek over the garden fence of the nation, but as homeowners become too time-poor for gardening, features like decking, summer houses and leisure items have moved into prime position in our back gardens.

“Whilst it is positive that we are valuing our outdoor spaces more, I hope the traditional image of the flower-filled Great British garden is not beginning to wilt.”

Yet despite investing heavily in their gardens, nearly half of homeowners are not taking appropriate steps to protect them.

When it comes to cover for their garden contents, 44% of homeowners either have no insurance or are unsure whether or not they are adequately covered.

Tim Downes, senior claims manager, Lloyds TSB Insurance, said: “While many are now prioritising their outside spaces, it is a false economy to invest in luxury garden items without ensuring they are covered.

“As our gardens grow increasingly expensive, homeowners are realising that they no longer own just a few pounds worth of petunias, but hundreds of pounds worth of leisure items.

“Garden-proud homeowners should check their insurance policies to ensure their beloved outdoor luxuries are properly protected.”