What makes us happiest in our gardens?

  • Going back to nature makes us happiest – even more popular than having a swimming pool
  • 67 per cent of people prefer natural grass over artificial turf

After a long hot summer spent enjoying our gardens, what makes us happiest in them?

If we could have anything in them for next year what would we choose? Barratt Homes, which is building homes in Exeter, wanted to know the answers to this so asked 2,000 people what they preferred.

While the allure of a hot tub or water feature was strong, the surprising winner with 32 per cent was the humble vegetable patch. It seems that getting back to nature and growing tasty vegetables really is the nation’s secret garden desire. Second place went to having beautiful flowers with 30 per cent, while in third was having a swimming pool. Just 10 per cent said a pizza oven or bar would make them happiest.

With sales of artificial lawns rapidly rising, Barratt also asked what the nation’s favourite type of grass is, artificial or natural, and there was a clear winner. More than two thirds of people chose natural grass, whereas only 21 per cent of respondents opted for synthetic turf.

So, it seems householders prefer the look and feel of real grass over the convenience and lower maintenance of artificial grass. But when the same 2,000 people were asked their perception of the two types of grass, the views were a bit more mixed.

Just over a third of people think artificial grass is naff, and a further 19 per cent said that it hurts nature.  Balancing that though, 16 per cent think synthetic grass is exclusive while another 11 per cent think it adds value. So, when it comes to the perception of natural over artificial, there is a broadly equal split between good vs bad.

Barratt Homes sales director Sara Parker said: “After such a great summer spent in our gardens we wanted to find out what people would want in them if they could have anything. Going back to nature was the clear winner – both in choosing natural grass over artificial, and by saying that a vegetable patch would make us the happiest in our gardens – even better than having a swimming pool!”

All Barratt homes are designed with nature in mind and it has a corporate partnership with the RSPB to help give nature a home on its developments. Together with the RSBP it has just launched a new consumer guide to making gardens wildlife friendly.  The guide, called “Bringing Your Garden to Life”, is available for free download from www.barratthomes.co.uk.

Barratt Homes is currently working on new developments in the Exeter area including Minerva off Tithebarn Lane near Exeter Science Park and Pinn Brook at Pinhoe.

To find out more about Barratt Homes, visit barratthomes.co.uk or call 0330 057 6000.