A Room with a View

The nation’s gardens now look better than ever – thanks to the typical green-fingered Brit spending the equivalent of 19 working days toiling away amid the scorching summer, it emerged last week.

A study found the sunny days were put to good use – with keen gardeners toiling away for a total of a staggering 154 hours. The figure equates to an average weekly shift of 11 hours a week tending lawns and flowerbeds amid the three and a half month heatwave. And the hard work paid off, with the average adult spending 32 days between mid-May and late August when they were able to get out and relax in their garden.

The research, which was commissioned by UK bi-fold sliding door manufacturer Origin, found the ‘proper summer’ was well deserved – as the average resident usually spends 117 days of the year sitting indoors wishing they could be out in the garden. And perhaps that’s why more than half of the 2,000 homeowners studied think the best room in their house is the one with the best views of the outside. Neil Ginger, CEO of Origin, said: “We’re a nation of garden lovers and clearly a lot of work goes into making the most of our outdoor space. In today’s fast-paced world, finding space and time to relax and unwind is crucial, and nowhere does it better than a quiet garden corner or a good view to look upon.”

A regretful 51 per cent of people feel they don’t normally get anywhere near enough time to enjoy their home and garden in the average year. However, 2013 is different and this summer has been the best in recent memory in terms of good weather for seven in ten Brits. And the sunshine has not been wasted – three in five homeowners have been able to make improvements to their gardens and outside space in recent months. In fact, half of these feel the toil has paid off and their improvements to the garden have added value to their property overall. And two in five Brits said the highlight of their summer was getting quality time in the garden. While a further 39 per cent said having the patio doors open and having a breeze through the house, really made their summer season.

During recent years, the average respondent said they spent approximately a third of their time at home wishing they could be out in their garden. But freak downpours, showers and other bad weather mean plans to get out amid the greenery are ruined at least seven times a month. Before the recent heat wave, the average person had gone as long as three and half months without being able to get outside. And that can take its toll – eighty one per cent feels their outlook on life is directly affected by how much sun they see. The same number say spending time in brighter, light rooms are crucial to a good mood.

But even if the weather doesn’t allow them to get outside, that doesn’t stop homeowners from appreciating the views – four in ten regularly take a few quiet minutes to just gaze out of the window at their surroundings. Neil Ginger added: “This summer has been exceptional, but unfortunately the British weather is often too poor to let us relax in our gardens, so quite often the time we put into making it look nice outweighs the time we spend out enjoying it. But what’s clear is that taking time to enjoy the views, whatever the weather, is important to people, helping them feel positive and appreciative of what they have around them.”