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The costs of UK gardening

Lisa Garden on 26-09-2017

For many Brits, our garden is our pride and joy — but it comes at a price! It’s estimated that over the course of a gardener’s lifetime, they’ll spend £30,000 on tending to their garden. A staggering amount by anyone’s standards, but just how does the amount breakdown?

The survey by Gardening Express found the most significant spend of this £30,000 was on plants (£10,000) and renewing patios and decking (£9,000). This decking cost is based on renewing the patio and decking six times over their lifetime.

However, despite this survey setting the 2014 benchmark at £30,000, more recent research has suggested that the UK’s gardening spend is slowing. The survey by Lloyds Bank Insurance found that households spend an average of £587 on gardening in a 12 month period between 2015 and 2016.



So let’s work this out. If we take the average UK lifespan at 80 years old and consider that most Brits won’t buy their first home until they’re 30, we can assume around 50 years of gardening. Based on the £587 average household spend, more recent data suggests that this spend has dropped to £29,350 — a £750 decrease on the figures from 2014.

For the not-so-green-fingered, there is a temptation to hire the experts—a wise choice for those looking for a professional finish. However, this isn’t without cost. Here’s how much the most popular garden tasks will cost you if you ask the experts, according to analysis from compost and bark chippings retailer Compost Direct:


Mowing the lawn:

On average, asking a gardener to cut your lawn costs around £30, although of course, this will vary depending on the size of your garden. Between March and September, this will usually be required fortnightly, racking up a total cost of £420 annually.

Assuming an average lawnmower costs £100, this is just a fraction of the cost of professional lawn cutting service.


Laying a patio:

Every garden needs an area to entertain, and a patio perfectly fits the bill. Laying a patio around 4m by 2m costs £475 on average. If you were to do the work yourself, you’d need around 18 900mm x 900mm paving slabs. You’ll also need to consider the cost of hardcore and bedding mortar. It is also a labour-intensive task so, while you may be able to save money, it may be more worthwhile to call in the professionals.


Building a shed:

The average cost of a shed is around £150 for a standard design. However, the cost of building a garden shed is £150 too, assuming the flat base is already in place. Although it may seem complex, building your own shed could save you some cash.


Installing decking:

Given the complex nature of installing decking, many people leave it to the experts — but how do the costs compare?

You’ll need to consider the cost of both the raw materials and installation. For budget timber, you can expect to pay around £14 per square meter. For a decking that’s around 14m2 — approximately the size you’ll need to house a dining table and chairs — you can expect to pay £196 just for the basic boards.

For more premium hardwood boards, the price rises to approximately £90 per square meter, bringing the total to £1,260 for the same 14m2 area. You’ll also have the cost of fittings on top of this, as well as a drill and saw if you don’t already have this.

Considering that the typical UK joiners average day rate is between £150 and £200, you can expect to pay around £400 for two days work to install the decking. In total, installing basic decking will likely cost around £596, while you can expect to pay £1,660 for premium hardwood decking.