British embarrassed by unkempt gardens says retailer Ikea

Some 7.4 million Britons never use their garden - because they are so ashamed of it, according to a new study.

The research from furniture retailer Ikea found 12 per cent never spend time in their backyard or garden and wouldn't dream of showing it to friends or family.

Around 40 per cent said the shabby state of their garden left them feeling embarrassed. A lack of gardening skill was the main cause, the study said.

The report into Britain's back gardens, found 21 per cent are ruined by overgrown and unkempt plants and flowers. And more than a quarter of homeowners - 27 per cent - admitted they found simply mowing the lawn or planting flowers more difficult than doing DIY.

Meanwhile, five per cent of Brits say their garden is an embarrassment as it's become a dumping ground for old furniture and 6 per cent say it is nothing more than 'an ugly concrete yard'.

One in seven - 15 per cent - said their dream garden would include a hot tub, while 16 per cent of men say a bigger BBQ would be essential.

A more traditional one in ten - 9 per cent - said they need more ornaments and statues, 8 per cent want a pond and 22 per cent hanker after a vegetable patch.

Gemma Arranz, Ikea UK interior design manager, said: "A garden can be a wonderful place to spend time but from our research it's clear so much of our valuable outdoor space isn't being maximised.

"However, we understand revamping the garden in time for summer can be a daunting task - not everyone is a landscape gardener and everyone's outdoor space is different.

In an ideal world, 48 per cent would love to use their garden for entertaining family and friends, while 39 per cent of wishful thinkers imagine a sunbathing haven.

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