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29-04-2013 16:00
[National]  - 7.4m homeowners are too embarrassed to use their back gardens -
Research by IKEA today reveals that, while British back gardens are seen as one of the most important ‘rooms’ in the house when it comes to buying a property, over 7.4 million British homeowners (12%) admit they never use theirs. With almost half (40%) confessing they are embarrassed by the state of their outside space, the garden is becoming the most wasted part of the British household.

Are we green-fingered failures? 21% of Brits admit their plants and flowers are overgrown unkempt, so it’s no surprise that their embarrassment stems from a lack of gardening skills with 27% of homeowners admitting that mowing the lawn is more difficult than doing a spot of DIY.

What do we use our gardens for? 13% admit they mainly use their garden when they want to nip out for a cheeky cigarette. Others confess that it has become a ‘dumping ground’ for old furniture (5%) or that that they’ve inherited a concrete yard and just don’t know what to do with it (5%).

Who does the gardening? While a mere 8% of Brits fork out on a gardener to keep their outdoor space in shape, other homeowners continue to fight over whose responsibility it is to do the gardening, with 50% of women believing it's a job for their man, and 38% of men saying it’s a woman’s task to pick up the tools in the garden.

What makes for a dream garden? While 70% wish they could use their outside space just to relax, 48% dream of making it a place for summer entertaining and 39% of wishful thinkers want to turn their gardens into a sunbathing haven. Unsurprisingly however, 63% say they don’t enjoy their garden because of the unpredictable British weather.

15% of Brits say their ‘dream garden’ would have a hot tub in it, while 14% say a bigger BBQ would make it the ultimate outdoor space. Once a staple of the English country garden, only a dwindling 1% said they needed ‘more gnomes’ in their garden, 9% wanted more ornaments and statues, while 8% would like a pond and 6% needed a bird table.

Gemma Arranz, IKEA UK & Ireland Interior design manager comments, "A garden can be a really wonderful place to spend time but from our research it’s clear that so much valuable outdoor space isn’t being maximised. However, we understand that revamping the garden in time for summer can be a daunting task for some - not everyone is a landscape gardener and everyone’s outdoor space is different. What’s more, the British weather can be a little unpredictable at times!

The new IKEA range offers great weather proof solutions for people looking to transform their outside space - from our FALSTER garden furniture series, that looks like real wood but dries off after a shower to the IKEA PS VÅGÖ easy chair that is designed to drain excess water away after the weather has taken a turn for the worse.

We want to inspire people with simple, affordable and stylish outdoor living solutions to help them make more of their outdoor space, whatever the weather.”

The IKEA Outdoor Living range is available in-store and online here.

- ENDS -

For more information, contact the IKEA team at Cake on or 020 7307 3100

About IKEA
• IKEA is the world’s leading home furnishing retailer with a grand total of 298

• IKEA stores in 26 countries/territories that are visited by 690 million people every year

• IKEA UK has 18 stores and IKEA Ireland has 1 store. IKEA had 41.3 million visitors in the UK stores, an average of 2.29 million per store, in the year to 31 August 2012. The first IKEA store in the UK was opened in Warrington in 1987

• The IKEA Group has 139,000 co-workers in 41 different countries over four continents. There are 7,200 employees currently working at IKEA UK and Ireland organisation. Sales for the IKEA Group for the financial year 2012 increased by 9.5 per cent to a total of 27 billion Euros compared to 2011. More information can be read in ‘Welcome Inside’, available here.

• The 2013 IKEA Catalogue was printed in The IKEA Catalogue was printed in 212 million copies, 29 languages and 62 editions. There were 1 billion visits to the IKEA website during FY12, up 21.8% vs. 2011

• IKEA has a range of 9,500 different home furnishing products. The company was established in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad at the age of 17, in Småland in Sweden.

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