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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.