According to a recent study, the UK has planted 322 million more plants in 2020 than in 2019.

£5.4 billion has been spent on outdoor spaces, although now lockdown is easing many admit they will not be focusing as much on their gardens.

Centaurea Jacea
© Jason Ingram

The number of new plants is good news for biodiversity, with plants such as French lavender and West Country lupins and perennial plants (ideal for bees and butterflies) being popular with buyers.

During lockdown, the country has spent an average of three more hours a week in gardens. Those without outdoor space have also been buying plants, with the average person buying two new houseplants in the last three months.

The study was conducted by Homebase, which is now encouraging people to continue the trend with its new campaign Great British Green Up. The intention is to keep UK gardeners thinking about the plants they need in the garden for vital pollinators.

Professor Sir Ian L Boyd of the University of St Andrews said: “The data showing increased attention to gardens and planting of flowers which attract pollinators during the current lockdown is to be greatly welcomed. We need to build on the few benefits from the lockdown and it would be good to see this new interest in gardens sustained into the future.”

Twenty two per cent of respondents to the survey also said that they had made an effort to plant with the environment in mind.

Danny Clarke, Presenter of the BBC’s Instant Gardener and partner on the Great British Green Up campaign, said: “There is so much talk about biodiversity and the environment, and this can seem really daunting, but the reality is there are lots of really simple things you can do that have a direct impact on the bugs, bees and birds that we need more of in our local environment.


Daisy Bowie-Sell is digital editor of Gardens Illustrated. She has previously worked as a journalist for publications including the Daily Telegraph, WhatsOnStage and Time Out London