Swimming pools and water features top UK gardeners’ dream features list

Manicured lawns and flower beds were once the fad du jour of homeowners, but new research reveals traditional garden features have fallen out of favour, with more lavish features such as hot tubs, swimming pools and tennis courts taking prime position on garden bucket lists.

74% of Brits dream of owning a swimming pool, while over half (53%) have hopes of a relaxing after a hard day in a hot tub, according to a survey of 1,000 UK adults by garden and conservatory furniture etailer Alfresia.co.uk.

Also high on the wish lists of would-be landscapers are water features (67%), followed by decking or patio areas (61%), vegetable patches (43%), and summer houses (24%).

Brits also have outdoor style aspirations, with oriental water garden (32%) topping the list of dream garden themes, followed by cottage garden (21%), contemporary modern (19%), Mediterranean terrace garden (16%), and low-maintenance garden (12%).

31% would use their dream garden for throwing parties, while an optimistic 16% plan to use their outdoor space for sunbathing.

One in 10 (9%) sporty Brits dream of having their own tennis courts, and 5% fantasise about a putting green on their dream garden wish list, showing spaces for active leisure are also a high priority for British adults.

Built-in BBQ and outdoor cooking area topped the list for those aged 18-24, while 25-34 year-olds chose vegetable patches as their top pick, illustrating the rise in popularity of gardening among young homeowners.

Respondents admitted their aspirations were being inspired by television shows such as Big Brother, and celebrities such as the Kardashians, many of whom have lavish feature filled gardens.

Alfresia.co.uk marketing manager Craig Corbett said: “The findings are interesting, and show that most of us aspire to have some element of water in our gardens, whether it’s in the form of a bubbling hot tub, or tranquil and calming water feature. It’s great to see the fun and quirky features the British public choose when collating their garden bucket lists.

“Dream landscapes don’t have to cost big money – improvements can be made on a conservative budget and scale. Beginning garden renovations with a single smaller size project, such as tidying existing patio areas, or planting some seasonal pots is recommended – sowing seeds and garden maintenance can be done in smaller manageable sessions.”


  1. Swimming pool – 74%
  2. Water feature – 67%
  3. Decking/ patio area – 61%
  4. Hot tub – 53%
  5. Vegetable patch – 43%
  6. Summer house – 24%
  7. BBQ and outdoor cooking area – 23%
  8. Tennis courts – 9%
  9. Putting green – 5%
  10. Topiary – 4%