Fly from Britain to any part of continental Europe and you’ll notice something: the Great British obsession with defining what is theirs…fences, hedges, boundary markers of all shapes and sizes, to say ‘this is mine – keep out!’
Fly over France and you’ll see gardens fade out in to the landscape – a diffused sense of boundary that reflects a more relaxed relationship with their garden.
Yet, whilst all UK garden owners like to set up clear markers, how they relate to their gardens varies hugely.
Alongside a number of projects into gardening, which included the European positioning and packaging for Hozelock and Sinclair, we have gleaned a vast amount of insight into the sector and consumer.
Having spoken to people up and down the country, we found that people’s attitudes to their gardens varied enormously, and divided in to seven clusters. See which you identify with…
- My garden as a source of retreat. These people saw it as a secure haven with which they could escape the world outside
- Pragmatists – people for whom it was a ‘patch’ and who tended it with an arms length attitude: ‘keep it tidy, nuke the weeds – job done’
- Status seekers. Those who use their garden as a beacon of their ability and success. You see these down any road – the ‘look at me’ garden which is chock full of flowers and bursting with pride
- The ‘vital gardeners’ – those who see the garden as a challenge to overcome – they take on grand projects, and invest a lot of ambition and effort into producing adventurous projects…bridges over garden ponds, and landscaping being signs of their sweat and tears
- Gardens for optimism. Gardeners who use the garden as a fix to feel good about life. Bright, radiant choices that are uplifting and redolent of enthusiasm and positivity
- Connection. Gardens and gardeners who feel deeply connected. These folk like to get their hands down and dirty. They feel the trials and tribulations of their plants, as though they were their children – and develop a deep and maternal sense of satisfaction when they pull through and flourish
The Apathetics. A segment we gardeners all wished didn’t exist – one that doesn’t do a lot for the view down our streets, nor indeed do they connect with any brands…the ‘don’t cares’! These guys resent the garden as a duty, a chore, and frequently fail to lift a finger year in year out. Best left alone.
You can download a more detailed account of these seven types of gardening consumers here, which I hope you find useful