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GfK market research: A green front garden is very important for the Germans

Front garden with plants – Photo: Moers

A front garden with plants is still popular with the Germans – even if the phenomenon of dreary gravel gardens is becoming more and more widespread in this country. This is the outcome of representative market research carried out by the GfK consumer research association (Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung e.V.), which was commissioned by the German Association of Horticulture, Landscaping & Sports Facilities Construction (Bundesverband Garten-, Landschafts- und Sportplatzbau e.V.).

Around four out of every ten Germans has a front garden. 84 percent are planted with greenery, 15 percent on the other hand are mostly sealed, i.e. paved or covered with grit and gravel. The respondents stated the attractive and well-groomed appearance (58 percent) was the main reason why the majority have opted for a front garden with plants. Almost half (49 percent) consider plants to be a permanent solution that looks good for years; 41 percent even stated that a green front garden is easy-to-care for. 36 percent describe themselves as nature lovers and 18 percent emphasise that the area in front of the house contributes towards an improvement of the microclimate. 14 percent describe their green front gardens as modern and contemporary, seven percent as a place of relaxation and well-being.

Gravel garden – Photo: Moers

The situation is different among the owners of gravel gardens: 80 percent state that the low maintenance involved was the main reason for them sealing their front gardens. Particularly men (88 percent) are of the opinion that areas covered with stones are permanent solutions that can be cared for without much effort. 47 percent hope to have more leisure time thanks to the gravel garden or shy away from having to care for a green front garden – an argument that is particularly stated as being the reason by people of an advanced age. 57 percent of the women, who own a completely or partly sealed garden, argue on the other hand that they are aesthetic and they find gravel gardens contemporary and modern. Almost half of the respondents (47 percent) state that they could create additional space for bikes, rubbish bins or cars more easily in the paved or stone-covered garden.


Front gardens with plants are particularly popular

In reply to the question which is their favourite, almost three quarters (71 percent) of the respondents said it was the green garden and only 26 percent preferred the gravel covered front garden. Above all, the green front gardens are popular with women (74 percent). It is interesting that 88 percent of the owners of front gardens with plants describe sealed areas as being cold, boring, unnatural and dreary, but only six percent of the gravel gardeners state that they don’t like green front gardens. Two thirds (64 percent) of the gravel garden owners interviewed even have a diversified garden that is mostly covered by plants at the back of the house. It is also remarkable that a quarter of the owners of green front gardens had oriented themselves on the planted areas of their neighbours. Gravel gardens in the neighbourhood are on the other hand less inspiring: Only around one tenth (9 percent) of the respondents stated that they had copied the design ideas in the vicinity.

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