** Gardens across the UK are worth £9.3 billion new research shows, making them hot targets for thieves this summer. **
Green-fingered gardeners are investing huge sums of money in their gardens, with the research by RIAS revealing each household on average owns about £5,000 worth of garden items.
Garden sheds on their own are worth £7 billion, other items such as solar powered lighting and greenhouses also adds to the overall figure.
The over 50s were shown to have a particular passion for gardening, who between them spend eight million of the total £5.5 billion spent on gardens nationwide.
Worryingly, almost half of this age group however risk losing items up to the value of £2.6 billion due to being underinsured or not having any insurance for garden items.
"As the over 50s get their homes back to themselves once again, or move towards part time working or retirement, their gardens really are becoming their sanctuaries,” said Janet Conner, RIAS Managing Director.
"With up to £2.6 billion worth of uninsured items in over 50s'gardens it's incredibly important for consumers to check whether their current home insurance policy covers against loss or damage to garden items.”
The over 50s were found to spend £200 each on plants, shrubs, and lawn maintenance products to ensure their gardens blossom come summer – this amounts to about £1.54 billion annually.
Eight out of ten over 50s get their hands dirty, admitting they enjoy the past time of gardening, and they claim having the right tools is important. Garden sheds of the over 50s will typically have spades, forks and rakes which 78 percent hold, while 64 percent have lawnmowers (the average costing just under £150).
Those over 50 in the South West and Wales were found to be the most likely to spend money on their gardens each year, with these households shelling out an average of £284 per garden. This is 40 percent more than households in the North East.
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