Britons no longer keen on decking
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by Kay Mitchell
It used to be the fashionable feature that could transform a garden into an addition of the living room but decking is no longer considered trendy.
Sales have fallen 59% over the last 12 months with experts giving many reasons such as the damp summer or that it is simply not fashionable anymore.
Visitors to the garden centre are now looking to traditional features such as lawns, fruit trees and vegetable plots.
In 2003, the popularity of the garden makeover TV show Ground Force featuring Alan Titchmarsh, Charlie Dimmock and Tommy Walsh, produced a large amount of interest in decking. The concept was to transform the back garden into a Mediterranean paradise, complete with gazebos, barbecue areas, seating and water features.
Annual sales of decking peaked at Â£46 million 4 years ago, however, the figure for the first 7 months of last year was only Â£13.7 million and it declined to Â£5.7 million for the same period this year.
The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) said that the trend for decked and paved gardens is deteriorating, furthermore, reports from pest controllers have indicated that decking has provided an ideal home for the growing rat and mouse population. The trend now is to re-instate the traditional lawn.
The wet summer also resulted in a 38% fall in sales of barbecues and accessories, such as charcoal, gas bottles and tongs. In addition, the patio heater has noted sales falling 37% during the first seven months of this year to Â£7 million following disapproval from environmentalists over their carbon emissions.
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