Page last updated at 13:40 GMT, Friday, 28 May 2010 14:40 UK

What is growing in Britain's gardens?

If you have a garden it's likely you'll be picking up a trowel or a watering can this bank holiday weekend. But what does the typical British garden look like? It largely depends on where you live so we've taken a look at what you might find in gardens across Britain.

Vegetables have become more popular than flowers in British gardens, according to figures of seed sales.

Graphic of percentage of fruit and vegetable seed packets sold

In 2005, 60% of seed packets sold were for flowers, but since 2007 sales of vegetable seeds have soared, according to seed supplier Suttons. Last year 70% of seed packets sold were for vegetables.

According to Guy Barter, head of horticulture advice at the Royal Horticultural Society, this trend cannot be explained by climate: "In my opinion this is entirely down to attitudes and interests.

"I suspect that it is not to do with the recession, but I expect you will see that feeding through, although in practice, growing your own is not that much cheaper."

Graphic showing a breakdown of the proportion of gardens in each region of Britain with flowers, fruit and vegetables

Flowers it seems are loved equally throughout the nation, with little variation between the regions. Scotland has the lowest proportion of gardens with flowers at 76% and the South West has the highest proportion with 86% of gardens containing flowers.

But a different picture can be seen when it comes to edible crops - the Midlands and the South of England have a higher proportion of gardens with vegetables. London is the exception with only 21% of gardens in the capital growing vegetables.

Scotland, Wales and Northern England have a below-average proportion of gardens with vegetables in them - only 13% of gardens in Scotland grow vegetables.

When it comes to fruit, Scotland has the lowest proportion of gardens growing fruit at 17% and the South West once again tops the table with a proportion of 34% of gardens growing fruit.

So is there a reason why those who live further north don't grow fruit and veg?

According to Mr Barter, the variation between North and South is potentially down to the harsher climate in Scotland and northern England: "On the whole, the climate in Scotland is not as good for fruit and vegetables, it's more challenging than in the South to grow things like tomatoes or plums, for example."



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