Looking after our garden can be expensive. It’s estimated that over the course of a gardener’s lifetime, they’ll spend £30,000 on tending to their garden. A staggering amount by anyone’s standards, but just how does the amount break down?

When research was conducted by Gardening Express, it was discovered that £10,000 was being spent on plants and £9,000 on renewing old decking and creating a new patio. This decking cost is based on renewing the patio and decking six times over their lifetime.

Studies that have taken place in recent years reveal that our spending habits are slowing. The survey by Lloyds Bank Insurance found that households spent an average of £587 on gardening in a 12-month period between 2015 and 2016.

Let’s do some calculations. If we take the average UK lifespan at 80 years old and consider that most Brits won’t buy their first home until they’re 30, we can assume around 50 years of gardening. Based on the £587 average household spend, more recent data suggests that this spend has dropped to £29,350 — a £750 decrease on the figures from 2014.

It’s difficult for many of us to find the time to keep our garden in good condition and this is where the expert come in. However, this is costly too…

Keeping your lawn tidy

Thinking of employing a gardener to mow your lawn? This will cost you on average £30 depending on the size of your green area. Between March and September, this will usually be required fortnightly, racking up a total cost of £420 annually. Assuming an average lawnmower costs £100, and this is just a fraction of the cost of professional lawn cutting service.

Install a patio space

Many people desire a patio in their garden as a place to relax and entertain guests. Laying a patio around 4m by 2m costs £475 on average. If you were to do the work yourself, you’d need around 18 900mm x 900mm paving slabs. You’ll also need to consider the cost of hardcore and bedding mortar. It is also a labour-intensive task so, while you may be able to save money, it may be more worthwhile calling in the professionals.

Build a garden shed

How much does a shed cost to install? The basic design of a shed for your garden will cost you around £150. However, the cost of building a garden shed is £150 too, assuming the flat base is already in place. Although it may seem complex, building your own shed could save you some cash.

Laying decking

Decking is another attractive feature for the garden. Often left to the experts to install, but how much could you save if you did it yourself? It’s important to bear in mind the costs for both raw materials and installation before you go ahead with the job. For budget timber, you can expect to pay around £14 per square meter. For a decking that’s around 14m2 — approximately the size you’ll need to house a dining table and chairs — you can expect to pay £196 just for the basic boards.

If you want to be more premium, you can expect prices to rise. Premium hardwood boards are approximately £90 per square meter, bringing the total to £1,260 for the same 14m2 area. You’ll also have the cost of fittings on top of this, as well as a drill and saw if you don’t already have these.

This can be a complex process and that’s why UK joiners usually charge somewhere between £150-£200 per day for their services — so make sure to find out how many days it will take to install. In total, installing basic decking will likely cost around £596, while you can expect to pay £1,660 for premium hardwood decking.

This research was carried out by Compost Direct, online retailers of mulches and other garden essentials.