Want to move up the property ladder? Make sure you've also got a rake, a hoe and a lawn mower at the ready.
New research by Saga Insurance, sponsors of this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show, reveals that millions of Brits believe they are adding value to their property by carrying out garden makeovers.
An overwhelming 82 per cent of Brits say the garden is an important feature when house hunting, according to the survey of 2,411 people.
According to the poll, most people spend at least 500 improving their garden and believe that improvements they've made, excluding the effect of general house price rises, have increased the value of their homes by more than 7500.
A quarter of green-fingered folk were so keen to improve their garden that they completely replanted the lawn, shrubs and plants, 19% gutted the garden and started again and 20% redesigned the layout and re-landscaped the garden.
Other key additions to the garden include a new patio area (28 per cent), a fish pond (12 per cent), a decked area (11 per cent), and a pergola (six per cent).
And some 15 per cent of gardening enthusiasts even went as far as splitting their garden into several sections such as a herb area, vegetable patch, seating area etc.
Andrew Goodsell, Chief Executive of Saga comments, "Whether you're improving the kerb appeal of your house in preparation for sale or enhancing your living space purely for pleasure, this research shows that the impact a garden has on both property prices and emotional fulfilment can never be underestimated."
Interestingly, the poll has revealed that the under 30s age group are on the ball when it comes to increasing the value of their properties.
An overwhelming 44 per cent of people aged 19 to 30 say they have significantly increased the value of their homes by making improvements to the exterior of the property and the garden.
Notes to the Editor:
*Saga's research was conducted online by 72 Point Ltd between 8th and 15th March 2006.
Saga Insurance is proud to sponsor the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2006
The Show runs 23 - 27 May 2006 (23 & 24 RHS members only days) in the grounds of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, London, SW3. For more information visit www.saga.co.uk/cfs.
Saga specialises in serving the needs of people aged 50 and over. Saga has over 2 million customers and provides insurance, financial services, holidays, publishes the monthly Saga Magazine and operates a series of regional radio stations in the Midlands and Scotland.
For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771529.