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Size of the Gardening Market Research

Date: 18/07/2022

Visiting the GLAS Tradeshow on Thursday 21st July?

Visit Bord Bia on Stand D2 to access all our latest research. 

The hub of Bord Bia’s Insight and Innovation services, The Thinking House, is the repository of all Bord Bia research, and is where insight and innovation activities are centred.  

Bord Bia carries out a measure of the gardening market every two years. The Value of the Garden Market study 2021 was undertaken by Ipsos MRBI. This complements recent reports held by Bord Bia, the behaviour and understanding study on gardening completed in 2020 and our latest study on The Health Benefits of Gardening which will be presented to industry in the coming weeks. A summary of all reports are held on the Bord Bia website and Bord Bia staff will be on hand at GLAS to showcase the research on the day.


Bord Bia’s Insight and Innovation services are open to all Irish producers. Visit the Bord Bia stand at the GLAS Tradeshow, to get a flavour of what the Thinking House has on offer and see the latest research.


The Bord Bia Value of the Garden Market Study 2020 & 2021

Bord Bia has engaged Ipsos MRBI to track consumer activity and spend in the amenity market every two years since 2001. The objective of the survey is to provide Bord Bia with a tool to measure and track consumer spend, channel of purchase and motivation for purchase across a range of amenity products.  The study was underway in 2020 when Covid 19 brought the world to a standstill, however after an initial pause, the gardening sector saw unprecedented levels of growth, and the Market measure for 2020 reached its highest level ever at a record 1.2billion euro in value. In order to track how the market would perform once restrictions might be eased, we carried out the study again in 2021, which showed further growth and a continuing interest in gardening by the public, with spending reaching further growth to 1.5 billion euro.


Market Summary

Covid dominated life in Ireland and around the word in 2021, as it had done in 2020.  Ireland was in a full lockdown until May 2021, though essential retail could remain open during this time.  The economy gradually opened up during the summer, with foreign travel becoming possible.  The arrival of Omicrom led to further restrictions being imposed from the end of October 2021 through to the end of the year.

However, 2021 was another record-breaking year for the gardening market.  Consumers spent €1.5bn on garden related products and services, eclipsing the previous high reported back during the Celtic tiger.

Consumers continued to focus their energies and their “Covid” savings on their gardens and outdoor spaces this year.  Whereas in 2020, spend on outdoor and flowering plants increased by half compared with pre-pandemic measures, this year, the greatest lift in spend was for landscaping services (+63% vs 2020).   However, all categories measured recorded the highest spend figures since measurement began 20 years ago.

The DIY channel, which had suffered a loss of share in 2020 as a result of being closed during the March – May lockdown in 2020, saw its share of spend in the market restored to pre-pandemic levels.  While share of spend through physical garden centres contracted in 2021, overall spend through this channel is still significantly higher than previous years.

Online purchasing, which expanded in 2020 due to Covid, has continued to remain relevant in 2021.  Online spend accounted for 9% of the market, compared with a 3% share in 2018.  Some products are particularly suited to online purchasing, such as furniture, sheds/structures, trees, bulbs/flower seeds and herbs/fruit and veg for planting.  Furthermore, online purchasing does not simply include dedicated online websites, but also the websites of garden centers, DIY stores and so on.  The convenience of being able to buy bulky items online and have them delivered is a consumer benefit not fully realized before the pandemic.

“Plant parents” is a term coined to reflect the popularity of indoor potted plants in recent years.  Traditionally a purchase favored by a somewhat older demographic, the results of this study show a significant increase in purchasing of indoor plants by younger people.  Indeed, the average past week incidence of purchasing among 15 – 24-year-olds has risen from 5% to 9% between 2018 and 2021.  Spend on indoor plants increased by 38% since 2020, bringing the market value to €51m.

Investment in garden products also increased, with marked improvements evident for all products.

Commissioning of Landscaping services dramatically increased in 2021, in particular for the once off services such as design or full garden makeover. While garden maintenance accounts for two thirds of all services commissioned, spend on garden design and makeovers accounts for almost half of the market value.

This study, along with our other research will be presented to the industry in early September at a special Industry Day event – date to be announced in the coming weeks. For any queries on this research please contact carol.marks@bordbia.ie


The GLAS Tradeshow takes place on Thursday 21st July at The National Basketball Arena, Tallaght from 9am until 5pm. Full details available here. (insert hyperlink to GLAS website please)