Time Well Spent?

I’ve found another survey to read. I do like a ‘on average’ type statistic, even though I know full well it probably isn’t backed by any scientific rigour or indeed, value. They are fun and somehow worm their way into becoming fact. Often quoted and usually referred to when supporting an argument.

gardening statistics

According to this particular survey I was reading, on average a gardener in the UK spends six and a half hours a year raking leaves. That same average gardener spends just over two days watering, solidly, for a year. He or she only spends half a day maintaining their plants. How about a quarter of a day painting fences and sheds? And every year, you will find that gardener jet washing the patio for four concrete, or stone, hours. A whole day a year is divided between mowing the lawn and cutting the hedges. According to the survey that is.

more gardening statistics

However, the survey hasn’t included some important gardening stats. Based on deep scientific principles, extensive market research and in-depth analysis of the figures (OK, asking our twelve-year-old where the calculator function is on my mobile phone), I can exclusively reveal that on average this particular gardener spends:

  • 365 hours a year drinking hot beverages in the garden. FACT. (see note *)
  • 30 hours a year tying/untying gardening boot laces. FACT. (see note **)
  • 12 hours a year shouting at pigeons. FACT. (see ***)
  • 6 hours a year muttering ‘aggghhh’ at freshly emerged bindweed shoots. FACT. (see note ****)
  • 2 hours a year locking/unlocking a shed/greenhouse/garage. FACT. (see note *****)
  • Zero hours per year wondering if I’m doing the wrong hobby. FACT. (see note ******)


So, adding all those ‘official’ survey stats, all the other mush and tosh on the internet, my own highly researched figures above to this little lot:

  • If you are a driver then you will spend around 32 hours in traffic jams.
  • You may even be reading this on your phone or tablet standing in a queue - in the UK each and every one of spends 18 hours tutting at the snake of people before us at the post office, supermarket, football ground or doctors.
  • Don’t forget we spend 3000 hours sleeping every year.

25-hour-clockAnd you will find that most gardeners actually have 25 hours in a day, 8 days a week, 53 weeks of the year. Brilliant. I always knew gardening was a six star hobby (see note ****** below)

Notes: these always make any scientific study look more credible. Against all the odds, even this one.  

* this time is divided between tea (75% of the time); coffee (20% of the time); hot Vimto (4% of the time) and water (1% of the time) NB this is ‘working in the garden’ time and not ‘relaxing time’. Even though working in the garden is relaxing - you get my drift.

** annoying as it is, proper boots take time to lace and unlace especially when you consider the beverage consumption figures (above) and the proximity of neighbouring gardens, patios and windows overlooking windows preventing the addition of natural compost additives. Drift got again?

*** this is an average figure and takes into account vigorous arm flapping and aggressive movements towards the bird table whilst still inside the house.

**** this also includes all other phrases, words and indeed expletives aimed at what must be the toughest weed known to gardeners.

***** there's important kit in the shed including my best gardening gloves, stored spuds and antique collection of used plastic pots (all sizes, all offers considered)

****** actually, is there any time spent rueing the time and effort spent on deciding on *;  possibly tweaking a back muscle on **; cursing those ***; raising the blood pressure at **** or even wondering why it can’t be like the old days when every door was unlocked and people borrowed cups of sugar when they moved into a new house?

Nah, there’s only one hobby worth surveying. We’ve got to be gardening every day of the week.