(BPT) - Green spaces have always been a welcome addition to a home, but the COVID-19 pandemic elevated people's view on these areas from a nice-to-have to a necessity. Accessing a lawn or patio area allowed people to escape the extended indoor quarantine, but still feel safe at home. This welcome retreat meant people were spending more time outdoors at increasing rates.
On average there was an increase of three hours a week being spent outside during the pandemic compared to pre-pandemic days, according to a OnePoll and TruGreen survey polling 2,000 American homeowners. What's more, over 67% somewhat or strongly agree they are more thankful for outdoor space because of COVID-19.
While outdoor green spaces were a source of solace in the first year of the pandemic, the trend is poised to continue. Homeowners are now looking for new and creative ways to live life fully and enjoy time outdoors — even beyond the pandemic.
Maximizing outdoor living spaces in 2021
Creating meaningful outdoor spaces is a top lawn and garden trend that is here to stay. In fact, 57% of homeowners plan on using their outdoor space just as much, if not more, as the pandemic subsides, the survey found. Outdoor enhancements are often a wise investment, making a home more livable while adding to its value.
Homeowners are maximizing and customizing their outdoor space to meet their needs in many ways. For some, outdoor living reflects a new lifestyle driven by an opportunity to safely socialize with extended family and friends. Specifically, outdoor spaces are now being used as an office or classroom, home gym, backdrops for digital social events, or gatherings that allow for ample social distancing, such as outdoor movies. For others, updates could include a new patio or garden space that serves as a relaxing oasis.
The benefits of a professional partner
New outdoor enhancements like these can require additional maintenance, often resulting in longer to-do lists. Caring for the lawn and garden is not something every homeowner wants to take on.
As more people are taking pride in their outdoor living space and enjoying the escape it provides, many are not so excited about the additional maintenance needs. Over 68% of people believe the exterior of their home has become more important, though a majority shared that taking care of their outdoor space felt like a chore (59%).
"If you feel maintaining a yard is confusing or difficult, you are not alone. Research shows nearly one-fifth of people are unsure how to care for their lawns properly," said Brian Feldman, director of technical operations at TruGreen. "Partnering with a service professional can ease the burden of outdoor maintenance so you can enjoy living life outside. As outdoor spaces have become a more integral part of home life and entertaining, investing in a lawn service to maximize the benefits is a smart choice. Beyond functional and aesthetic benefits lawns provide, there are a number of environmental benefits as well, including improved cooling around the home, reduced soil erosion and improved water infiltration."
The future of outdoor living
Given the mental and physical benefits of spending more time outside and the convenience and safety of doing so at home, outdoor enhancements are poised for continued growth. As people begin to feel more comfortable hosting guests at home, these spaces will only be utilized more, with 50% of people planning to use their outdoor space to host a socially distanced get-together with family and friends in the future.
"Now over a year in the pandemic, there is an even greater desire to find alternatives to safely socialize and find ways to unwind," said Feldman. "By working with a professional service provider, individuals can spend more time and energy enjoying the company of friends and loved ones."