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Covid France: Boom in private garden rentals for alfresco events

An online platform offering gardens for rent is receiving record interest as friends and family look to get together outdoors and make up for time lost due to Covid restrictions

A trend for renting other people's private gardens is booming as people search ways to get-together with family and hold special events outdoors.

Jardins-prives.com is an online platform launched in 2016 that allows individuals within France to do just this and is based on a concept similar to Airbnb.

Turnover may have increased by 20% per year since it began, but the pandemic has had by far the greatest impact on the business.

Garden rentals through the site increased five-fold between 2020 and 2021, one of the site’s co-founders, Pascale Krief, told LeMonde.

People can get their families together now and appreciate outdoor spaces like never before, having been separated from loved ones during the pandemic.

Gardens can be rented out for special events such as birthdays or weddings - or just for family barbecues.

Newlyweds Sarah and Sabry decided to rent a garden for the day in Val-d’Oise. They were prevented from sharing their special day with others during lockdown, but now they can.

“We didn't want to go to a wedding venue. That’s not us. Here, it's like being at home”, Sarah told LeMonde, while putting out food for the guests.

The garden’s owner, an engineer called Renyel Pan, has been renting out his 600 sqm garden through the jardins-prives.com website several times a year since 2019.

A look at the site today shows a variety of prices, such as €12/hour for a small garden in Brittany with access to a mobile home and €1,500/day for an option 25 times bigger and filled with statues in Burgundy.

There are also opportunities available to enjoy free use of certain gardens in exchange for helping to maintain them.

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