Britain's green spaces have been invaded by one of gardening's most dangerous creatures — a man with a mower.
Of the 87,000 people who needed hospital treatment last year after being injured while working on their gardens, 6,500 were hurt by a lawn mower, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).
Hedge-trimmer accidents have increased by more than 50 per cent in the past five years, to 3,100 a year.
RoSPA, a charity, says that about 300,000 people a year — 110,000 of them children — are hurt seriously enough in gardens to require hospital treatment.
Many of the mower accidents happen when people cut themselves cleaning the blades, while flower pots are usually involved in trips or lifting injuries.
Men have more accidents in the garden than women and, apart from children, people aged 30-60 are most likely to come a cropper.
The most common accident in a garden is a fall (115,000), but the biggest threat to people actually gardening is a cut (19,000), followed by falls (18,000) and being struck by things (12,600).
The desire to "go green" is also having its effect on how people do their gardening.
A survey by Fetzer Vineyards and the Royal Horticultural Society found that how "green" a garden was depended on the sex of the gardener.
Men (58 per cent) are far more likely to reach for the weedkiller than women (38 per cent) in order to keep their garden looking its best.
A RoSPA home safety spokesman said: "Gardens are places where people want to relax and perhaps that's why so many accidents happen there.
"Maintenance must never be carried out while the mower is plugged in."
Top gardening injuries
1. Lawn mowers (6,500 accidents in the UK each year)
2. Flower pots (5,300)
3. Secateurs and pruners (4,400)
4. Spades (3,600)
5. Electric hedge trimmers (3,100)
6. Plant tubs and troughs (2,800)
7. Shears (2,100)
8. Garden forks (2,000)
9. Hoses and sprinklers (1,900)
10. Garden canes and sticks (1,800).
That is 87,000 reasons to employe a professional Garden Maintenance Team.