Spatial data are considered to be an essential entry point to get domestic gardens on the agendas of land use monitoring, spatial planning and environmental policies. As a green facet of urbanization, gardens cover a substantial part of land all over the world. They are characterized by specific functions, like the provision of habitat for
biodiversity, carbon sequestration, food production,.... that bear potential in answering future challenges like food security and climate change. The sustainability turn in planning however focuses on densification. In densification scenarios, planners could consider
domestic garden area as a land reserve. Yet, due to a lack of data they would be ill-informed on the domestic garden potentials and not be able to make well-founded choices. So, the strategic value of domestic gardens remains largely unquestioned. By developing and applying a mixed
methodology that combines an existing land use map with empirical data, this study provides data and insights on the spatial coverage, distribution and growth of domestic garden area in Flanders (the northern region of Belgium). The results show that 8 % of the Flemish area is covered by domestic gardens, as well as 21 % of the total area of Flemish residential cores. The highest concentrations are found in peri-urban areas and around ribbon developments. About 8 % of the garden area that existed in the period 2002-2005 was new compared to the period 1988-1990
and occupied mainly former agricultural land (90 %). The results clarify the regional significance of domestic gardens in terms of spatial coverage. The developed mixed methodology made the domestic garden theme analysable. The insights offer an entry point for a debate on the strategic value of domestic gardens.