ITV’s Love Your Garden is helping generate renewed interest in gardening among young adults, the “thirty somethings’ crowd. Being so busy all the time, escaping to the garden is a natural alternative to the normal hustle-bustle. Gardening gives young people something they can do without being tied to a computer screen or television set. Out in the great outdoors has always been attractive. Gardening gives these young people something creative to do.
Young people are spending more time gardening, with the average 25 to 35 year-old spending up to 15 hours a month working on their gardens, according to a survey.
Average spend for a 25 to 35 year-old couple on their garden has been £518 this summer, almost twice the £273 they spent the previous year, while they spent 12 to 15 hours a month gardening.
Gardening came fifth in a top ten of leisure activities, behind trying out new restaurants and going to bars, but ahead of going to the cinema or visiting family.
Garden furniture company Alfresia, which commissioned the survey, attributed the increased interest to television shows such as the BBC’s The Big Allotment Challenge and ITV’s Love Your Garden.
Forget Mulberry rucksacks and iPads; the latest must-have accessory for 25- to 35-year-olds is a watering can and a trowel.
According to a new report by Alfresia, the outdoor furniture company, gardening came fifth in a list of leisure activities among the age group, ranking higher than going to the cinema and visiting family (but obviously not as high as eating out and boozing, which came first and second respectively).
They are also happy to open their wallets for their bushes, patches and beds. Respondents who were in a relationship said that their average spend on their garden this summer was about £518, almost twice the amount of the previous year (£273).
Couples also indicated that they whiled away between 12 and 15 hours a month gardening. It would seem that green really is the new black.
“More and more young people are choosing to invest in their gardens to provide a place where friends and family can spend quality time together,” says Craig Corbett, product director at Alfresia. “Young people are increasingly eager to cultivate their own creative and social space.”
And as with most trends, celebrities are leading – or should that be paving? – the way. Actresses such as Zooey Deschanel and Mindy Kaling regularly use Instagram to show off their horticultural efforts (check out Deschanel’s impressive marrows). Kaling even tweeted the rather cute quip: “Gardening is so fun, it is fashion for your dirt patches.” And this summer Taylor Swift was spotted tending to her window boxes in New York with her supermodel pal Karlie Kloss.
So why are young professionals trying to recreate The Good Life all of a sudden? Hugo Bugg, who at 27 years old is the youngest person to be awarded a gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show for 20 years, suggests that we are going back to more homely activities as a way of fighting against our fast-paced, modern society. “So many people’s jobs are really stressful and so they find it nice to spend some of their downtime outside,” says Bugg. “Gardening is going back to nature and getting away from technology and those sorts of things. Hectic lifestyles have pushed people to appreciate the outdoors; they want to be close to nature again.”
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Do you love your garden? Gardening is one of the most therapeutic outdoor activities you can find. With the renewed interest in gardening in the UK, thanks to shows like ITV’s Love Your Garden, English gardens will soon recapture the glory of previous generations. There’s more too it than getting outside — life puts such a demand on people that they need a place to escape and gather their thoughts. The garden is a great place to do it, and while there, why not, well, garden?