The millennial garden
Tech-obsessed millennials and horticulture skills might not be an obvious combination. However, there is a rising interest in gardening among the younger generation.
In London, I've noticed that young professionals and students are increasingly keen to spend time in green space and ‘return to nature' given the benefits it can have on physical and emotional wellbeing. The higher awareness around single use plastic and environmental concerns means that urban dwellers think more about what they're buying and eating, leading to more ‘grow your own' when it comes to herbs and easy edibles. Rooftop gardens and creative use of botanicals is making plants trendy, fuelling a succulent and cacti craze, which is expanding into houseplants and greenery on balconies and city gardens. The interest in plants and flowers is furthered by its obvious photographic nature, meaning gardens are joining brunch, yoga and upcycling on the social media newsfeeds.
Although we're not necessarily replacing an afternoon in the pub with weeding the vegetable patch, there is a definite interest in plants and gardening among young people. Many events and organisations are recognising this modern horticulture twist and including plants and urban garden hacks on their websites and social media pages, appealing to youngsters who want to tap into the healthy, natural lifestyle. Small spaces, limited budgets, and lack of time are obstacles that young people are overcoming when it comes to gardening, demonstrating an appetite to engage with horticulture and growing plants as a lifestyle choice, as well as a hobby.
I'm excited for the opportunity it brings to inspire people to start gardening, whether that's transforming a concrete square into an urban garden with thoughtful design, or helping people keep their first houseplant alive. It's no secret that the first home-grown tomato is a gateway drug to becoming a passionate veggie grower. To allow more people to discover and enjoy the process of gardening, horticulture needs to be made even more accessible and relevant. This means convenient products, fresh ideas and making straight-forward guidance available to help young people achieve the lifestyle changes they crave.