Sunday, May 07, 2006

Decline of Gardening

I read a few posts from the USA about a report moaning about how few young people are listing gardening as their main leisure activity.
Amy Stewart wrote a funny counter piece analysing the statistics in detail.I guess the journolist was bored and wanted to write something provocative even though its not true.

I thought about here in the UK, gardening is booming i think.There are numerous TV programs, specialist cable channels, magasines weekly and glossy monthly ones (dont mention free seeds.Im a sucker for buying them if they have a seed packet attached to them), shops selling flowers, plants, shrubs, pots, barbeques, trellising, nightlights, solar lights, statues, hanging baskets.DIY shops all have garden sections (thats where you'll find me not in the nuts, bolts, and wood etc but amongst the plants and flowers, perusing, reading labels, and spending an hour or more carefully picking new specimins) and other shops include supermarkets (like Tescos and Sainsburys), Cheaper outlet stores (poundstretcher and wilkos), Florists sell ready made hanging baskets and pots, greengrocers sell flowers besides the broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and potatoes.Traditional plant nurserys still exist both small independent ones and large national ones.
On my way to work a ten mile commute one way I see hundreds of gardens from the simple to the grand. Councils still plant massed displays, businesses pay for displays on roundabouts and outside their buildings.
I tried finding some demographic details, but i read the same things. That the younger you are the least likely you are to have a garden. But another report says 85% of people have something growing whether that be a patio container or full sized garden.
I guess the older gardeners now started young. With the media coverage here there will be budding gardeners starting off. The designers, and horticulturist. There are lots of education opportunities so i dont think gardening will die off whatever the reports say.
As long as i breath i will keep growing plants and flowers, for the beauty of growing, the heavenly scent of the flowers.The colours and shapes of the garden in bloom.The smell of fresh cut grass.
As people see the blooming garden they will feel motivated to make their garden a pleasurable place to relax in.Maybe you need to own a house of your own before you start hence the older starting age of gardeners.If children are taught about growing things with plants like sunflowers the demographics will change.
Remember that good old American Mark Twain, "there are lies, damned lies, and then there are statistics"

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