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UK gardening trends are evolving

By Luke Sillett

Updated: August 23rd, 2018

The UK is hungry for horticulture; and here's why.

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What was once a popular pastime for retirees has now officially been adopted by the ‘cool kids’. Yup, gardening is all the rage these days as a new generation of plant lovers have blossomed and are taking to social media to show off the latest in gardening trends. Even celebrities are getting in on the action.

Greenery is making its way into the fashion world with succulents and ferns sitting pretty alongside the latest high street pieces in London outlets. Fashion icons like Kate Moss and Alexa Chung have expressed a love for all things leafy, and beautiful houseplants have become an ‘it item’ for high-end buyers.

Influencers like Sienna Miller and Kelly Brooks are clearly on a mission to make gardening sexy while health-conscious celebs like Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal have taken to gardening to cultivate their own produce.

Looking to hire a gardener in London? Find trusted gardening services with Airtasker.
Gardening Services in London - infographic

Gardening and Millennial Chic

But it’s not just the elite set that have been seduced by shrubbery in recent years. Trend-watchers say that more and more millennials are bringing the outdoors indoors, welcoming cacti, aloes and air plants into their homes.

According to the latest Gardening Trends report, the past year has seen unprecedented growth in gardening, with the overall garden retail market now worth over £5bn annually. Moving across the pond, a US National Gardening Survey found that younger households enjoying gardening is at an all-time high at 29%.

The ‘Age’ of Gardening

So, who are the new breed of British gardeners?

The Late Bloomers – Eager gardeners in their 30s and 40s. As these individuals have grown older, they have become increasingly keen to garden, however, they lack confidence.

The Millennial Gardener – Born between the early 1980s and 2000s, this trendy crowd have discovered gardening via the Internet. The concept of gardening fits right into many millennials’ obsession with self-improvement and wellness and gives their social credibility a nice boost as well.

The Eco-Gardeners – These gardeners are looking for a more sustainable way to garden, with greater consideration for the environment and wildlife.

The Entertainers – This group has the desire to turn their garden into an entertainment area, causing a boost in sales across garden furniture sets, outdoor lighting, and barbecues.

What’s Hot?

Thanks to the wonders of social media, green-thumbed millennials are turned on by the latest in gardening trends, with houseplants being one of the most popular options. Why? Because they’re low-key, low maintenance and can give you some serious social cred.

Indoor plants, in general, have seen a 90% increase in searches on Pinterest in 2017, while there has been a 70% increase in ‘Terrariums’, 60% increase in ‘Hanging Plants’, 50% increase in ‘Cactus plants’ and 40% increase in ‘Tropical plants’.

According to a recent survey by The Student Room, millennials aged between 14 and 24-years-old enjoyed gardening as a hobby, although only 7% admitted to considered horticulture as a career path.

  • 72% of millennials have already helped with gardening
  • 79% have grown a plant
  • 75% enjoy growing plants but do not have the space
  • 51% watched a range of gardening programmes
  • 7% would consider horticulture as a career

What’s Not?

While gardening is sure becoming more and more popular amongst millennials, Airtasker research has shown that it is also one of the largest tasks that people are willing to outsource. Why? Because, while potting plants may be hot, certain aspects of gardening like mowing the lawn or pulling out weeds are far from sexy. Additionally, we found that 30% of people simply do not have the skills or tools to garden confidently.

Why Are Young Consumers Getting Their Green On?

 There are a few key factors driving the gardening trend among young consumers today.

Responsibility: Nurturing a living thing – even one as simple as a houseplant – is quintessential ‘adulting’. Becoming a ‘plant parent’ is an interesting and low-stakes responsibility that can get your peers talking.

Wellness: Gardening fits right into today’s self-care movement by supporting physical and emotional wellness while it can also transform small, unappealing living spaces into havens of tranquillity.  Growing your own herbs, fruits and vegetables also works with today’s foodie culture and a growing keenness to live and eat well.

Social cred: When you create something beautiful, you naturally want to share it, and millennials are sharers extraordinaire. Some enjoy posting casual snaps of their favourite houseplants, while others dedicate entire online accounts to their most ‘Instagrammable’ cultivations. ‘Plant porn’ has even dethroned ‘food porn’ as interest in garden-related content online continues to surge.

Top Trends for the New Green Generation

 As interest in gardening has been soaring, each year we see some interesting trends emerging, and this year is no different. Here’s what’s making the hit-list for 2018:

Gardening without gardens: Living spaces are getting smaller and urban gardeners are getting smarter with the way they use their space. Traditional grassy lawns and rambling veggie patches are out. ‘Nano-gardening’ is in.

Beautiful balconies: Balcony gardening has become hugely popular for those lucky enough to rent an apartment with a decent balcony space. Gardeners are experimenting with fragrant herbs, shady jungle plants, and even grasses.

Green, green, and more green: A UK-published Garden Trends Report for 2018 states that the millennial gardener loves greenery and there will be a continued rise in demand for foliage houseplants in the coming year.

The report also revealed the following key statistics:

  • 66% of people grow edible plants in the kitchen. The ‘grow your own’ movement is not slowing down anytime soon.
  • Google searches for ‘air purifying plants’ and ‘aloe vera’ were up a whopping 550% year on year in 2017. Likewise, Compost Direct also reports that 52% of people are using houseplants to purify the air in their homes.
  • Just 2% of gardeners feel that they have the knowledge to adapt to climate change.

Young people are becoming more mindful of the benefits of greenery. That said, with less space and less time, modern gardeners are looking for outside help to incorporate into their everyday gardening practices. With the help of Airtasker, you too can enjoy the benefits of gardening without getting your hands too dirty.

Find a trusted gardener in London with Airtasker, for all gardening services – big and small.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Luke Sillett

I like long walks on the beach, penguins and fried chicken.

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