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Issue:- Saturday, 29 August 2015

Young Gardeners Throw in the Trowel

GARDENERS in the North West are losing their green fingers as 90% of young people struggle to identify common garden plants, new research reveals.  A study of 2,000 Brits aged 25 to 35 found that time pressures and lack of knowledge meant that the majority struggle when it comes to nurturing their gardens. Almost 90% of those living in the North West couldn't identify a tulip when shown a picture of 1, while 82% struggled with a geranium. Perhaps that's why just 1% of those polled described their gardening skill as 'very good'.

The study by Origin, a British bi-fold and window designer and manufacturer, found that the traditional style of UK gardens in the region is changing as a result, with the new generation of homeowners favouring minimalist gardens with less maintenance.

Other plants young residents in the region can't get to grips with were jasmine, which stumped three quarters of respondents, while 58% couldn't spot a fuchsia. 

Ben Brocklesby, Director at Origin, said:- "The study shows there is a lack of engagement between the younger generation and gardening, a gap in knowledge that is growing.  From naming the common flowers to identifying basic gardening tools and processes, it's important we don't lose the connection and passion for our outdoor spaces.  A lack of enjoyment or interest in maintaining a garden usually comes from people not knowing where to start. That's why nurturing an interest in gardening and showing the rewards that outdoor space can bring is essential, even growing plants in small spaces, such as a window box, can be fun and productive; you just need a little sunshine and some imagination!"

And though over 82% could spot a buttercup, over a third under 35's living in the North West had no idea what a garden hoe looked like. While over ½ had no idea that a dandelion is a weed, results showed. Over a quarter of those polled had tried to grow plants, only for them to die just weeks later as a result of not knowing their gardening basics. Perhaps it's no wonder then that 53% described themselves as either poor or terrible when it comes to gardening skills and knowledge.  And a further 90% said their garden is currently in need of attention. Nearly ¾ said that they do 'the minimum amount possible' to maintain their outdoor space.

While the younger generation are split when it comes to enjoying gardening or not; 56% don't really enjoy getting green fingers. But the gap in knowledge is what is most likely to take its toll; over half of those who don't like gardening said it was mainly because they are 'clueless' around the topic.

In fact, when asked what age people finally get the hang of gardening, respondents said it wasn't until the age of 40. As a result, Origin has created a series of 'how to' videos with Jack Shilley, who at the age of 19 is already the Director of the Young Horts society and a RHS Chelsea Flower Show Gold winner.

Brocklesby added:- "The research has revealed how the millennial generation is struggling to grow a basic pot plant and, in some cases, can't tell a weed from a flower. That's why we've launched a series of simple 'how to' videos to get them started. The series will give them the skills and confidence to keep great British gardens alive, and improve the views from their 1st homes."

TOP 20 GARDENING JOBS BRITS NEGLECT TO DO...

Weeding
Dead heading
Cutting the grass
Pruning flowers or plants
Digging flowerbeds
Choosing plants or flowers for the garden
Planting at the right time of year
Watering flowers/plants
Generally keeping a garden clean and tidy
Arranging flowers or plants in flowerbeds
Keeping the plants or flowers alive
Maintaining hanging baskets
Planting vegetables
Digging and preparing a vegetable patch
Fertilizing the garden
Planting flowers or plants
Planting hanging baskets
Building a shed or greenhouse
Watering vegetables
Arranging garden ornaments

So what so you 'forget' to do in the garden?  Please email us and let us know to:- news24@southportreporter.com.

For further information on the Origin Great Gardening Gap, please visit:- Origin-Global.Com.

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