The Gardener of Today is Younger than You Might Think
When you think of the word gardener, it often conjures up images of an older woman in her 60s, wearing a wide-rimmed straw hat picking weeds happily from her flower or vegetable garden.
Often referred to as one of the oldest and admired professions in society – a gardener is a person who cultivates a garden either as a hobby or as a living.
While the older gardener continues to find enjoyment in the hobby during retirement, the younger generation has found new interest in this time-honored pastime.
According to the National Gardening Association’s 2019 National Gardening Survey, the Millennial generation’s interest in gardening (ages 18-34) continues to outpace all other age groups, with lawn and garden spending setting a record at more than $52 billion in 2018.
Millennials accounted for about a quarter of 2018’s record spend, which is surprising given their lower household income compared to the older generation and their tendency to live in condominiums and apartments, rather than houses.
With more than a third of Millennials planning on spending more on gardening in the coming year, one can’t help but question their attraction to such a hobby, which has never been considered trendy.
Millennials have also popularized the notion of “plant parenting”, best explained by Matthew Boyle of Bloomberg.
“With many millennials delaying parenthood, plants have become the new pets, fulfilling a desire to connect to nature and the blossoming ‘wellness’ movement. For a group that embraces experiences and travel, moreover, plants give Gen-Yers something to care for that won’t die — or soil the rug — when they’re not around.”
Andrew Bunting, the Vice President of Horticulture at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, says, “The houseplant craze continues. Just look at the houseplant influencers on Instagram. I have a colleague (Summer Rayne Oakes) who just wrote a houseplant book, and she has 127,000 followers. The houseplant trend and phenomenon is engaging Millennials, in particular, with plants and gardening.”
Today, the term gardener is no longer only associated with people enjoying retirement.
Millennials are turning to gardening, in one form or another, to help support their mental well-being, to escape the daily stresses of their careers, to help further unite them with society and even to provide them with a “family”.
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