Hartley Magazine

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Is the younger generation clueless on gardening?

Gardening can be a very relaxing activity – especially in warmer climates like this one, when there is so much in bloom that it can be difficult to work out where best to start.

However, it would appear that this impression might not be passed on to younger generations, as a new study has indicated that mums and dads are frequently called upon by their offspring to do some more of the garden work for them.

A study carried out by British weedkiller firm Roundup has found that the typical adult does not really get into the swing of gardening until as late as their 40th birthday! An estimated six out of ten respondents to the survey said they are more than happy to have their parents come over to their house in order to toil away at their lawns or flowerbeds.

Some one in ten stated that they are completely at ease delegating these responsibilities to their mums and dads, claiming the reason they seek help is that their parents are simply better at getting to work outdoors.

Indeed, it could be the very presence of a wider family unit that inspires the wish to get outdoors and work on building an impressive flower patch. An estimated 70 per cent of the polled adults said their own passion for gardening was sparked when they started settling down in a home with a partner and started to seriously think about having children of their own.

The immersive and engaging nature of the pastime was credited with contributing to a keener interest, as 46 per cent of those who already garden said it was much easier to focus on the task at hand than in comparison to going out.

One way of getting younger people to show more of an enthusiasm for gardening is to introduce the possibility of using novel growing techniques. For instance, broadcaster and gardening expert Chris Beardshaw recently claimed that he found exposing greenhouse plants to a constant barrage of Black Sabbath can be very good for them.

He explained that one of his postgraduate students wanted to research the impact sound can have on growing plants, so four greenhouses were set up. One was left in silence, the other had classical music continuously playing, another was subject to a never-ending loop of Cliff Richard and the final space was dedicated to Ozzy Osbourne’s band.

Mr Beardshaw claimed that everything in the Cliff Richard greenhouse died, while the Black Sabbath plants grew shorter than normal, but they produced the best flowers and were much more resistant to the hazards posed by pests and diseases.

Spokesman for Roundup Gary Philpotts underlined the fact that many young people remain reliant on their parents to help keep their garden in shape. However, he acknowledged that it is simply natural that individuals become more keen on the idea of gardening as they grow older – arguing that it could be part and parcel of owning a home.

“If the average first-time buyer is in their mid-30s, it’s easy to see how up until then you have little experience of gardening,” Mr Philpotts remarked, adding: “At first, we all make mistakes but slowly and surely you will pick things up – as long as you keep your lawn cut and tidy, the patio swept and keep on top of the weeds, you won’t go far wrong.

“The older generation are only more experienced at tending to their lawns and flower beds as they have had years of practice and the more you become interested the more you learn,” the expert continued.