Gardening around the world

It is said that globalisation and modern communication techniques make our planet a smaller place. To a certain extent, this is definitely true, but still it is only half the story as can be seen when looking at garden lovers around the world.

There is one thing, apart from gardening, that gardeners all over the world have in common: Blogging and online gardening. Always in search of inspiration and advice, gardeners love to communicate with other like-minded people everywhere on the globe. The Swedish lawn-mower producer Husqvarna and the German garden equipment producer Gardena, which is also part of the Husqvarna Group, made use of the gardeners’ web affine manner and produced the Global Garden Report. Having analysed more than 1.4 million blog posts in 13 countries they received a very clear picture as to what is hot or not for garden lovers.

Although they found out that the idea of the personal garden paradise is strongly determined by different cultures and the respective zeitgeist in the particular countries, they could put up a top-ten-list of relevant garden trends. According to this list kitchen gardening is the gardeners’ favourite, followed by the organic garden and the feel-good garden. The designed and artistic garden as well as the re-creating wilderness completes the top five. The social garden, urban farming, the lush garden, container gardening and greenhouse gardening follow on positions six to ten. However, the report also reveals that what may be hot in Denmark may not in Norway. Within the next few weeks we will present summaries from the report for each of the surveyed 13 countries.

The full report is available here: newsroom.husqvarna.com

 

Gardening transforms from being “uncool” to “delightful”

Parents with children that do the gardening are amongst those lucky 15 per cent, whose kids’ favourite activities in the garden are not just playing or chilling. A recent survey carried out by Suttons Seeds shows that merely 15 % of young people aged between 15 and 24 do the gardening – at least occasionally.

Even when looking at the next age group, i.e. 25 to 34, this figure rises by only one per cent. According to the survey, teenagers do not see gardening as being “cool” and is simply non-existent for the vast majority of young people in their twenties. However, their attitude towards gardening changes once they are in their thirties. With the focus on career progression, marriage/partnership and home-making, people in their thirties tend to buy their first own house – naturally, with a garden. Now that they have their own garden, they want it to look nice and tidy. Out of necessity, the interest in gardening rises, but there is still a lack of knowledge. Ten years later, in their forties, interest and knowledge have significantly risen. From now on gardening is no longer just a chore; it has evolved into a delightful leisure activity. Another ten years later, when the former “gardening-isn’t-cool-teens” are in their fifties, they are very experienced gardeners with very good (13 %) or quite good (47 %) knowledge.

Garden or nature?

People today have a different look at nature than they had one or two decades ago. Nowadays nature is being defined as peace, relaxation and recreation, i.e. it’s meant to be the reverse to our stressful daily routine.

In a current survey carried out by the German Bundesamt für Naturschutz (Federal Office for Environmental Protection) people were asked, what they associate with the term “nature”. It did not really come as a surprise that the majority (47 %) of the interviewed said “forest”. Furthermore, 38 % thought of “meadows”, 33 % said “wildlife animals”, 27 % mentioned “trees” and still some 23 % said “flowers”. The rest of the list contained the terms lakes, mountains, plants, fields and rivers. It was, however, somewhat surprising that “garden” only came as the second last notion (14 %), followed by “sun” completing the list. So, a garden has not much to do with nature? But what is a garden then, if not nature? Interestingly enough, the majority of Germans considers themselves to be very ecoconscious. Even almost half of the German youth between 15 and 21 years of age are prepared to adjust their habits to the needs of the environment and the climate, but at the same time, they regard gardening as being “uncool”. The reasons for the misconception that garden isn’t nature may be manifold. However, it would help to change it, if more relevant information would be provided by the media, the schools and last but not least the parents. If parents showed their kids how much nature there is in every garden, they could come to the right conclusion: Garden is nature and gardening is part of nature protection.

More information: bfn.de

50-plus generation is the big spender

A recent UK-consumer study reveals that the 50-plus generation spends more money on their gardens than younger age groups.

Most money is spent on non-plant garden equipment like garden furniture (£ 940m), lawn mowers (£ 587m) and barbecues (£ 388m). In total more than £ 2,900m was spent in the non-plant garden market last year. Slightly less, i.e. almost £ 1,700m, was the amount that British gardeners expended for plants, above all bedding plants (£ 760m) and other garden plants/trees (£ 564m). Additionally, they spent some £ 373m on seeds, which was more than ever before.

Although British gardeners already spend quite a lot of money on their gardens, they would be willing to spend even more if they knew more about gardening or if their activities showed better results. Therefore, the study recommends that companies working in the gardening sector analyse realistic opportunities, i.e. go for the “lower hanging fruit”, provide high quality products and efficient customer service and, above all, provide information and inspiration.