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.

3 questions to: Jacqueline van der Kloet

Jacqueline van der Kloet is an internationally well-known garden architect with projects e.g. EXPO 2000 in Hanover, Highline and Battery Park New York, World Horticultural Exhibition Floriade 2002 and 2012, Millenniumpark Chicago, River Park Shenyang, Governmental District Kuwait etc. the designer of many private gardens throughout Europe and a successful writer of gardening books.

What is the most striking difference concerning private gardens between now and ten years ago?
van der Kloet:
In my opinion gardens are getting more valuable and important. People spend a lot of money to create their private paradise. They look for quality of plants, trees, but also for sophisticated gardening designs, materials and luxury furniture.

Do you think this is an answer to the rapid changing world?
van der Kloet: As far as my profession is concerned, I cannot feel the crisis. Maybe, beautiful gardens are an answer to a world we can no longer understand and maybe, gardens give a feeling of freedom and peace which we can hardly find somewhere else these days.

You travel a lot around the world, what does your garden mean to you?
van der Kloet: Whenever I come home again, my tea-garden (www.theetuin.nl) welcomes and surprises me and sometimes it even asks me to stay for a while, take a break or work hard to get rid of the weeds and to enjoy life, sun and rain and the miracles of nature around us.

Prize-winning innovative

The “green industry” and “innovation” are not necessarily a contradiction. The Swiss garden centre Meier of Dürnten proves that both can go together very well. The company was recently awarded the “Graines d’Or” prize as the most innovative garden centre in Europe. Even the location of the award presentation was pretty unusual: It took place at the Paris nightclub Lido.

But what is it that makes this company so innovative, so extraordinary? Could it be the many events in the premise, as for instance the family-days, the handicraft courses or the roses-days? Maybe the garden journeys organised by Meier, e.g. to the Netherlands and Great Britain? Is it possibly the child care by three child minders, which is so unusual for a garden centre? Could it be the excellent service and the distinguished advice for all customers? But no, perhaps it is the wide ranging assortment? Or could it even be the highly professional media work done by the 115 years old family business? In fact, it is a bit of all, or as was said in the laudation in Paris: The Meier family has proven that innovation and tradition don’t have to exclude each other. The brave steps the family took in difficult times reflect the way in which this family is able to uncompromisingly realise visions and use their strengths in order to expand their business.

A deeper impression of the most innovative garden centre in Europe can be obtained here: meier-ag.ch

Congratulations!

 

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.