Green-fingered retirees were once the archetypal gardeners but now urban Gen Yers and Zers are waking up to the many benefits of tending plants, whether they’re in an allotment, window box, or the home. But how do these garden gurus differ from their parents and grandparents?
Dr. Harriet Gross is a psychology professor at the University of Lincoln. She’s interested in the things that people find meaningful, which led to her 2018 book, ‘The Psychology of Gardening’. Dr. Gross was also part of the team that developed ‘Digital Capabilities’ for the 2013 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, a gold medal-winning garden structure that responded to Twitter messages.
Dan runs Urban Turnip, a website for space-stretched city-dwellers that want to grow their own food. He grew up in the countryside north of Manchester, and was inspired by his grandfather who is a cattle farmer and grows his own veg. Dan now lives in London and is passionate about homegrown fruit and veg.
Matthew is Horticulture Week’s deputy editor and writes for a number of titles on vegan and organic gardening. His book ‘The Super Organic Gardener: Everything you need to know about a vegan garden’ was published in January 2019.
Jo Peters spent 20 years in international agencies working for brands such as Nike and Playstation. Having set up her trend consultancy, Jo volunteered with Samaritans. In 2020, she trained as a coach with the Co-Active Training Institute, helping clients make positive changes in their professional and personal lives. Jo recently studied with Climate Change Coaches, partnering with those wanting to take action on this vital systemic issue. Together with writing on consumer trends and design, Jo loves the big outdoors, from the beach in Shoreham-by-Sea where she lives to MTB on the South Downs.
The passing of time may bring people wisdom, but it can also bring a sense of isolation. With men often less willing to openly discuss mental health matters, the UK Men’s Sheds Association provides spaces in which older blokes can bond and build, all the while overcoming their loneliness.
Social prescribing – wherein patients are told to try creative workshops, regular exercise, and volunteering to improve their wellbeing – has been around for years, but it’s gaining the attention of policy-makers. How can it proactively tackle physical and mental health problems?
Gen Y is embracing gardening, with growing plants and herbs indoors becoming a popular pastime for urban dwellers. Whether to boost wellbeing, bring a sense of calm to urban spaces or simply for its ease of maintenance, gardening is brushing off the soil of its previously stuffy image.
The Plant Hotel – the brainchild of online plant shop Patch – is taking care of people’s plants while they go on holiday. Given people’s growing love affair with house plants, which allow urbanites to connect with nature, brands can cater to green lifestyles and help people outsource domestic tasks.