Home Comment Is ignorance killing horticulture’s future?

Is ignorance killing horticulture’s future?

Charlie Dimmock
Charlie Dimmock with Poundland's gardening range

Survey reveals worrying gardening trends

This post proved popular on the old site, so here’s an update:

As Poundland launched a range of more than 130 gardening products with Charlie Dimmock, it also released a worrying survey about lack of interest in gardens.

According to the survey, more than one in 10 Britons who have a garden never spend any time tending to it.

Despite a quarter (26 per cent) claiming to love spending time in their garden, one in five (21 per cent) don’t have the time, while nearly a quarter (23 per cent) don’t know where to start.

Lack of knowledge

While a majority (79 per cent) are confident when it comes to mowing the lawn, one in five (23 per cent) cited lack of knowledge as the main barrier to getting in the garden.

Nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) of would-be gardeners admitted to not knowing how to take care of a window box, while well over half don’t know how to grow their own veg (60 per cent) and a third (33 per cent) claim to not know how to weed.

Charlie Dimmock with a barrowload of bargains
Charlie Dimmock with a barrowload of bargains

Well over a quarter (28 per cent) will only set foot outside when it’s warm, missing the main planting milestones. In fact, 15 per cent claim to have no clue as to the best times in the year to plant – and 15 per cent view gardening as a chore.

The range is available now and simple how-to videos featuring Charlie are available on www.poundland.co.uk and its social media channels – https://youtu.be/8gUhIcWk63A.

My comment:

I’m all for this Poundland gardening range. Why? Because it’s NOT preaching to the converted and may stand a chance of germinating a life-long love of plants in ordinary working-class kids and parents.

The stores are in town centres, removing the need for a car to get to an out-of-town garden centre. Please remember, not everyone has, wants or can afford to run a vehicle. I can’t drive, so I have to rely on someone else to drive me places I can’t get public transport to.

Get people into horticulture at all costs

Before anyone objects, because it’s not promoting ‘proper’ horticultural businesses, bear this in mind. If this Poundland range gets people into gardening, they will look further afield – into garden centres and nurseries.

There will be a trickle-down effect for all – but this relies on nurturing, helping and informing these new gardeners. It’s an opportunity no-one can afford to miss.

Homebase Garden Academy

Homebase Garden Academy pupils – a different way into the world of horticulture

Set up in 2013, Homebase’s Garden Academy aims to inspire and train the next generation of gardeners.

Students spend time with Adam Frost learning about everything from garden planning and planting, to complicated landscaping, as part of their training to achieve a Royal Horticultural Society Level 1 Award.

They also work in the garden centres of Homebase stores, to hone their knowledge of gardening products and understand what customers want for their garden.

In its 1st year, 12 students graduated and 40 students joined the academy last September, with another 40 to start in January. Applications to join the next academy intake can be found on www.homebase.co.uk/en/static/garden-academy.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.


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