Hewson On ... Homes are not the only route to gardening

Gardeners' World recently featured a lovely lady (Margaret) celebrating her 100th birthday in her more than splendid garden. The story showcased the pleasure of plants and value of gardening, irrespective of age.

It was beautifully shot and rather moving. Margaret has had her share of life's difficulties but through it all her garden has been a welcome distraction and safe refuge.

I mention this amid recently reported concerns that the £5bn-ayear garden market could lose millions during the next decade as fewer young people can afford to buy homes. There has also been a fall in homeownership among under-35s (35-65 is the "core gardening" age group). Those who can afford to buy have smaller gardens - and a worrying habit of paving over them. Many urbanised areas have no gardens at all. Sad but true.

We are also told that those who choose or have to rent rather than buy usually spend less time, and so money, in and on their gardens. In case you hadn't heard, first-time buyers now require a £30,000 deposit on average. Indeed, as house price inflation reaches record levels, the National Housing Federation warns that "a generation may miss out on homeownership". Scary stuff.

But is it? Lots of folk rent, love gardening and buy plants. For many, social housing, community gardening and allotment societies are where it all is. Why are we so obsessed with homeownership and under-35s? Abroad, they rent apartments, share living space and live to tell the tale.

And what about the Margarets of this world? Still rocking aged 100 and buying shed-loads of plants. I guess Margaret owns her garden but does it and should it ever matter? Of course it doesn't, and it shouldn't.

Homeownership is overrated and it's nonsense to suggest that we'll implode if the young pack up gardening because they can't buy houses.

Clearly, we would rather that they buy houses and spend their gym memberships on plants, but it is not the end of the world if they can't or don't.

Andrew Hewson is a freelance writer and columnist


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Garden centre and nursery experiences: the next big trend in 2018?

Garden centre and nursery experiences: the next big trend in 2018?

Reports say today's shoppers are as keen to take in "experiences" as they are to shop - and garden centres say they are well-placed to take in the trend.

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

What benefits can buying an extra garden centre bring to retail owners?

What benefits can buying an extra garden centre bring to retail owners?

More garden centres are adding an extra location to their offer - Coolings in Kent being the most recent example of the trend. But why are they doing it - and what are the benefits?


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES 2017

See our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. 

Garden Centre Prices

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles

Neville Stein

Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation
 

Read latest articles