Too little interest is neglecting gardens

grass-462467_800Celebrity gardeners and leading horticulturalists are taking the opportunity to call out at millennials during this years Chelsea Flower Show and talk about the neglect of Britains gardens.

Sue Biggs, director-general of the Royal Horticultural Society,  spoke to The Times this week about the fact that she believe baby boomers are to blame for a lost generation of gardeners, as they failed to teach their kids, who are now into their twenties and thirties, how to look after their gardens. The gardens owned by this generation are likely to be either neglected or treated as extentions to the house with decking, patios and barbecues but very little by way of grass and plants.

Biggs also blamed the buy-to-let boom for the neglect of gardens saying that tenants lacked the motivation to look after the garden. She said that people believe that looking after a garden is too labour-intensive and that neither tenants or landlords want to take any time in looking after the garden as neither believe its their responsibility.

Research carried out by the charity has indicated that young people only take an interest in gardening once they buy a property for themselves, as if an ownership of the property gives them more inclination to look after the garden. It also suggested that more landlorsd are paving over gardens in order to reduce risks with tenants just letting the garden run wild.

Biggs tried to give tenants a boost by claiming that plants in pots are just as attractive and non-time consuming as an actual garden and can even be taken to the next property once they move on, but we’re not sure that will help either.

“Gardens are good for our towns and cities. This reduction of plants in front gardens and increase in grey is harmful for wildlife reducing their homes and food sources,” said Biggs. “It is also damaging for the nation’s health linked to increasing pollution and increasing temperatures during heat waves and puts our homes at more risk from flooding.”

The RHS is trying to build up confidence in gardening by targeting the younger generation in its Greening Grey Britain campaign and launching Europe’s biggest community gardening campaign, alongside a three year target to transform 6,000 grey spaces into thriving gardens.

We can’t help but wonder if the tendency for apartments with large car parks and new builds with large driveways in front of homes are also at fault, with less garden space there to begin with even new home owners may not necessarily get the gardening bug. What do you think?


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