Rise of the plant parent

There was a time when young adults were afraid to put down roots. Now, it seems, that’s all they want to do. Roots. And stems. And flowers. And plants, soil, bulbs, veggies, vines and mulch. That’s what we like to encourage on Garden Day: the opportunity to appreciate the greener things in life. Because there’s no such thing as too much mulch. 

Millennials are finding solace in gardening, and have vigorously taken on what is traditionally seen as a fairly laid back activity. All over the world – from London to Los Angeles, Cape Town to Coventry – young adults are embracing this wholesome activity, choosing to shut out the mayhem of modern life, take it slow, get down and get dirty. Whilst this solitary practice might seem at odds with a generation often portrayed as self-interested and flashy, findings have shown that there is a link between happiness, purpose and gardens, irrespective of age groups. Also: plants look great on the gram!

Thirty-year-old Colin Gunter’s inner-city apartment resembles a jungle. Unlike the concrete one just beyond the balcony, his is thriving and flourishing, lovingly nourished on a daily basis. A science officer at a local university’s Biopharming Research Unit, and boasting a Master of Science degree in Biology, you could say he takes his work home with him, but Colin views this pastime as necessary to his wellbeing. “Plants create a space in which you never feel alone because you have so many living things around you,” says Colin. 

So where does this new obsession…ahem…stem from? Poppy Jamie, a Wellbeing Entrepreneur, believes that it’s a return to the source, of sorts. “Anxiety and stress are becoming increasingly prevalent issues,” she explains. “This means that there’s never been a more urgent need for activities that take us away from technology and nurture community.”

And what of the family unit? How does it grow and thrive amidst all this greenery? Whilst nothing quite compares to a child’s unadulterated laughter or the first time your firstborn mumbles ‘Mummy’, there’s a lot to be said for Plant Parenthood. Think about it: no nappies to change, no school fees to pay, no sleepless nights and no tantrums to endure. Although having said that, the more committed moms and dads admit to feelings of anxiety (are my babies getting enough sunlight?), inadequacy (have I given them enough attention) and guilt (did I really terminate my Ponytail Palm?)

If you aren’t already a self-confessed plant parent, why not give it a go? Get started by downloading Candide, a gardening app that connects gardeners with fellow plant lovers, public gardens and plant nurseries.

Gardening is good for you, it’s good for your home and it’s good for the planet. If you aren’t already a self-confessed plant parent, why not give it a go? To help people get into the spirit of Garden Day, which is taking place on Sunday 10th May, we will be building an online community, providing tips, content and advice around making the most of the plant space you have available. 

Then, on Garden Day down tools and relax in your green space and share with us on social media @GardenDayUK on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and don’t forget to tag us and use #GardenDayUK with your Garden Day celebration.