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Millennials seek solace in gardens

Forget yoga; time-poor millennials are looking to gardens to de-stress

Ahead of Garden Day this year, we asked 3,000 people nationwide about their thoughts on gardening. One of the most interesting findings from our research was that those aged 35 and under, so-called ‘millennials’, are actually more passionate about gardens than their older counterparts.

Rather than being addicted to social media and technology, we learnt that over half (53%) of young people – compared to just 44% of those aged 35+ – wish they simply had more time to spend in their garden, go for a walk and sit in a park. While we might have assumed that they would turn to trends such as yoga and meditation to relax, more than two thirds of them said they enjoy looking after houseplants and that they are happier with their lives for doing so.

Indeed, this age group values their plants, gardens and green spaces so much that almost two thirds support the idea of a national celebration of gardens, like Garden Day, and truly recognise the positive impact that nature has on combating the stresses of modern life.

Here are the main things we discovered from our nationwide survey:

Poppy Jamie, Garden Day ambassador, well-being entrepreneur & founder of Happy Not Perfect.

Millennials want to enjoy nature, but are too time-poor to do so

Over half of young people (53%) wish they had more time to go for a walk, sit in a park and spend more time in their garden and less than two thirds (61%) are able to spend time in their gardens at least once every two to three months specifically to help them relax.

Clearly showing the time pressures that the millennial generation faces as a result of longer working hours and the growth of the digital economy, this is in stark contrast to those over 35, under half of whom (44%) wish for more time to spend in their gardens and three quarters of whom are able to relax in their gardens at least every two to three months.

Millennials are happier with houseplants and potted plants

The research also found that Millennials that enjoy looking after houseplants and potted plants are more likely to be happy with their lives. Over half (55%) of Millennials that own houseplants report that they are “enthusiastic about them”, and of those, 60% also consider themselves “happy”. Conversely, when looking at those Millennials that are not enthusiastic about houseplants, only 47% say that they are happy.

Young people want a national day to celebrate gardens

The under 35s love gardens so much that almost two thirds (64%) of them support the idea of a national day of celebration. The findings show that Millennials are turning to plants to find calm and an escape from turbulent political times, longer working hours, the rise of the digital economy, and the lack of easy access to green spaces.

Gardens combat loneliness 

Loneliness is an issue that affects people of all ages and is on the rise amongst Millennials (the Office for National Statistics finds that those aged 16 -24 experience loneliness more often than any other age group). However, the research finds that gardens – particularly the nation’s community gardens – offer an antidote, with almost half of survey respondents (46%) stating that gardens, parks and green spaces make people feel less lonely. Over a third (34%) of people with their own gardens stated that spending time in them made them feel less alone.

Gardens give people a sense of purpose

Across all age groups, the survey findings indicated that people have “a greater sense of positivity and purpose” as a result of spending time in the garden, and that people who consider themselves happy are 45% more likely to say that spending time in the garden gives them a sense of purpose in life. Happy people are also 53% more likely to say that spending time in the garden makes them feel more positive about life.

How are you planning to celebrate Garden Day this year? Let us know on social media by using the hashtag #GardenDayUK and tagging @GardenDayUK.