Young Gardeners Throw in the Trowel


Brits are losing their green fingers as nine in ten young people struggle to identify common garden plants, new research reveals. 

A study of 2,000 Brits aged 25-35 found that time pressures and lack of knowledge meant that the majority struggle when it comes to nurturing their gardens. 

More than three quarters couldn’t identify a tulip when shown a picture of one, while 87 per cent struggled with a geranium. 

Perhaps that’s why just 1 per cent of those polled described their gardening skill as ‘very good’. 

The study by Origin, a British bi-fold and window designer and manufacturer, found that the traditional style of UK gardens is changing as a result, with the new generation of homeowners favouring minimalist gardens with less maintenance. 

Other plants young Brits can’t get to grips with were jasmine, which stumped three quarters of respondents, while 57 per cent couldn’t spot a fuchsia. 

Yesterday Ben Brocklesby, Director at Origin, said: “The study shows there is a lack of engagement between the younger generation and gardening, a gap in knowledge that is growing. “From naming the common flowers to identifying basic gardening tools and processes, it’s important we don’t lose the connection and passion for our outdoor spaces. 

“A lack of enjoyment or interest in maintaining a garden usually comes from people not knowing where to start. That’s why nurturing an interest in gardening and showing the rewards that outdoor space can bring is essential, even growing plants in small spaces, such as a window box, can be fun and productive — you just need a little sunshine and some imagination!” 

And though over three quarters could spot a buttercup, three in ten under 35’s had no idea what a garden hoe looked like. While over half had no idea that a dandelion is a weed. Also a quarter of those polled had tried to grow plants, only for them to die just weeks later as a result of not knowing their gardening basics. Perhaps it’s no wonder then that 55 per cent described themselves as poor when it comes to gardening skills and knowledge. 

A further six in ten said their garden is currently in dire need of attention. Over forty per cent said that they do ‘the minimum amount possible’ to maintain their outdoor space. 

While the younger generation are split when it comes to enjoy- ing gardening or not -52 per cent don’t really enjoy getting green fingers. 

But the gap in knowledge is what is most likely to take its toll – more than half of those who don’t like gardening said it was mainly because they are ‘clueless’ around the topic. 

In fact, when asked what age people finally get the hang of gardening, respondents said it wasn’t until the age of 40. 

As a result, Origin has created a series of ‘how to’ videos with Jack Shilley, who at the age of 19 is already the Director of the Young Horts society and a RHS Chelsea Flower Show Gold winner. 

Brocklesby added: “The research has revealed how the millennial generation is struggling to grow a basic pot plant and, in some cases, can’t tell a weed from a flower. That’s why we’ve launched a series of simple ‘how to’ videos to get them started. The series will give them the skills and confidence to keep great British gardens alive, and improve the views from their first homes.” 


Weeding/ Dead-heading

Cutting the grass

Pruning flowers or plants 

Digging flowerbeds

Planting at the right time of year 

Watering flowers/plants/Vegetables 

Generally keeping a garden clean and tidy 

Planting/Maintaining hanging baskets 

Digging and preparing a vegetable patch 

Fertilizing the garden 


For further information on the Origin Great Gardening Gap, please visit