As part of a project designed to sow ideas, grow inspiration and cultivate futures, 300 London schools are growing their own picnic this summer and their reward could be a £500 voucher from GardenSite.
Are young people interested in gardening? That's the question posed by research company Alfresia, in a project that set out to discover whether the young were really hooked on gardening.
The optimistic answer, as reported in the Daily Telegraph, appears to be yes!
Working in the garden really does tempt 25 – 35 year olds away from Facebook, Twitter and their Xbox, as they claim to spend 12 -15 hours a month digging, hoeing and sowing.
The amount spent on their garden has also increased year on year from £273 to £518.
Interestingly, this research seems to be contrary to what is happening with 30 - 45 year olds, whose interest in gardening seems to be diminishing according to the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA).
Reasons behind this increase might be the rise in popularity of TV programmes such as Love Your Garden and the Big Allotment Challenge. Time in the garden is also said to be more fulfilling than slumped in front of a videogame.
Young people want to invest in their gardens so that they can spend quality time in them with friends, they see their garden as a 'creative and social space'.
This trend might also lead to a change in certain aspects of gardening as the young tend to react against traditional gardening, favouring organic techniques and alternative methods.
Community gardens are becoming more common, giving those without a garden of their own a place to get started and these gardens tend to favour a socially aware form of gardening that captures youthful imagination.
This research may convince expert gardeners like Alan Titchmash that the young are not ignorant about the natural world and the reasons why few take up horticultural careers may lie elsewhere.
No-one wants children to be divorced from the great outdoors, and there are plenty of ways to interest children to gardening at an early age so that they become part of the next generation of gardeners.
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