Gardening: no longer a pastime reserved for the elderly or shirtless men in American soap operas.
Gardening as a Hobby
Gardening as a hobby is gaining popularity in lockdown. This is for practical reasons as much as it is for pleasure. With supermarkets stripped bare, many have taken to growing their own vegetables. In this sense, lockdown was timed perfectly, lining up with the start of spring and a bout of fantastic weather for the UK.
Make Do and Mend
Many have commented about the revival of the “blitz spirit” in recent weeks. This is more prevalent as we celebrate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. People have commented that despite the confinement, there is an increased feeling of solidarity and community as we fight a common enemy. This “make, do and mend” attitude has also translated to our eating habits. Fewer ingredients are readily available in supermarkets and people are not able to dine out. This has meant more creative cooking and a new-found love for home-cooked meals. Subsequently, many have turned to gardening and cultivating their own vegetables.
Growth Spurt for Seed Companies
Seed companies across the world are experiencing a surge in demand. The UK’s seed production has dwindled over recent years but it is seeing a comeback. With the exceptional recent weather and the garden culture of the British, it is no surprise that gardening has become a popular way to kill time. Seed Cooperative (a UK-based cooperative) have restricted online orders to a two-hour period on a Sunday in order to meet the reportedly “exceptional demand”. The managing director has reported that orders are six times higher than they were this time last year. As a result, they are struggling to supply the stock. As seed production became less and less popular over the past decades, the UK started to source their supplies from Germany and the Netherlands.
The US has seen the same pattern. The beauty of seeds is that even those with flats can enjoy gardening on their windowsills. Missouri-based Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds experienced a 10-fold increase on their normal demand by the end of March. They had over 10,000; something never-before-seen in the history of the company. The company is the largest seller of seeds in the US but they have run out of half of their stock.
Indoor gardening box businesses are also becoming increasingly popular. So popular in fact that they have sold out on multiple platforms. They enable those without a garden to develop green fingers. They cater for the more professional gardeners as well as those with an aptitude for killing cacti. Gardener’s favourite, the Chelsea Flower Show, is actively encouraging indoor gardening in their latest competition. Collaborating with The One Show they are inviting people to share their gardening efforts including a special category for indoor gardening.