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Why the young ones really love houseplants

If you believe the gardening media, the single greatest drivers of the boom is the lack of garden ownership among young people, which is forcing them to turn to the great indoors; and the allure of platforms such as Instagram for showing off fashionable jungly interiors.

For starters, the average age of homeownership has been rising for years. While not having a garden confines one’s horticultural ambitions to the living room, it doesn’t explain why these ambitions exist in the first place or why they have suddenly taken off.

Likewise, it’s clear from young people’s posts that there is more to this newfound fascination than chasing the latest interior fashion. Looking at the leading hashtags – #plantsmakepeoplehappy, #plantdaddy, and #plantparenthood – reveals that the motivation is largely the emotional reward from nurturing plants, rather than just showing them off.

In an increasingly virtual world, growing plants provides a rare chance to see something real. The more uncertain, even frightening, the world around us can seem, the more nurturing indoor gardens can fulfil the innate human need for control and provide a feeling of security.

Look at the leading lights in the movement and you find something else surprising, too. The top three accounts are all run by people of colour, from immigrant or working-class backgrounds and none with the indoor equivalent of a sprawling garden or a stately home.

What is so important about recognizing these motivations is that it opens up gardening to all ages, showing that, for many, it’s about the joy of the process, not the big “reveal” of the end product. Gardening is, for many, more about therapy, nature and experimentation than the pursuit of status. In fact, ironically, it’s this that has prevented so many from experiencing its wonder. 

Read the complete article at www.theguardian.com.


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