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Gardening

Millennials getting all green-fingered

But latest figures show younger generation have not considered it as a career

Green fingers

Latest figures show nearly 3/4 of millennials enjoy gardening

The youth of today eh? Walking passed groups of teenagers at times feels like you've stumbled upon a bunch of aliens crash landed on a foreign planet. Or perhaps it's you who is beginning to feel like the guy or girl from outer space.

Either way, there's a big difference between pervious generations, and the so-called millennials. At the less mature end, they don't talk the same, think the same, or even have the same memories of a life before digital everything. The older demographics, on the other hand, can recall black and white TV, perms, the Cold War, and typewriters. Perhaps, though, there are more similarities than we might first think.

Take gardening, for example. With the vast majority of Britons having access to a garden it would make sense for everyone in the country to be all about getting green fingered. But this is far from the stereotype. Perhaps it's the calm, almost-sedate atmosphere that dominates programmes like Gardener's World.

Maybe it's just that gardening is usually a pastime for those who actually own the garden, rather than people who have to ask whether or not it's OK to plant a bush in a particular spot. Either way, we don't always associate botanist pursuits with kids, but we might have been looking at it all wrong.

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Or at least that's what a new report in The Guardian suggests. According to a survey of 500 millennials by Jack Wallington, Community Director of The Student Room, 72% of people in this generation have already been involved in helping with the gardening, and 75% enjoy the process of growing plants. That's some majority from wherever you're standing.

Meanwhile, around half of all 14-24 year olds (51% to be exact), have watched gardening programmes on the box, with the most popular- after the mighty GW - being The Big Allotment Challenge and The Autistic Gardener.

The figures take a sudden downturn, though, when you start to look at how young people see gardening and horticulture within the context of careers. Fewer than one in ten have considered such jobs as viable options for the future, which might be a direct result of the shocking fact that only seven in every 100 schools and colleges have suggested these types of professions to their students. After all, if you don't know what's out there, how can you ever know you want it, or indeed how to get it?

It's a big shame, because many of the assumptions about what life would be like as a professional gardener are woefully inaccurate. Whereas many youngsters seem to presume such work would be boring, with every day different, and visible results from your graft and toil, we'd say it's anything but.

Meanwhile, the range of paid apprenticeships - offering upstarts the chance to earn as they learn - flies in the face of concerns over salary and the ability to bring in a decent pay packet at the end of the month; you can save for things a lot quicker if you're not saddled with huge student debt. And this is before we even consider the more biologically and scientifically-focussed jobs that exist out there.

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