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Our local school has a gardening club which I know is very well attended. The children have grown vegetables which they've looked after, harvested and then eaten with their lunches.

Our village has two big allotment plots and there's a huge waiting list I believe. I think the cost of living has encouraged a lot more people to start growing their own. I'm 42 and never considered myself a gardener - still don't in many ways as my knowledge is very limited but I've had to learn as my house came with a fairly large garden!! I think there's maybe been a shift in people's attitudes as the benefits of being outdoors are focused on more for mental health and wellbeing and perhaps it's been one positive from the strange world of lockdowns.

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This is incredible. My son’s school is creating a sensory garden for their under 2 year old provision which I have been lucky enough to help out with. There’s definitely been a shift since lockdown isn’t there? Funny how making people stay at home encourages their more creative sides.

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We're incredibly lucky in that there's a lot of land attached to our local school. Many schools were selling off their school fields a while back which is very sad. Ours is certainly put to good use! 😊

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That’s wonderful. I know our school is trying to create a sort of forest school space and they do regular outdoor learning days.

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Forest school is amazing! Most of the staff are fully trained to run sessions. If they ever offer parent sessions take them. It's an amazing experience and the difference in the children is incredible! 😊

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At 39 you’re just a young whippersnapper! 😀

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Haha I think so too 😆

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One of the issues might be that to garden, you need a garden! Much more renting for young people than buying these days, I wonder if this gets in the way? Will you invest time and money in a plot that you might only have for a few seasons? We bought a house in our twenties and tended the extremely small garden there! We were 37 when we bought this house I think and this is the first garden of a decent size that we have owned.

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Oh absolutely Sarah. This is why I’d love gardening to be more accessible in schools and community spaces, so people who don’t have their own gardens can still get involved. Of course there’s always the option to grow in containers for renters. Even just a window box or a few pots on a balcony can be a great way to connect with nature.

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That definitely stops me from doing anything more permanent in "our" garden. We rent from someone who isn't the greatest landlord so it feels very much pointless to create something for someone else, even though I would temporarily benefit too. I've tried pots and containers though and really enjoyed that.

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I can completely understand this, especially if you don’t have the best landlord. Pleased you enjoyed creating in containers though.

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I feel like I have so much to say but I need to think... I’m just back from potting up seeds - one beginning with a Z and some cosmos!

I’ve been really influenced by Katrina over at Homegrown Garden who I first found over on YouTube - https://youtube.com/@homegrowngarden

I feel like maybe we need to influence the programming of mainstream channels at this point because LOADS of us take pleasure in gardening but perhaps it goes against societies main message of earn more, buy more repeat... the economy works in a different way if we slow down earlier in life?

I also love Tap o North on YouTube too - Dave did his permaculture training there. 🌱

Thanks for helping me to think about this more Claire! ✨❤️✨

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I love Katrina's channel too! She's brilliant and just so down to earth. Gardener's World really need to employ her as one of their presenters!! 😊

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I watched a YouTube episode where she was getting ready for them coming but I’m not sure I saw the actual episode - think it was a cameo thing? 🪴

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Yes, I think it was one of the slots where they featured viewers' gardens. I saw it when it was on. It was delayed because it was the day Prince Philip died I think.

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Oh so much to unpack there isn’t there Claire? Perhaps society doesn’t want us to thrive, we’re much better for the economy if we’re stressed, struggling and spending money on temporary solutions. Oof!

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Ooof indeed 😅 🎢⛰️🌱🤷🏽‍♀️

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I've noticed Gardener's World in particular always seems to take an effort to highlight gardeners from all ages and backgrounds. I always love the segments with kids, but there are quite a few in their 20s-30s too. Maybe the advertisers haven't caught on.

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Yes they’re pretty good at being inclusive of all ages.

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May 13, 2023Liked by Claire Gardner

Over 50 ancient person over here 🤣 I've always liked to look at a garden rather than do much as I never really know what to do. I have mainly got a container garden now which is perfect for me ... less to go wrong! Really enjoy pottering about with them though. It all got a bit of a state in the winter with me not being able to do anything due to my accident but in the last 2 weeks have been tidying up and it's amazing how much has actually survived. Just ordered some more big bamboos and herbs - looking forward to them all arriving. 🌾

To really answer your question any form of gardening was pretty low priority when the kids were younger, I just never got the time to do much. Now they're grown up I'm enjoying doing a bit more. Very therapeutic too. 🌿

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It was definitely low priority for me too when my kids were younger. It was only through taking my son to softplay that I started shopping for plants and finding a bit of enjoyment there. Looking back I wish I’d been more proactive in encouraging my kids to grow.

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My toddler loves gardening with me! I think the idea gardening is for "old" people is mostly about pace of life. So many "young" people are rushing around and don't have time for it. (I didn't in my early 20s.) I do see more people and more people in slow living spaces gardening at all ages. And I always love driving past a school with a garden, but I would say it's not a focus of the American school system.

I've noticed a lot of friends my age didn't get much gardening experience growing up. So we find the whole process of growing something from seed to be magical! It will be interesting to see what our kids take from it.

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This is so interesting about those who are intentionally choosing a slower way of life. That resonates a lot. It’s definitely a slower habit but I guess even busy people might find some pleasure in just 5 or 10 minutes a day. An alternative to doom scrolling perhaps?

I so wish I’d discovered gardening earlier in life so I could have enjoyed this with my children at a younger age. At 10 and very nearly 15 it’s not so easy to engage them in it now.

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