Gardening as a skill is being forgotten

Apr 12th 2019

Whilst 87% of British households have a garden, it’s clear that residents are not planting and growing vegetables. Over half of British children between 4 and 8 are unable to name 5 vegetables or fruits grown in this country. Many of those couldn’t identify basic gardening tools, with only 8% able to identify a trowel, 80% never having seen a rake before and, worryingly, 79% believing worms are bad for plants.

The research, conducted by Sudocrem, found that 73% of those asked said they’d never grown a sunflower, while only 8% had ever picked an apple. Less than 10% had dug up a vegetable and only 6% had ever eaten a fresh pea from the pod.

Perhaps gardening should be taught in schools? Although under half of the children surveyed had access to a garden at school, over 90% of them said that they would like one.

Get Out and Grow is an initiative created by Sudocrem and Clifton Nurseries (Britain’s oldest nursery). It was launched last month and is the campaign will encourage children and their parents to spend more time outside planting seeds, weeding, sewing, growing and generally ‘getting their green on’ together. The aim is to swap screen time for sunlight and take to their gardens, trowel in-hand, ready to get growing in time for Spring.

No garden? No worries. Get Out and Grow is all about optimising whatever space is to-hand and a kitchen windowsill can be just as good as an allotment when it comes to teaching your children about nature.

Later this year there will be an award scheme for schools to receive wheelbarrows and garden implements, together with advice from Clifton Nurseries on how to engage children in gardening, both at school and home.

Garden-themed murals painted by Joy Pirkle will brighten school walls and an online challenge to see who can grow the tallest sunflower will inspire some healthy competition amongst parents and children alike. Get Out and Grow will run throughout the growing season of 2019 and aims to get gardening back on-trend.