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Brits don’t get into gardening until the age of 44 – then they become house proud


A study of 2,000 adults found they only really ‘dig it’ in their forties, when they feel more confident about what they are doing. And more than a third said the switch happened once they became a homeowner and were keen to spruce up their outdoor space. Owning lots of tools, giving green-fingered advice to others and having a presentable garden are among the top signs of a master gardener.

The research, commissioned by garden tools Manufacturer STIHL, found in recent weeks during the lockdown, 23 percent have done more gardening than ever before.

And two in five have used the time to tidy up their outdoor space.

Simon Hewitt, from STIHL, said: “Everyone gets into gardening at different stages of their life – whether it’s owning a house or wanting to take up a new hobby which motivates them.

“But from this research it is interesting to see what skills Brits consider a ‘master of gardening’ to have and how we judge another person’s gardening skills based on whether their garden is looked after.

“In these current times, even those who don’t own a huge outdoor space are still getting involved in gardening, whether it be looking after house plants or learning how to mow the lawn.

“STIHL’s cutting edge tools will help spruce up a garden in no time and can assist all levels of gardener.”

The study also found that while 30 percent of over 55s described themselves as ‘pretty good’ at gardening, an eighth of 18-24 year-olds admitted they have ‘no idea’.

And two thirds of adults are confident using gardening tools – but less than half of 18-24 year-olds feel this way compared to 77 percent of over 55s.

Similarly, 65 percent of the older generation are confident in what tools to use for different tasks, compared to just a quarter of young adults.

Seven in 10 adults own a lawn mower, while 45 percent have a hedge trimmer and a fifth also possess a leaf blower.

But only 34 percent of 18-24 year-olds confidently know how to mow the grass, compared to two thirds of over 55s.

And less than a fifth of younger adults can prepare soil, while more than double – 43 percent – of over 55s can.

But becoming a gardener isn’t without its failures. More than a third of adults are guilty of killing a houseplant, four in 10 have over-watered their flowers and 16 percent have cut the grass too short.

More than one in five adults even admitted that until they moved out they relied on their parents to look after the outdoor space.

And 46 percent said their mum and dad taught them gardening skills.

In terms of what our gardens look like, 72 percent of homes with an outdoor space have real grass, 59 percent have a patio area and a fifth include decking.

More than a quarter also have a vegetable patch while one in five grow fruit.

Almost two thirds have potted plants and seven in 10 have outdoor furniture.

Simon Hewitt added: “April has always been the perfect time to get into the garden, but this year with the lock down enforced, taking refuge in the garden is more important and popular than ever.

“The beauty of gardening is that you don’t have to be a master to get involved and often you just need the right tools for the job.

“STIHL has such a huge range of tools for any gardener, including compact battery powered tools for those with smaller gardens or petrol models for those who are more experienced, with perhaps a larger area to maintain.”

Top 10 signs someone is a master of gardening:

1. They know what plants to plant at different times of the year

2. Their garden is always presentable

3. They know the names of different plants and trees

4. They grow their own fruit and veg

5. They give advice to others about gardening

6. They know when to water plants

7. They deadhead flowers

8. They know when the lawn needs a cut

9. They own lots of gardening tools

10. They spend lots of money on gardening tools, ornaments and furniture

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