This just in from a survey out of the U.K.: Gardening is the new night out at the club—and we’re not mad about it.
According to Draper Tools, the company that conducted the poll, 83 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds now describe gardening as ‘cool’ and 54 percent would rather browse for plants than dance until dawn. (2,000 young people were interviewed.)
Clearly some of this was brought on by the pandemic, which meant we had more time than typical to tend to our plants, but it also reflects the extent to which we’re prioritizing self-care above potentially energy-depleting socialization these days. (Per a survey published recently by Psychology Today, 80 percent of U.S. adults say they will be more mindful about self-care once the pandemic is over.)
But also, the benefits of gardening are vast: Not only is soil a natural mood-booster—a bacteria found in soil activates serotonin-releasing neurons in the brain when inhaled—but it also burns calories, bolsters vitamin D levels and helps you bust stress and stay more mindful and present. For example, if you weren’t out in the garden tending to your flowers or vegetables, you might otherwise be oblivious to that blink-and-you-might-miss-it hummingbird that keeps darting by.
So, what are the best plants to start with? If you’re going the vegetable garden route, squash is a fast grower, but you could also experiment with peppers, which require minimal maintenance/attention to keep alive/bountiful. As for flowers, pansies are a hearty variety and provide a pop of color (just plant them when the ground temps dip to 50 or 60 degrees). Herbs are another great starter option.
What are you waiting for? Dig in. (Sorry, we couldn’t resist.)