Traditionally the pastime of flat-capped grandads, the humble act of gardening, and in particular growing your own, is attracting a new, younger audience.
In line with the surge in popularity of other traditional (read old fashioned) hobbies adopted by hipsters in recent years – knitting, taxidermy, colouring in – growing your own fruit and vegetables has been given a new lease of life.
Owning a quintessential English country garden or allotment with veg patch isn’t necessary – with a little bit of research, even the most cramped city dweller can grow (at least some of) their own.
Herbs are a great starting point for those with limited outside space – versatile basil, parsley, coriander and chives can all be grown from seeds in small pots. Once sprouted indoors, keep them in a window box outside the kitchen and snip when needed for culinary masterpieces!
Herbs basics checklist:
- Seeds – approx. £1.50 – £2.00 a pack from Homebase stores nationwide.
- Zinc pots – pack of three, £4.99, Homebase, as above
And with all that money you’re going to save on supermarket herbs, why not splash out on a fancy watering can? It will serve the dual purpose of keeping your plants quenched and healthy and will look super stylish on your work surface!
Catering for green spaces of all sizes, Seed Pantry is a start-up that offers handy kits to help rookies grow their own food. Best sellers include Window Salads Seed Kit (£10), right through to the Jumbo Summer Allotment Pack (£38) including beetroot, peppers and spinach.
Alternatively any local branch of B&Q or Homebase can get you started with the basics. Ask for advice in the store and remember to check the back of the seed pack to ensure your conditions are suitable to get the best results.
Veggie basics checklist:
- Seeds – approx. 50p – £2.00 a pack from B&Q stores nationwide.
- Miracle Gro Fruit & Vegetable Compost – £4.50, B&Q, as above
- Spade – £5, B&Q, as above
Today’s new generation of gardeners are unlikely to have a subscription to Grow Your Own magazine. Instead, websites such as Gardenista, The City Planter and Life on the Balcony have made authors and retailers of the bloggers who documented their green fingered adventures online.
In addition to blogs, Instagram and Pinterest provide tips and inspiration at the touch of a button, and YouTube is the first port of call for tutorials. One such channel is hosted by Essex brothers Lee and Dale Connelly, otherwise known as ‘The Skinny Jean Gardeners’ who post new tutorials on their channel every Thursday. As the name would suggest they get down and dirty in obligatory skinny jeans teamed with Hawaiian shirts, swinging gold chains and caps (sometimes flat, though in an east London ironic way – natch). The pair even have a regular guest slot on Blue Peter and have worked with Jamie Oliver.
Growing your own often comprises of a lot of equipment – spades, trowels and forks all take up a lot of space, so during the Winter months store excess stuff at Shurgard. With secure units of varying sizes and 24 hour access, you can be sure your gardening kit is safe during the winter months and can be whipped out at the first whiff of spring!
With the rise of all things organic and a growing desire to know exactly where our food is coming from, it’s hardly surprising that growing your own is seeing such a resurgence. Couple this with the widely accepted belief that gardening is an excellent way to alleviate anxiety and create respite amidst a busy life, and what more reasons do you need to get digging!