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Rise of the #PlantParent

There was a time when young adults were afraid to put down roots. Now, it seems, that’s all they want to do. Roots. And stems. And flowers. And plants, soil, bulbs, veggies, vines and mulch. That’s what we like to encourage on Garden Day: the opportunity to celebrate the greener things in life. Because there’s no such thing as too much mulch.

Millennials are finding solace in gardening, and have vigorously taken on what is traditionally seen as a fairly laid back activity. It’s happening here in Mzansi, and in bustling metropolises like London, providing this generation with a wholesome outlet where they can shut out the mayhem of modern life, take it slow, get down and get dirty. Whist this solitary practice might seem at odds with a generation often portrayed as self-interested and flashy, findings have shown that there is a link between happiness, purpose and gardens, irrespective of age groups. Also: plants look great on the gram!

Thirty-year-old Corrie Gunter’s Cape Town City Bowl apartment resembles a jungle. Unlike the concrete one just beyond the balcony, his is thriving and flourishing, lovingly nourished on a daily basis. A science officer at the University of Cape Town Biopharming Research Unit, and boasting a Master of Science degree in Biology, you could say Corrie takes his work home with him, but he views this pastime as necessary to his wellbeing. “Plants create a space in which you never feel alone because you have so many living things around you,” he explains. “We live in a time when everything has to happen so fast. It’s just go, go, go. Through gardening, you learn to be patient, to take your time.”

So where does this new obsession…ahem…stem from? Poppy Jamie, a Wellbeing Entrepreneur, believes that it’s a return to the source, of sorts. “Anxiety and stress are becoming increasingly prevalent issues,” she explains. “This means that there’s never been a more urgent need for activities that take us away from technology and nurture community.” 

And what of the family unit? How does it grow and thrive amidst all this greenery? Whilst nothing quite compares to a child’s unadulterated laughter or the first time your firstborn mumbles ‘Mama’, there’s a lot to be said for Plant Parenthood. Think about it: no nappies to change, no school fees to pay, no sleepless nights and no tantrums to endure. Although having said that, the more committed moms and pops admit to feelings of anxiety (are my babies getting enough sunlight?), inadequacy (have I given them enough attention), frustration (why can’t I take Sani sunflower with to the movies?) and guilt (did I really kill the cactus?!).

If you aren’t already a self confessed plant mom or dad why not give it a go? Get started by downloading Candide, a gardening app that connects gardeners with fellow plant lovers, public gardens and plant nurseries. Candide features an extensive knowledge base of plants, plant identification and  growing tips and aspires to be the BFF of choice to plant moms and dads everywhere.  

Gardening is good for you, it’s good for your home and it’s good for the planet. Perhaps you need a trial run, the chance to play around in someone else’s green space. And you can do all that on Garden Day.

Share your Garden Day celebrations on social media by tagging @GardenDaySA and using #GardenDaySA on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.