“51% of 14-24 year olds watch a range of gardening programmes”
“40% of 14-24 year olds watch Gardener’s World”
Gardening is portrayed in the media as white, middle class, male dominated and ageist.
If this form of media is critical for growth in horticulture then why are they enforcing the dull, traditional gardening stereotypes? Television has a huge impact on younger peoples lives and sometimes affects their future career choices.
Gardener’s World is obviously a popular show. It revolves around Monty Don (white, male, middle class, middle-aged) and he is assisted by other white, middle class, middle-aged gardeners (some female!). It’s a hobbyists show and doesn’t inspire people to take up careers in horticulture; it’s just a “job for the weekend”.
Gardening on television encourages younger people to view gardening as a hobby; most believe that gardening is ‘unskilled work’ and not a long term career option. There is an ever increasing demand for gardeners that cannot be fulfilled if stereotypes and ideologies don’t change. I am desperate to see younger people in horticulture on TV, as presenters or speakers, showing off their passion; then becoming heroes to the aspiring horticulturists in their generation or the generation below them.
We are slowly seeing an increase in the media of young horticulturists however they are also white, male and middle class. Why can’t they show the wildly diverse range of unique gardeners that I see on Twitter or Instagram; the hardworking people that have incredible horticulture careers who live in the shadow of overused stereotypes.
Encouraging a change in the media will allow a diverse range of ‘regular’ horticulturists to appear on TV; careers in gardening will become more accessible and obtainable. Younger people will want to be just like their gardening heroes!
Statistics referenced: (Jack Wallington – “Big up Monty D” theguardian.com – 2016 – data collected from 514, 14-24 year olds)