Is gardening the new baking?

Bakers have long been quite smug. And you can always recognise a baker as they are usually the ones hanging around the buffet table for longer than appropriate awaiting the question ‘Did you make this?’, so that they can then delve into far too much detail about whose recipe they followed – but how they tweaked it into being the delicious specimen that you hold in your napkin today.

After nodding appreciatively, pretending to write the recipe down on your phone, and taking another slice home to prove how much you really did enjoy it, it’s quite apparent that their hobby is somewhat of an ego massaging exercise, and as baked goods appeal to the masses they always have a captive audience.

The Great British Bake Off has really fuelled the nation’s obsession with baking, or ‘kitchen chemistry’. Considering baking is actually chemistry, and to bake well you have to follow a recipe perfectly, a baking competition is essentially seeing who can follow rules best, which is fine – but there’s definitely space for a new lifestyle skill to become cool.

The Chelsea Flower Show is traditionally considered the stomping ground for the older, and more affluent community. However, it would quite plainly loose momentum without fresh ideas each year.

The Pansy Project was a winning garden by Paul and Tom Harfleet. They plant pansys on sites where there have been incidents of homophobic crime. It won gold, and is a great example of gardening not just being stuffy window boxes and far too perfect spaces that don’t even let you step on the grass.

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Initially gardening doesn’t sound like something that everyone could get involved in, unlike baking (unless you don’t have an oven. Although there are A LOT of recipes for mug cakes that are pretty good). For those who live in flats, cities, and houses who’s front doors open up straight onto a pavement, gardening probably does sound like a bit of a ridiculous hobby.

The nineties was a great time for the green fingered, with Charlie Dimmock, and Alan Titchmarsh getting all crazy and creative on Ground Force. And being in a time before we could choose what we watched and when we watched it, most of us were forced into following their capers even if you had absolutely no interest in gardening whatsoever.

The Chelsea Flower Show may be over for this year, but the Hampton Court Flower Show will be on from July 9 – 14th for lots of inspiration.

If you don’t have much space, you could create an elaborate window box or herb garden. Just because they’re small doesn’t mean you can’t talk about them for hours while your acquaintance’s Victoria sponge is slowly demolished behind you.

If you’re a little under confident, try a starter kit like these funky veg from Plant TheatreAllotinabox and Rocket Gardens also have brilliant little grow your own kits.

This GYO kit from Allotinabox will get you started with Aubergines, Parsley, Rocket, Mange Tout and British Thyme. That’s a whole salad – you’re feeding your friends, AND allowing them to still fit into skinny jeans. That’s real friendship.

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But let’s be honest, if there’s a choice between fruit and veg – fruit is going to generally going to come out tops. So for the people pleasers amongst you, try this super fruit kit from Rocket Gardens.

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So, could gardening be a contender for the next smug hobby?

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