Grab your trowel: gardening just got cool
While flowers have always enjoyed a love affair with fashion, growing them has rarely been considered a cool pursuit. The associations with grubby fingernails, foam kneelers and, let’s face it, retirement have long seen gardening relegated to being one of life’s less chic hobbies. However in recent years being green-fingered has quietly become not only acceptable but aspirational. Kate Moss and fashion photographer Nick Knight have come out as keen growers, while Elizabeth Hurley and Cindy Crawford water lawns and pick flowers on their Instagram accounts. A green revolution has taken over the high street and our homes.
Research published in April showed that millennials are spending more money on gardening than their parents. A month later, Alexa Chung enjoyed a stroll around Chelsea Flower Show, and her Instagram post from inside the Great Pavilion earned more than 40,000 likes. The fashion world, too, is getting leafier: fern fronds tumble out of planters by the doors of Liberty, while the staff of & Other Stories must be greenfingered enough to tend to the dozens of succulents that decorate its clothes rails.
Although east London’s Columbia Road Market has been selling plants and flowers to the public since the 1960s, it took a flurry of new designer shops opening in the area to help redefine our desire for flora. House of Hackney’s now-iconic Palmeral print has been wooing interiors fans since the brand’s launch in 2011, but when founders Frieda Gormley and Javvy M Royle opened a shop on Shoreditch High Street, they discovered people wanted to buy real plants from them, too. And it’s not just about London: Sheffield-based photography duo Haarkon have amassed 162,000 Instagram followers and secured collaborations with Barbour, Woolrich and Urban Outfitters, largely thanks to their pictures from trips to
Alexa Chung Instagrams the Chelsea Flower Show; Rakesprogress magazine; London Terrariums arrangement; Ikea’s PS 2002 watering can, 85p; the shelves at Grace & Thorn Clockwise from top