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A year living social trends: Gardening

We’re spending 2017 living a different consumer trend, identified using social data. You can check Jan, Feb, March and April, but May sees us getting green fingered, with gardening.

Yes, gardening. Year-on-year growth in consumer intent is witnessed through Google search, whilst social media data shows that May is THE month where we go plant potty. The spring is not just when plants grow apace, but when social discussion of gardening lights up. Over the last 5 years we’re seeing a growth in searches of approximately 30% on 2012 levels, with 8m social media users in the UK interested.

The conversation itself is sizeable: just shy of 3m tweets in the UK in the last 12 months, 40k+ blog posts, whilst Instagram sees over 5m shots snapped (all time). In Instagram hall of fame terms that’s far behind cats (over 100m) but bigger than rugby, for example.

Analysing the conversation and behaviours is instructive. It can broadly be clustered into 3 core behaviours:

  1. The enjoyment of spending time at home

  2. Home improvements

  3. Learning more about gardening / discovering specific information

More discrete within all this are the serious gardeners – who form part of the 3rd behaviour. This is, overall, a trend driven by everyone, not just the committed enthusiast. Men discover gardening in their late twenties, judging by Facebook data, whilst women get interested in their mid-thirties. Notably, at least as expressed through social media, it is the under 45’s who are keenest on gardening, belying some of the traditional stereotypes.

The trigger for said interest appears to be getting engaged – with interest being markedly higher amongst those tying the knot – although this also correlates to increased home ownership, with the separation of the two factors nigh on impossible.

So, if that’s the size and growth of interest in gardening, what are we going to be doing as we live the trend?

Well, we’re going to be sharing more in-depth research on aspects of the gardening trend, we’ll be talking to some of the top creators, and we’ll be getting our hands dirty. Literally, and metaphorically.


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