Has gardening become recession-proof?

Has gardening become recession-proof?
    The global economic downturn in 2008-09 appeared to have a negative impact on everybody – except for gardeners that is.

While many people in the UK are still concerned about their job security and the rising cost of living, the number of employment opportunities being made available in the horticultural sector has grown enormously.

Director general of the Royal Horticultural Society Sue Briggs told the Daily Express that the gardening industry is worth £9 billion and employs in the region of 200,000 people.

"It is quite staggering that while youth unemployment is at an all-time high, the horticultural industry has more skilled vacancies than it can fill in the UK despite the recession," she was quoted as saying.

The number of people who want to enrol on a gardening course at college or university has also grown sharply over the past few years.

A lot of the applicants merely want to take up an affordable new hobby, rather than make a dramatic career move.

While many popular pursuits such as going to the football have become astronomically expensive, a recent study by Halifax showed that getting out into the garden remains a relatively cheap pastime.

The recession also forced plenty of people to become self-sufficient and many have tried to emulate cult TV classic The Good Life by getting the vast majority of their produce from their back garden or allotment. With garden tools still being very cheap to buy, this lifestyle choice certainly makes sense.

TV star Alan Titchmarsh believes that tending to your crops and flowers in the fresh air is a great way to escape the stress of the economic downturn and sky-high cost of living.

"People need something to lift them out of the gloom and for the cost of a tank of petrol you can make quite an impression in the garden," he told the publication.

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