Demand for gardeners shoots up as coronavirus turns gardens into refuges


Demand for gardeners has never been greater but there are not nearly enough of them to go around, as coronavirus focuses attention on the garden as a place of refuge.

The number of gardening companies has grown by 30% over the past five years and some 13,000 gardening businesses are now registered at the chamber of commerce, umbrella organisation VHG said.

However, people who want a spring clean of their garden may have to pick up a spade themselves as most gardeners are fully booked for the months of April and May.

‘Since the coronavirus crisis began demand has only increased, VHG spokesman Richard Maaskant told ‘It made people focus more on their direct living environment, not just the home but the garden as well.’

‘People are spending more time at home and so they want their gardens to look nice,’ Luuc van der Raaij, of Amsterdam gardening company Stadstuintjes told ‘And of course, as a gardener you work outside, so the coronavirus risks are lower as well.’

Maaskant said he is expecting the number of gardening businesses to grow even further in the near future. The fact that people are not going on holiday is another factor, Maaskant said, because the money saved will go on making the garden a summer refuge.

The renewed interest in gardens is not just down to the coronavirus crisis but also to the climate crisis, Maaskant said, with a growing interest in what people themselves can do to combat climate change.

‘People want more biodiversity, and fewer tiles. Most of the work is for private individuals because public spending on greenery has been tightened. (..) But maintenance of public spaces will have to go on as trees need to be cut back and weeds removed, even if the work is temporarily slowed down. We work with living material. It will grow, crisis or no crisis.’

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