Monthly Archive for February, 2013

Who are gardeners really?

Lately I have been spending a lot of time digging into the demographics that support the garden industry.  Broadly speaking, gardeners in North America can be broken into 4 distinct categories …

  1. Veterans (1922 – 1945),
  2. Boomers (1946 – 1964),
  3. Gen Xers (1965- 1980) and
  4. Gen Yers (1981- 2000)

The relative size of each cohort is illustrated in the chart below (Source –

US Population Distribution

So who is buying plants?

In terms of purchasing power the lawn & garden industry is driven by the Boomers, and to a lesser extent the Veterans, who’s priorities are changing as they age.

There is much discussion in the industry about the next big cohort, that being the Millennial generation.  These 20 somethings are starting to settle down and purchase homes.

Home ownership, or rather home purchases, has traditionally been a key measure of the economic health of the lawn & garden industry.  When home sales go up, so do profits.

Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, the connection between home ownership, and gardening is starting to weaken. New homes are increasingly purchased in high density urban areas, with limited access to green space. Being a gardener in a 500 sqft condo is much different from being a gardener in a 3000 sqft suburban home.

At the same time, kids are living at home longer, and delaying home purchases until later in life.

What does this mean for the lawn & garden industry? In a word – CHANGE!.

More on that in my next post.