More Brits are gardening than ever before, but still get caught out by what’s growing in their gardens and can’t tell the difference between flowers and weeds, according to new research.
A survey of 2,000 people found that a third of us are spending more time looking after plants and flowers than ever, and a quarter say they’re growing more vegetables.
Despite this almost nine in 10 believe a bluebell to be a flower, although it’s most commonly described as a weed as it spreads across gardens with ease.
And more than one in ten reckon Echinacea is a weed, when it’s actually a pretty pink flower that can be tricky to grow.
Another tenth don’t know that a dandelion is technically a weed, believing instead that it’s a flower deliberately planted by green-fingered gardeners.
The study was conducted by B&Q, whose Market Director Outdoor Mike Norton said: “Gardening in Britain is back in vogue and we’re delighted to see people flexing their green fingered skills. But it’s clear that some outdoor education is still needed.
“The confusion between flowers and weeds is understandable, as sometimes weeds can be brightly coloured and even quite nice looking.
“But weeds are defined as plants that grow where they’re not wanted, which definitely can include dandelions, bluebells and forget-me-nots among many others.”
Nearly two thirds of the country admit they often struggle to tell the difference between flowers and weeds.
And three quarters say their general garden knowledge is average to very poor.
Brits spend more than eight hours a month tending to their outdoor spaces, and a further nine and a half simply relaxing in them.
But one in 10 amateur gardeners admit that they’ve pulled up a parent or grandparent’s prized plants thinking they were unwanted intruders.
And 15 per cent say they’ve merrily let a plant grow in their own yard before someone pointed out that it was a potentially harmful weed.
Seventy percent of respondents believe that gardening knowledge isn’t handed down through generations as much as it used to be.
But B&Q believe they have found a solution to gardening mix-ups by creating an app that can instantly tell whether a plant is a weed or a valuable flower.
Mike Norton said: “Our new app is basically ‘Shazam’ for plants, and will let you know what you’re looking at straight away, using image recognition software.
“This is just one of many brilliant solutions to help customers make the most of their gardens no matter the size, so whether you’re tending a window box or a country estate, we’ve got the knowledge you’ll need to make your outdoor space perfect.”