Plant people are the happiest people!

Image: Hans Knöchlein, Hausbuch der Mendelschen Zwölfbrüderstiftung, Band 2. Nürnberg 1550–1791.

Image: Hans Knöchlein, Hausbuch der Mendelschen Zwölfbrüderstiftung, Band 2. Nürnberg 1550–1791.

I’m happy(!) to be able to non-exclusively reveal to you that garden­ers and flor­ists (i.e. people who work with plants!) are offi­cially the hap­pi­est work­ers… in the UK at least. That is the con­clu­sion of City & Guilds – the UK’s ‘lead­ing voca­tional edu­ca­tion organ­isa­tion’, which is com­mit­ted to enabling people and organ­isa­tions to unlock their poten­tial and develop their skills for per­sonal and eco­nomic growth – in its Career Happiness Index 2012. Amongst that botan­ic­ally inclined group, 87% agreed they were happy, and 89% cited doing some­thing ‘worth­while and use­ful’ as con­trib­ut­ing to that high degree of hap­pi­ness. ‘Scientists and Researchers’ were only 69% happy (pre­sum­ably because it was zoolo­gists, phys­i­cists, chem­ists – i.e. non-botanists – who were inter­viewed…?). And the least-happy group (i.e. most down-in-the-mouth, miser­able lot)? Bankers(!) – and which fact has been seized upon as proof that there is in fact a supreme deity ‘out/up there’ who is look­ing after us all down here… – who are only 44% happy: ‘Result!’ (said a Herr Scha den Freude, ‘dimin­ut­ive garden den­izen’ of Zurich).

[But I bet the bankers will cheer up a bit when they get their massive annual bonuses! – Ed.]

Nigel Chaffey. ORCID 0000-0002-4231-9082

Nigel is a botanist and full-time academic at Bath Spa University (Bath, near Bristol, UK). As News Editor for the Annals of Botany he contributes the monthly Plant Cuttings column to that august international botanical organ. His main goal is to inform (hopefully, in an educational, and entertaining way...) about plants and plant-people interactions.

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