For the past few years we have reported on the shifting consciousness of gardeners toward an embrace of nature, the impact of all things digital in our lives, transparency in how the things that we put into our gardens are made, and a recognition of the need for sustainability in a world of finite resources.
In 2019 the biggest trend in the gardening world is letting nature nurture us. We’re increasingly aware of how plants and gardening enhance our lives and connect us to something both ancient and modern–the rhythm of the natural world. And, this is only the beginning of sea of change in how we view ourselves in relation to the natural world and as gardeners, do our part to protect it.
Other trends speak to the growing pressures of too little space to garden and too little time in which to do it. On the brighter side, we see lots of exciting things happening at garden centers, and breeders producing more and more plants that thrive even as the climate is changing. Look for more interest in woodland gardens, bright colors, and the return of all-green gardens. More of us (74% of all households) are taking up trowels even as 68 percent of Americans have either quit or taken a break from social media this year, according to thePew Research Center. Interesting times!
THE CONSIDERED GARDEN
“This is part of the same“I care” sustainability, handcrafted, experiential, and authenticity vibe that’s propelling brands across consumer categories.”
This trend is part of the same “I care” sustainability, hand-crafted, experiential, andauthenticity vibethat’s propelling brands across consumer categories from fashion to food. Materials, not “materialism” are the watchwords here as gardeners increasingly choose with great care what to introduce into their gardens based partly on the way plants are sourced and grown.
This is leading to gardens that are less about the uber-stylized “garden rooms” of the aughts, and more about personalized spaces that feel like a sanctuary in a busy and often difficult world. From small urban spaces to estate sized landscapes, this is garden style with a capital “S,” with lots of locally sourced, global-travel-found, and custom made elements that have meaning.
Studies confirm that consumerswant to feel goodabout brands. Look for the garden trade to further connect with their customers with added transparency about their supply chain, production methods, and corporate values.
“Designers are using plants with intriguing, often formal, shapes, forms, textures, and branching habits in otherwise naturalistic gardens.”
After decades of informal billowing meadows and cottage borders that studies find are overwhelmingly considered to“have visual appeal and restorative potential”,we’re seeing designers use plants with plenty of intriguing, often formal, shapes, forms, textures, and branching habits in these otherwise naturalistic gardens. The result is a delightful yin-yang sort of effect.
This aesthetic appears to be one of the drivers for increased demand forswirling topiaries, weeping trees,cascading camellias, espaliered fruit trees, layeredJapanese maples, and spiky perennials like lupines,salvia, andiris. And, with so many gardening in smaller spaces or often in containers, each and every plant needs ample oomph to make the cut.
DESPERATELY SEEKING SEASON
“With seasonal change now less distinct and predictable, gardens that dramatically, graphically evolve over the seasons are becoming even more prized.”
The second is a demand curve that’s off the charts for plants that do more for the longer duration of our warm weather (such ashydrangeas,roses,lilacs, and other flowering shrubs that rebloom). These trends may seem contradictory, but both are simply reflections of achanging climatethat we addressed in our2017 trends report.
DO IT FOR ME!
“Not everyone is a “gardener,” but trends show that many are finding that a beautiful garden installed and managed by someone else is worth every dime.”
While the top trend in gardening is, well, more gardening (building onlast year’s big numbers), consumer research has identified a growing segment of “Do It for Me” homeowners who want the beauty and seasonal rhythm of a landscaped space, but don’t have the time or skills to make this happen. (Even “easy care” plants likeSeaside Serenade® hydrangeasstill need care!)
40% of Americans with a yardturned to pros in 2017, and the findings of at least oneimportant studyof 6,000 participants by the National Academy of Sciences concluded that spending about $100 to $200 per month outsourcing tasks such as garden care increased life satisfaction by more than 40%. The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)forecasts a boom yearin 2019.
Not everyone is a “gardener,” but apparently many are finding that a beautiful garden installed and managed by someone is worth every dime. And no matter how they get made, the world is a better place with more gardens.
“With space and time at a premium, consumers are snapping up plants that do double or even triple duty in the landscape.”
Used to be that a simple hedge would fit the bill, but now,with home lots getting smallerand with less time for gardening, consumers are snapping up “one and done” plants that do double or even triple duty in the landscape. Also in play here is mindfulness about plants for attracting wildlife, growing food, and creating more overall green space.
The immediate sense of community and of improving customers’ quality of life through plants that’s being created at these cutting edge garden centers is being rewarded by consumers.
INTO THE WOODS
“Woodland gardens bring a welcome sense of organic zen especially in dense urban areas where they can help to mitigate the effects of pollution.”
Cool, mossy, and damp, small space woodland gardens bring a welcome sense of organic zen and a respite from digital overload, especially in dense urban areas where they can help to mitigate the effects of pollution.It’s like bringing “forest bathing” to the city with mixes of ferns, mosses, coral bells, Hostas, and Anemones in high contrast, almost unnatural, places for a garden style that’s gaining ground. We’ve tracked a marked increase in consumer demand for all types of woodland plants over the last three years with no signs of slowing down. (Look for new coral bells in 2019–they’re hot!)
4 MICRO TRENDS WE'RE KEEPING AN EYE ON
Colors are turning to brighter side—polarizing even (case in point is Pantone’s choice of the color coral for 2019).
Interest in online gardening videos has created a demand for the return of televised gardening programming. You heard it here first!
Sneak peek into our crystal ball? Look for all-green gardens (yes, they’re coming back) to take root over the next several years.
Even if it’s three plants in a pot or the no-man’s land in the sidewalk, an urban garden is as prized as any estate landscape.