At long last we are blessed with signs of spring. I have tulips which are 5 inches above the ground, a few daffodils showing buds, and crocus which have already bloomed.
In anticipation of this year’s gardening season, I recently googled The Annual Garden Trends Report of the Garden Media Group, an award-winning public relations and marketing communications organization in Philadelphia. Here’s their forecast.
New Consumers: They believe that the face of gardening is being changed by new consumers, including Millennials, Hispanics, and young men. Those 18-35 year-olds now comprise 25 percent of the nation’s population and young males in that category are spending $100 more per year on plants and garden products than the average shopper. Additionally, Hispanics, the fastest growing segment of our population, have always been avid gardeners.
Well Being: Consumers will continue to want to make the world around them a better place in which to live. Thus, more so than ever, they will seek out environmentally safe and earth-friendly products.
Garden Entertainment: Spending on outdoor décor products will continue to soar.
Bite-Sized Decadence: Small container gardens will become more common.
Rebel-Hoods: As has already happened in some areas, neighborhoods will rebel against and campaign for the reversal of ordinances which forbid raising chickens, bee keeping, front yard vegetable gardens, and lawn-less landscapes.
Color Pops: This year, trending color palettes ranging from vintage colors to rustics to mauve and teal, will be used as expressions of outdoor personality.
Portable Gardening: Modular, adaptable, and flexible planters with wheels, handles or other moveable parts will be used to highlight the feeling of not being tied down.
Bed-Head Style: Un-styled outdoor spaces will arise as the result of working with natural environments. For some this will lead to an “anything goes” attitude.
My Wishes: First, I hope that more people will realize the merits of growing native plants and especially, if we are to save the monarch butterfly, native milkweeds. Second, I would like to see consumers more critically assess the need and usefulness of a wide mixture of the nursery industry’s offering. What’s wrong with using hoes, rakes, and spades?
Let’s recycle more — including plastic flower pots — and find alternatives for many of the chemicals we use in gardening. Finally, be water-wise.
Ed Myers is an Advanced Master Gardener and a past President of both the Garfield Park Master Gardener Association and the Irvington Garden Club. He is also the Steward of Irvington’s Kile Oak Habitat and Benton House Historic Gardens. Contact him at EMyers3670@aolcom.
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