“Life is bristling with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to cultivate one’s garden.”
So Voltaire, French enlightenment writer and philosopher famous for his witty works of satire In Candide, intended for us, when all is said and done, to simply tend to our own garden first. Just maybe another famous writer, Oscar Wilde years later would have rephrased the famous remark to “trend to your own garden” understanding that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” With another new year comes the cultivation of prognostications of things gardening. And why not? It is the haven of countless others who came before us and found solace and meaning by
tending a garden. So as I was taught as a child in my ecclesiastical studies, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Maybe that is why something as old as dirt rejuvenates us and awakens our senses with each new and promising season.
Trend 1: With all the talk, debate and news about climate change remember this is nothing new….Earth Day celebrates a Birthday in April of 2020. It’s Earth Day Birthday! The first Earth Day was April 22, 1970 50 years ago. “Upzoning” is a buzz word as it is estimated by 2050 that 70% of the population will live in cities. It is a shift from “giant house and giant yard” to “affordable housing” and migration to areas like Minneapolis or Michigan (fresh water). The theory here is that density and supply reduces sprawl and cost which better matches the values and finances of a new generation more interested in experiences. “Affordable housing.” With the move to cities however comes a longing for nature. Urban trees, indoor plants, community spaces to escape the hustle of the city will be trending. By the way, the first Earth Day introduced by a senator from Wisconsin, picked April as the month because it fell between spring break and final exams knowing it would be a younger generation that would fuel the interest.
Trend 2: Houseplants or foliage plants continue to be popular driven by millennials and social media platforms like Instagram. That said the “houseplant craze” was not invented by young adults today as there was a houseplant craze….you guessed it 50 years ago in the 1970’s. Long before smart phones, social media and the digital “exhaust” powering trends, houseplants experienced a heyday in the 1970’s as homes and apartments were converted to jungles with hanging plants supported by macrame hangers. This was probably done to help camouflage the wood paneling and shag carpet as well as appliances in hues of “harvest gold” and “avacado”. The 70’s houseplant craze evolved into the jungles of the shopping mall food courts in the 1980’s followed by the Orchid mania that sprouted in the 1990’s. Houseplants are also a part of the “deskterior” movement in South Korea where office workers improve their working environment by “decorating” their work spaces. With less space, houseplants are turned to for their benefits.
Trend 3: Trees. A well canopied community is a cost effective strategy to improve health and well being in dense living areas. There is also a renewed interest in trees due to the attack of non-native pests that threaten what we can often take for granted (our community tree “inventory”)
Trend 4: Gardening is as popular as ever growing 6% in 2018 with continued growth foreseen in the future. Gardening as a lifestyle helps generate jobs.
Trend 5: Intuitive communication with plants. Plant whisperers. It’s about receiving non-verbal information through all of your senses and perceptions. You do this all the time when you get a feeling or an impression from another person. The theory is in nature you can do this also with plants.
Trend 6: Endangered soil. Erosion and deforestation with topsoil stripped of nutrients. The interest is in soils and their nutrients. Soil amendments. Composting. Healthy soils.
Trend 7: “Plantfluencers.” Those with an affinity for plants sharing knowledge. Today social media, videos and blogging make it easier than ever. Varieties of plants become overnight sensations enjoying celebrity status.
Trend 8: Frog friendly spaces.
Trend 9: Indigo blue. Blue is one of the most desired flower colors in the landscape and arguably the most desired hue in the garden. Blue has a calming effect.
Trend 10: Experiences versus consumption. Today’s new landscape plant introductions are more floriferous, hardy, compact and easy to grow allowing more time to experience their benefits. Container gardening allows micro-environments easier to manage and interchangeable throughout the seasons for the full outdoor garden experience. Outdoor living. Live outdoors. A move to comfortable deep seating outdoor furniture that is more like the furniture we’ve enjoyed indoors.
Trend 11: All things pollinators. Bees and butterflies. A living landscape.