Greenhouse Canada

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12 Trends to Watch

April 16, 2014  By Brandi Cowen

Consumers are striving for balance between work and play in all areas of
their lives these days, and the garden is no exception.

Consumers are striving for balance between work and play in all areas of their lives these days, and the garden is no exception. This year’s top gardening trends are a reflection of this desire for balance.

Here are 12 consumer trends identified in the annual Garden Trends Report from Garden Media Group that should be on your radar this year.


1. Dress up your yard

The yard continues to be an extension of the home. From decorative throw pillows to fanciful furniture and colourful garden ornamentation, homeowners are putting their personal stamps on their yards. This trend is largely fuelled by the social trend of outdoor gatherings, be they barbecues or lawn parties. This new emphasis will drive demand for outdoor furniture, planters and other furnishings that can be used outside.

2. Super foods, super models

Foodies and health-conscious consumers are taking food gardening to the next level, growing their own hard-to-find specialty foods. The “super models” of these higher-nutrition edibles are packed with added health benefits. For example, blueberries are loaded with vitamin C and fibre, and kale is high in iron, fibre and antioxidants. Gardens full of leafy greens, vegetables, fruits and herbs are helping today’s consumers cook up meals made with ingredients from their own backyards.

3. Drink your garden

People are also using homegrown super foods in smoothies, juices, craft cocktails and more. These do-it-yourself drinks are shared with family and friends and enjoyed in sight of the soil where many of the ingredients were grown.

4. Ground up

Responsible food waste management is a growing concern and food scraps are becoming the “new recyclables.” Composting is on the rise and consumers need information about how to turn their scraps into compost for their gardens. The garden centre is a natural place for consumers to turn for the tips and tools they need to make food recycling easy.

5. Simple elegance

Classic elegance in colours and visuals will become even more popular this year. Think monochromes or pairing a single colour with white for simplicity, whether for plants, pots, outdoor fabrics or furnishings. The simple single colour brings unity across the design, whether it’s a garden or room, and the addition of white brightens the scene.

6. Cultur-vating

Today’s greenthumbs are growing the world in their gardens, mixing cultures while embracing what is local to their own region. As they connect to the history around them, these consumers are gaining a greater appreciation for the land, the people and the culture that have brought their community to where it is today. They embrace the “local” but are willing to introduce so-called “outside locals,” elements from other cultures that lend local a touch of the exotic.

7. Frac’d up

Neat clean lines are out, fractional shapes such as triangles, circles and squares are in. Geometry explodes in the outdoor living space, adding architectural structure to the garden through the structure of the plants themselves, the designs into which they are planted, and the art and accessories that accompany them.

8. Young men in the dirt

Young men are discovering the great outdoors, grilling, growing and taking their kids out to play in the dirt. They want to learn what they can do outside through hands-on workshops, in addition to searching for information online. These young men gravitate toward edibles that can be used in grilling.

9. Bee-neficials

Today’s consumers know healthy bee populations are vital to their gardens. This is driving demand for native, pollen-rich flowers, trees and veggies that provide shelter for our winged friends. In addition to taking steps to nurture biodiversity and counter bee habitat loss by providing bee shelters in attractive and effective forms, consumers are also taking steps to limit their use of chemicals suspected of being linked to bee habitat destruction.

10. ‘Think’ gardens

Studies show plants make us smarter, more productive and less stressed. As a result, they are showing up in offices, schools and hospitals across the country. Indoor plant sales are on the rise for their ability to inspire, calm, reduce stress and provide a natural balance for hurried, frazzled people. The decorative touches plants add to indoor spaces don’t hurt either.

11. Fingertip gardens

Modern technology has made everyday life more convenient and now green thumbs can benefit too, thanks to a growing number of mobile apps and technology to help gardens grow. From countertop hydroponic growing systems and solar lighting controls to garden design mobile apps and posting garden updates via social media, high-tech is in the garden to stay. This new level of convenience is also opening gardening up to a new tech-savvy demographic.

12. Tree-mendous reversal

There are many environmental, economical and emotional benefits of trees. They increase property values, save on heating and cooling expenses, reduce stress, foster safer and more sociable neighbourhoods, and clean the air. Consumers see value in the long-term benefits of trees and are planting for the future.

Show consumers your garden centre has everything they need to bring these trends to life in their own spaces and watch your business grow throughout the year.

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