Editorial May/June 2005

May 30, 2005
Written by Anja Sonnenberg
Most homeowners are beginning to realize that their living space doesn’t need to end at their patio door. Decks and patios are being used for entertaining and relaxing, as homeowners continue to adapt their yards into attractive and functional living areas.
The Sprouting Trend of Outdoor Living

Most homeowners are beginning to realize that their living space doesn’t need to end at their patio door. Decks and patios are being used for entertaining and relaxing, as homeowners continue to adapt their yards into attractive and functional living areas.

This trend is continuing to drive the sales of patio and garden furniture in Canada, as homeowners look for weather-resistant furniture.  But it doesn’t end there. Outdoor living areas are being fitted with everything from outdoor kitchens, entertainment centres, bars, fireplaces, spas, and lounge areas. A perfect example of how these elements can be combined to make a fun and inviting place to entertain guests was at Canada Blooms in Toronto, this year. Over 30 display gardens focused on a garden party theme, which included: a secluded retreat for cocktails, an outdoor bar with lounge area, a dining area under a chandelier suspended from a tree branch, a meditation area, and an outdoor kitchen equipped with the necessities for a formal dinner party. We’ve evolved from tucking the BBQ and the picnic table in a corner of the deck to elaborate outdoor rooms, which are as accommodating as their indoor counterparts.

 In this issue of Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery magazine, Michelle Brisebois’ article entitled ‘Dining Al Fresco’ on page 20 explores the outdoor dining theme. She offers helpful suggestions to use this outdoor living theme to your advantage by offering cooking classes, landscaping services, and herb and vegetable gardening seminars. Customers will be looking for examples and suggestions at your garden centre to extend their own living space beyond the patio door, as this trend continues to sprout.

Another aspect of the outdoor living trend is vegetable gardening. These two trends go hand-in-hand. Is there anything more enjoyable then cooking with ingredients, that have been grown in the garden? Containers of basil, tomatoes, parsley, cucumbers and peppers lining the deck are the finishing touches to the outdoor dining experience. Greenland Garden Centre in Sherwood Park, Alberta offers ‘Terrific Tomatoes’ a seminar to teach customers about growing tips, varieties, and information on tomatoes. Deborah Sirman, co-owner of Greenland, says the class was created because so many of her customers were asking about vegetable gardening and tomatoes specifically. To read more about how Greenland Garden Centre is helping customers keep on top of current trends, read the Successful Operator Profile on page 24.

With spring well underway, and the crowds of garden enthusiasts bombarding your store, I hope you take a few moments to enjoy your own outdoor living area with your friends and family. After all, you deserve a moment to put your feet up to recuperate during the crazy spring rush.
 


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