Garden trends about restoring balance in 2014
By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery
By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery
Jan. 22, 2014, Kennett Square, PA — Today's consumers are looking to strike a balance between work and play in all areas of their lives and the garden is no exception.
In its annual Garden Trends Report, Garden Media Group found consumers will be spending more leisure time outdoors and "decorating" their gardens, not just their homes. Enjoying time outside is being driven by both social and societal trends. People are socializing more, hosting garden parties, lawn games and brewing events and taking more of an interest in being good stewards of the earth.
"Consumers are vowing to restore balance to their lives," said Susan McCoy, president of Garden Media Group. "People are determined to be happy again, but not at the expense of what's important in their lives. They are being thoughtful in their actions and mindful of their impact on the economy, their locale and the environment."
After consulting global market research firms, consumer media and experts within the home and garden industry, Garden Media Group has identified 12 trends to prepare for this year.
- Ground up: Responsible food waste management is a growing concern and as a result, food scraps are becoming the "new recyclables." Composting is on the rise and consumers need to learn about reducing food scrap waste and turning table scraps into garden compost. The keys to success are education and making food recycling easy.
- Super foods, super models: Edibles are advancing to the next level with foodies and health-conscious individuals growing hard-to-find specialty foods themselves. The "super models" of these higher-nutrition edibles are packed with added health benefits. Blueberries are packed with vitamin C and fibre. Kale is high in iron, fibre and antioxidants. A garden full of leafy greens, vegetables, fruits and herbs are helping consumers cook up the colourful plate nutrition experts recommend.
- Drink your garden: People are using these super foods to drink their gardens in a variety of smoothies, juices, craft cocktails and more. The do-it-yourself aspect of this beverage making starts with growing and harvesting, and is topped off by the creativity poured into each glass.
- Dress up your yard: From decorative throw pillows to fanciful furniture and colourful garden ornamentation, homeowners are putting their personal stamps on their yard. There is a growing emphasis on using outdoor spaces as extensions of today's homes, fueled by the social trends of outdoor gatherings for barbecues and lawn parties. This new emphasis will drive demand for outdoor furniture, planters and other furnishings that can be used outside.
- 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.
- Cultur-vating: Taking local to the next level, people are growing the world in their gardens, mixing culture and embracing what is local to their own region. As they connect to the history that surrounds them, they are gaining an appreciation for the land, the people and the culture that have brought their community and region to this point in time. They embrace "local" and are willing to improve or enhance their lives with "outside locals" – elements from other cultures that add inspiration or a hint of the exotic.
- Frac'd up: Neat clean lines are out. Geometry explodes in the outdoor living space in the form of fractional shapes like triangles, circles and squares. This adds architectural structure to the garden, whether it's with the structure of the plants themselves, the designs into which they are planted, or the art and accessories that accompany them. Plants with a not-your-typical-flower character fit right into the modernist gardens, as do planting in the shape of domes, chevrons and triangles.
- Young men in the dirt: Young men are discovering the great outdoors and are grilling, growing and taking their kids out to play in the dirt. They have strong interest in learning what to do outside through classes, workshops and searching for information online. This demographic also gravitates towards edibles that can be used in grilling.
- Bee-neficials: Bees are at the forefront of environmentally aware consumers' minds, inspiring them to plant native, pollen-rich flowers, trees and veggies to provide safe shelters. Consumers are taking steps to nurture biodiversity to counter bees' habitat loss by providing bee shelters in attractive and effective forms. They are also being careful to limit dangerous chemicals and bee habitat destruction.
- Think gardens: Plants make us smarter, more productive and less stressed and, as a result, they are showing up in offices, schools and hospitals across the country. The use of indoor plants is on the rise for their ability to inspire, calm, reduce stress and provide a natural balance, as well as for their decorative character.
- Fingertip gardens: Modern technology has made everyday life more convenient and gardeners can benefit too with mobile apps and technology. 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. With this new convenience, gardening opens itself to a new tech-savvy demographic.
- 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.
These trends offer insights into how consumers will seek to bring balance to their live through the home and garden segment. McCoy suggests garden retailers take action now in order to provide the products, services, ideas and inspiration that they customers will be searching for in the months to come.