I can’t resist a juicy prediction, can you?
Garden Media Group has crowned the garden trends of 2022, and I figure, why wait until January? Summing up, it looks like people can’t get enough of gardening and nature — even if they need technology to get access to it.
The report says 18.3 million people started or resumed gardening in 2020, and it will serve businesses as well as the planet to keep them engaged in and enjoying gardening.
In business, the entrepreneur is rising. This makes sense given the number of people a.) whose careers were upended by the pandemic and/or b.) who are taking this moment to reevaluate their work/life priorities. Etsy saw a 42 percent increase in new sellers in the third quarter of 2020 alone, according to the New York Times.
In the green industry, this is popping in sectors like houseplants and fresh flower artistry — from online sellers to pop-up shops and a host of new houseplant stores, like Queen Anne’s new tattoo parlor/collector plant shop Nightshade. One poignant example in the report is an 8-year-old boy named Aaron Moreno in Los Angeles (@aaronsgarden).
He helped lift his family out of homelessness and bring his sister back from Mexico by propagating succulents and other houseplants for sale.
Perhaps, after a year of seeing businesses shuttered and closed, people would rather support local micro-businesses that align with their values than online mega-stores. The report singled out Amazon shopping as a source of “guilt” for many.
At home, folks are finding new ways to maximize their home’s enjoyment, like entertaining outside — especially useful when social distancing. The terms “front yard” and “front porch” reached a five-year high on social media in 2021, according to the report. It recommends “dynamic seating,” which I thought meant a swing chair, but means seating-plus-activity, like giant Jenga or — it really says this — ax throwing.
People are upgrading their yards to suit themselves — to take virtual meetings from the deck, grow organic vegetables or feed hummingbirds. I interviewed a designer recently who was asked to design a shed for a wide-screen TV across from the patio — the perfect set-up for catching the Seahawks.
Interest in sustainable and/or organic materials and products, native plants and plants that nourish and support pollinators are all up, too; 67.2 million households said they bought at least one plant in 2021 because it benefitted pollinators or birds.
Studies indicate both men and women make up the new crew of gardeners, many of whom are younger than you might expect; 83 percent of people aged 18-34 described gardening as “cool,” and 54 percent would rather hit the nursery than a nightclub. This was a British study, but it’s still intriguing.
Bird-watching has emerged as a socially-distant hobby for all ages. Visits to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology live bird cams doubled since the year before, and bird feeder and feed sales are soaring too. Floral-arranging and cutting gardens are rising in popularity, too; bouquets are a beautiful way to say, “I miss you.”
Even chairs and paint aren’t immune from the frond-fest. In décor, nature-inspired colors and patterns, like minty greens and florals, are in.
But for all this desire for nature, technology is woven into our lives. The report indicates online shopping is here to stay, and tech will be incorporated into much of our seeking for, if not our actual, interaction with nature.
Are you unsure how to lay out your new vegetable garden or take cuttings from your philodendron? Where to find grosbeak starlings? Where the nearest forest-bathing walk is? How wide your ax-lane should be? There’s an app — or a TikTok video — for that. Going forward, you’ll be able to buy a vegetable garden kit with a swipe while watching the seed-sowing video of the floral-clad #cottagecore #homesteader — as well as her sun hat and boots.
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