Monday, December 20, 2010

Garden with a Purpose: Trends for 2011

Yale Youngblood, Publisher/Editor of Garden Center Magazine, did a great recap of the Garden Media Group's 2011 Garden Trends report. He says, "The sky's the limit" for 2011. Here's what he has to say:

Susan McCoy isn’t a doctor—for that matter, she doesn’t play one on television— but she has shown a knack over the years for having a finger on the industry’s pulse. And the Garden Media Group’s chief idea generator has surveyed the landscape, as it were, and predicted that in 2011, “gardening with a purpose” will really take root.
We whole-heartedly concur.

As McCoy noted, the purpose may be to grow your own food or create urban “green” sanctuaries, but planting for a greener good is likely to change neighborhoods and communities—one garden at a time.

“We had trouble wrapping our heads around saving the rain forests,” she said, “but we clearly can wrap our arms around saving our own backyards. Digging and planting gardens brings awareness that we’re all earth’s caretakers.”

As a result, “New Era” gardeners/backyard conservationists will probably spend 2011 transforming yards, gardens, rooftops and even urban alleys into green and productive spaces, knowing they are making a positive impact.

Further, conservative choices—that is, choices that serve to conserve and promote environmental stewardship—should do “the domino thing” in the areas of irrigation (see rain barrels and rainwater recovery systems), lawn and patio d├ęcor (see pondless waterfalls and self-contained fountains), and plant enhancement (see natural fertilizers and plant foods).

The rise of the perennial

Here’s another note from the Garden Media Group we found intriguing: The group’s research showed sales of annuals to be down almost 20 percent in 2011. But this isn’t necessarily bad news—it’s actually more of a window opening as a door begins to shut.

We’re hearing from retailers that gardeners across the country are replacing the long-standing color staples with long-blooming perennials and ever-blooming shrubs. This trend was almost inevitable, especially considering a movement among Gen X gardeners that places a premium on big color-bang for little maintenance buck.

In 2011, perennials should continue to catch the young shoppers’ collective fancy—ditto, a bevy of other plants that don’t require a lot of tending but still keep a garden looking fresh, sometimes year-round.

You’ll do well to set up display gardens that have a theme—create a “veggie haven” or a “butterfly retreat” or “Mom’s special spot,” complete with plants and decorative items that team to say, “yeah, you need to do this in your yard.”

Thanks for the shout out, Yale. To read his entire 'top story" go to Garden Center Magazine.


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