There’s a very well worn saying that if America catches a cold, then we in the UK will sneeze not long later. Working on that theory, here’s what we can expect for gardening trends in 2017. The subtitle to The Garden Media Group’s report is that Healthy is the New Wealthy
One of the big surprises is that gardening has become extremely popular with the 18-34 year old age group – what we call the Millennials, But what these young newbies are looking for in a garden perhaps is not quite so surprising. Their idea of a good garden is to have big and bold plants, and the more colourful the better. On close inspection, the list of their most popular plants include those that grow very fast, some up to three feet in a year. Now, why does strike fear in my heart? Dear reader, think of leylandii hedges…
It also appears that US gardeners are turning to plants that attract birds, as well as adding in bird and bat houses into the garden. This is certainly no bad thing, as we should all be concentrating on attracting more wildlife into our gardens. But they reckon this goes hand in hand with the need to have tidier gardens – surely a contradiction? Having a too-tidy garden IMHO means there are no safe hidey-holes for beneficial insects. What is good news is that the trend of trimming trees and shrubs into neat little balls appears to be abating – thank goodness for this, and I hope this is one that catches on here too!
Continuing with the healthy-new-wealthy theme, it seems that those Americans who don’t have a garden to plant vegetables are growing them indoors instead. And the Milennials in particular are harnessing technology to make their indoor gardening more successful, using growing lights and hydroponics to produce clean fresh food to pick and plate through every season. Here in the UK, we may have the odd pot of parsley or mint on the kitchen windowsill, but how many of us use that space for vitamin-packed microgreens?
If the overarching message of this Trends Report is to Get Back to Nature, forest bathing (a 1980s Japanese fitness therapy called Shinrin-Yoku) appears to be very well established in the US. And before you start wondering if your back garden is big enough for this activity, forest bathers go to the nearest park, leaving their phone, camera and other distractions behind them, to find a comfy seat in the middle of nowhere. They then have to sit and listen to the sounds around them, and if they happen to be in the company of good friends, there’s to be no talking until they get home.
Wonder if that one will catch on here?