Whether it’s syncing to the Cloud, sinking toes in the grass, or syncing plants with local ecosystems to support wildlife, people want to get back in sync with nature.
Garden Media Group’s annual Garden Trends Report for 2016 finds people are interacting with Mother Nature, both in an au natural way — camping, hiking and gardening — and in a connected state using technology, to create a more personalized experience.
“It’s time for the industry to fully embrace technology and all it can do for the garden,” said Susan McCoy, president of Garden Media. “The more consumers learn about nature, the more they will grow to love and care about it.”
These advances allow younger people with little gardening experience to get their hands dirty, knowing they have the support of their electronic devices if needed.
Millennials aren’t the only ones affected by this revolution. “These initiatives encourage all demographics, young and old, to ‘rewild’ and reconnect with nature,” said McCoy.
Garden Media’s 2016 Garden Trends Report identifies eight trends that work together to highlight consumers’ true personalities. Here are five major landscape trends that will resonate with consumers in 2016.
Consumers are saying goodbye to minimalist décor and hello to bright lights and bold colors. Trend-setting lawn and landscape companies are taking a bolder approach to outdoor living, using fluorescent lighting and LED products to add a sense of whimsicality to environments.
“Homeowners are moving away from subtle, discreet aesthetics toward designs that heighten sensory appeal,” said McCoy. “Designers are transforming porch swings and swimming pools with LED lights to create a striking glow at night.”
Additionally, backyards are serving as family nature centers where parents can teach children about the environment. “There are so many benefits of getting children outside and in the garden,” said McCoy. “What better way to get them outdoors than by appealing to their sense of wonder with bright lights and bold colors?”
This year, the outdoors returns as a destination. People are making memories, seeking adventures and having fun in their backyards. By embracing the rising trend of backyard boldness, companies can help their customers create beautiful gardens while making memories.
Pets run through the lawn, roll in it, dig in it and often eat it — so it’s no wonder that pet parents are thinking more and more about how to make their lawn and gardens safe.
Dogs love to roll in the grass and cats love to dig in gardens. The petscaping trend puts paws in focus and aims to create a safe space for animals to run freely in the yard.
A survey by the Philadelphia Flower Show and Subaru found a direct correlation between pet owners and gardeners. Pet owners spend about $60 billion dollars on their pets each year, second only to Christmas spending.
Programs like Espoma’s Safe Paws helps pet parents make the switch from chemical to organic lawns. Other petscaping techniques include using non-toxic and pet-safe mulch, mending fences, and protecting pets from pools, ponds and fire pits. Truly dedicated cat lovers are installing elaborate “catios” for their cats to have sun and fun.
A grass roots gardening movement is just beginning, and with it, a relaxed look and feel when it comes to garden design. Living landscapes ensure every plant serves a purpose in supporting local, natural ecosystems, pollinators and other wildlife.
Doug Tallamy, professor of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware, said people want to create natural wildlife habitats in their yards, adding that every living landscape should start with trees and end with layers of native shrubs and flowers as eyes shift from the tree canopy down.
“Creating a dynamic environment from the ground up is key to building a healthy ecosystem,” said Tallamy. “Gardeners can maintain biodiversity in their yards by reducing the amount of lawn, focusing on forming plant communities using the most productive and diverse species.”
In addition to calling for more native plants, the layered landscapes trend identifies a shift in consumers’ mindsets. As people’s passion for preserving the earth increases, they will see and purchase plants for their function as well as their beauty.
Connected Greenery people walk, talk and sleep with their phones. Now, individuals are getting plugged in outside and syncing garden habits with technology. People want to be successful with plants without a lot of work or information. To do this, they are turning to technology to help grow plants both indoors and in the garden.
Newly enhanced digital tools make gardening more approachable for younger generations, like millennials, who possess limited gardening knowledge.
Modern systems work on the “one home, one app” model. They’re focused on ease of use and connectivity in which people can wirelessly and remotely control what happens in their home and garden.
According to McCoy, consumers are merging technology with nature, not as a distraction, but as a way to explore, educate and entertain.
“Consumers are seeking experiences that enhance their wellbeing and support their busy lifestyles,” she said. “When used together, technology can bring people into nature and connect one to the other.”
Millennials are not the only generation plugging in and getting outside. Despite popular opinion, people ages 46 to 64 spend more money on technology than any other demographic. And one in five of them now use social media every day, up from one in 10 last year.
They see social as a way to get something done — whether that’s something at work or staying in touch with gardening peers.
The resources that we depend on to garden, particularly water, are limited and need protection.
Precious Resources is a trend where necessity meets innovation. New technologies and plants offer the opportunity to protect and conserve resources with small lifestyle changes that make a dramatic impact on the gardening experience.
Gardening with less water will continue to be a top priority in 2016.
Being mindful of Earth’s precious resources enables companies to foster a new connection with consumers and create a better environment. Companies like Vita Gardens and Costa Farms recognized this trend, and created products with the earth in mind.
Vita Gardens’ Keyhole Garden uses an ancient African gardening technique of growing in dry conditions. It combines a raised bed with a built-in composter that turns biodegradable scraps into rich soil, saving water, space and time.
Costa Farm’s new Drop and Grow sedum tiles and the new Desert Escape collection of cacti and succulents save both planting time and water.
Being in sync with nature is the first step in a healthy and rewarding lifestyle, according to the report. People have a passion for preserving the Earth, and any small improvement in home landscapes can have a big impact.
Garden Media Group is a boutique PR and marketing firm specializing in the home, garden, horticulture, outdoor living, and lawn and landscape industries. The annual Garden Trends Report is one of the most published garden studies in trade and consumer news. For more information, visit GardenMediaGroup.com.
Download the complete 2016 Garden Trends Report for free at http://grow.gardenmediagroup.com/2016-garden-trends-report
Stay updated on all the trends for 2016 with Garden Media’s “Trending Thursday” weekly GROW! Blog feature at http://grow.gardenmediagroup.com/blog.