If you haven’t noticed yet, we are living among the “Indoor Generation.”
What does this mean? It means 90 percent of people worldwide (yes, 90 percent) spend nearly 22 hours a day inside without enough daylight or fresh air, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation. In A YouGov study, one in six people actually admits that they never go outside. A National Human Activity Pattern Survey also studied this, finding that Americans spend roughly 93 percent of their time enclosed either indoors or in vehicles.
The statistics seem even worse when singling out children. Prisoners at U.S. maximum security facilities are guaranteed two hours of outdoor time daily, whereas one out of two children worldwide spend less than an hour outside, says a study conducted by the National Trust. Today’s children basically spend half as much time as their parents did outside.
As a result, there are a variety of movements and recommendations encouraging people to eliminate the “blue lights,” #DeleteFacebook, bring more of the outdoors into their homes, and set reminders to get outside. In fact, the 2018 National Gardening Survey found Americans are setting records in lawn and garden spending because they crave nature.
Garden Trends: Reconnect With Nature
Garden Media Group just released their predictions for 2019 garden trends, and much of it is based on this trending data.
“People are awakening to Mother Nature to find balance and peace,” explains Katie Dubow, creative director, Garden Media Group, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. “This awakening cultivates a healthier relationship with technology, draws people outside and brings them in touch with their roots.”
Here is a look at the top garden trends Garden Media Group forecasts for 2019:
Garden trend #1: The indoor generation, disconnected from natural rhythms, craves a connection with nature. Pinterest searches for indoor plants are up 90 percent, Dubow says. The National Gardening Association reports 30 percent of all households bought at least one houseplant last year, millennials being responsible for 31 percent of houseplant sales.
Garden trend #2: Spending too much time in front of a screen causes physical and psychological problems. Adults spend 11 hours a day looking at screens and check their phones every 10 minutes. Parents will continue reducing screen time for their children and encouraging gardening activities.
Garden trend #3: More people will continue to choose brands (one-third of people worldwide) for their social and environmental impacts.
Garden trend #4: Generation Z is stepping up to volunteer for environmental movements. Volunteering among 18- to 24-year-olds set a record at 25.2 percent, exceeding the national rate, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service. By 2020, people engaging in “responsible tourism” is expected to increase 350 percent, the UN World Tourism Organization forecasts.
Garden trend #5: People are upcycling or eliminating waste that normally ends up in landfills. Think plastic straws. Last year, Google saw a 700 percent increase in the search term “zero waste.” A desire to eliminate food waste (EPA says food is the largest waste in landfills) will increase composting.
Garden trend #6: Forty percent of pollinating insects—particularly bees and butterflies—risk global extinction. To get ahead of this problem and restore ecosystems, people are installing more insect gardens. Also, invasive insect species are growing; the U.S. Forest Service says invasive insects and diseases put 70 million acres of trees at risk. Early detection and response is the best defense for dealing with invasive species, Dubow says.
Garden trend #7: Gardening will continue to rely on technology—from drones to phones—to make the task easier. People are planning, planting and watering remotely; robotic mowers, wireless plant sensors and irrigation systems and high-tech tools will continue to increase. Drones enable bird’s eye views of landscapes for better landscape planning and design.
Garden trend #8: Moon phase gardening is rising. More people are using moon phases to determine planting, weeding, pruning and harvesting timing. Flowers and plants that glow at night (lamb’s ear, white echinacea or white Muscari (the 2019 bulb of the year), and night-blooming fragrant flowers like evening primrose, Angel’s trumpet or moonflower) appeal to those who entertain outdoors.
Garden trend #9: People love a new neutral color in home décor and gardening: mint. The global trend forecasting network, WGSN, predicts mint will dominate the world of fashion and interiors in 2020. From hydrangeas to orchids to shrimp plants, mint-colored flowers will be in demand.
As Dubow says: “Finding joy in nature will help save the environment and, in turn, save us.”
Interested in identifying that one landscape or garden trend that could take your business to the next level? Attend LANDSCAPES, Oct. 16-19 in Louisville, Kentucky.