Growing Trends in Gardening

Society, the economy and the environment are changing and trends in home gardening are changing right along with them.

Sustainable, edible and purposeful gardens were on the rise in 2013 and the trend is expected to continue through 2014. High on a typical gardener’s to-do list are chemical-free gardens for birds, bees and butterflies. Health conscious backyard gardeners are growing organic edibles with a personal harvest-to-table arrangement. Similarly, the trend is more cost conscious; planting from seed, turning discarded items into planters and composting kitchen scraps.

Indeed, says Peggy Krapf (member of the Virginia Society of Landscape Designers), composting is the newest type of recycling. Frivolous spending on more is out, according to president of the Garden Media Group and a national garden trends spotter, Susan McCoy. In general, gardeners want to restore balance to their lives, she says. “They are beginning to truly understand the relationship between gardening and connecting with nature — and how this can lead to a fully satisfied, purposeful life.”

Fresh eggs for the table and chickens for backyard friends is also taking hold in some communities. In Yorktown, Virginia, the Peninsula Chicken Keepers had 30 members in 2010, at its first meeting. Membership has grown and at last count, there were about 320 backyard chicken enthusiasts. More manly gardens are also sprouting up across the state with masculine colors and styles. There is a “role reversal of fortune,” where 40 percent of women are the breadwinners and stay-at-home dads are on the rise.

Across the United States, a trend in Master Gardeners is using bloom calendars to track bloom times on sentinel species. This is giving scientists valuable data on climate change. These garden journals also use seasonal changes in plants or phenology to understand the relationships between garden pest outbreaks and timing of the plant phenology. The data helps Master Gardeners know when the best time is to apply Integrated Pest Management strategies.

About H Potter

H Potter ( started, like so many great businesses of the United States, on the kitchen table after family dinner and before sending the littlest in the group to bed. Gardens are places where families gather and experience great moments.

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