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Some of you may have read the impossibly thick September issue
of

Vogue

magazine, which touted the trends for 2003. Well, the Garden
Media Group has come up with several gardening trends for the
coming year. Here are some.
Some of you may have read the impossibly thick September issue of “Vogue” magazine, which touted the trends for 2003. Well, the Garden Media Group has come up with several gardening trends for the coming year. Here are some.

Complicated is out, simple is in. Ball Horticultural reports that the main reason people don’t garden more is lack of time. The counter-trend to our over stimulated society is a return to simplicity. People are downsizing. People are doing yoga. People are looking for some peace and simplicity. Gardening is such a counter trend. And interestingly, the number-one reason people do garden is relaxation and stress reduction – it’s therapy. We will see a trend toward simpler product offerings from commercial growers and simpler combination offerings for the home gardener.

No color is out, four seasons of color is in. The Conard-Pyle Co. knows people want color in their garden. This has been the standing trend for the past half dozen years. Today, hollies and junipers – staples 10 years ago – are an afterthought. People want flowers, whether it’s in the form of bedding plants, shrubs or trees. Plus, gardeners have become more sophisticated in that they want four seasons of color interest – from bulbs, to perennials to fall foliage and even winter berries or bark. While color doesn’t have to come from flowers, most home gardeners feel, “No flower, no room.”

Pastels are out, bold colors are in. Longwood Gardens reports seeing more use of color in the landscape. And not just any colors, but bold colors. Designers are looking at the whole color package, not just the plants, too. Color is becoming more important with the structures and the accessories. There will be plenty of boldly painted trellises, houses and furniture, for instance.

Fabrics are bolder, too, and reflect a continuation of interior themes. People are looking at the garden in terms of the whole function, as a living space, not just a yard full of plants.

Plain pots are out, exciting containers are in. Container gardening is still the hottest segment of gardening, according to Campania International. But no longer do homeowners want plain terra cotta containers. Antiques stone finishes and glazes are adding interesting dimensions of color to containers. Filling the home with accents and visual features that stimulate the eye by providing interest and diversion continues to drive change in container gardening.

Dirt is out, pre-formulated mixes are in. Home gardeners often lack disposable time and/or gardening expertise, according to Premier Horticulture. They’re looking for ready-to-use, all-in-one soil mixtures to save their gardens and save them time. It’s like Kool-Aid. No longer do you have to buy the little pack and add sugar and water. Now, it’s all mixed in one container, The trend is toward complete soil-less mixes that allow gardeners to buy just one product with everything in it to do the job. Why dig rock-hard dirt when you can buy a few bags of this magic mix and grow anything easily?

If it moves, it’s in. Anything in the garden that moves is likely to attract attention, according to the Garden Train Association. Some things are not particularly sophisticated, like a whirligig.

Others are more interesting like a spinning spiral copper piece of sculpture or folk art. Hitting gardens big time are garden trains, a hobby that has quadrupled in the past five years. Morris Arboretum installed a garden railroad last year and saw membership triple.

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