The numbers have been crunched, the receipts tallied, and the survey responses read. Once again, based on consumer behavior, Garden Media Group has released the top gardening trends for 2011. So put your garden gloves on and join the fun because apparently 'Gardening with a Purpose' is taking root.
Gardeners are changing their lives and their communities one garden at a time. Whether it is growing food for their own tables, choosing eco-friendly products over toxic chemicals, or planting native species to attract birds, butterflies, and bees, the trend for 2011 is gardening with a purpose. Gardeners everywhere are taking steps to improve their health of their bodies, their communities, and their environment.
Gardeners are mixing it up by adding food producing plants to the landscape which also provide ornamental value. Small fruits like blueberries, for example, are growing in popularity - not only for the health benefits of their berries, but also the for three season value their foliage provides. According to the GWA, more than three-fourths of the respondents surveyed feel that growing their own food not only saves them money, but also produces food that tastes better and contains a higher nutritional value.
The trend towards growing vegetables and herbs in containers also continues to grow - especially for folks with limited gardening space. One interesting trend from last year is the 20 percent decrease in the sales of Annuals. Maybe it's the economy, but many gardeners are starting to see Annual plants as "luxuries". Once the undisputed kings of container gardening, Annuals are now being replaced with long-blooming perennials like daylilies, roses, and ornamental grasses. After adding a double pink Knock Out(R) Rose bush to my own container garden last year, I can understand why. Why spend money on Annuals every year when you can plant low maintenance perennials that deliver all-season color and last for years?
A greater focus on conserving water has resulted in succulents making a comeback. These easy sustainable plants produce showy flowers, along with thick, fleshy leaves that store water. Despite the wide variety of shapes available, succulents are remarkably consistent in their needs. Drought-tolerant and able to thrive in a variety of conditions (and withstand a great deal of neglect), succulents are perfect for small gardens, large landscapes, and gardeners of all ages and skill levels.
The desire to bring the outdoors in can be seen in the continued popularity of houseplants. Orchids, ferns and palms are the current "it" plants for indoor gardening. All are easy-to-grow and a great way to add a sense of style and decor to any room. Plus, these pretty plants work double-duty by helping clean indoor air of volatile organic compounds while providing your living space with an ample supply of fresh oxygen.
From vines and veggies growing up from containers to vertical walls blooming with edibles, plants are growing up. Gardeners are multitasking with climbing plants - producing food, providing privacy, screening eye-sores, and drawing the eye upward to create the illusion of space. Even businesses are seeing the productivity, environmental quality and return on investment that indoor plantings and vertical living walls are bringing to their interior and exterior spaces.
About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com
Anyone have feedback about Lasagna Gardening?
I tried it last year with amazing results! I'm looking forward to planting again this year.
I'm interested to know what you added to your establised lasagna gardens last fall.
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