Every year the Garden Media Group produces a report predicting horticultural trends for the New Year. These ‘forecasts’ are compiled by studying global consumer trends to see what’s happening in gardening, landscape design and green living. The pandemic has dramatically changed the way that many of us shop, whether for groceries or plants. A majority of consumers want convenience, speed and more touchless transactions. In 2019, the National Gardening Association’s survey reported that 14% of garden shopping was done online. This will dramatically increase in 2020, with curbside pick-up at garden centers being part of the calculations. The bottom line is that people are still shopping; just not the same way as in the past. Surveys actually show that 1/4 of Americans spent more money while social distancing! One trend from 2019 that continues to surge is the interest in houseplants.

One of the notable changes in 2020, which will impact the 2021 gardening season, is the number of NEW gardeners. Marketing research shows that 16 million ‘newbies’ joined the gardening community during COVID-19, many of whom are under age 35. Many in this younger age bracket are raising families, own homes, and have established careers. These busy, inexperienced gardeners want to streamline the learning process and take the fear and cost out of failure. This will compel the gardening industry to simplify plant selection and to provide more concise, how-to plant and care information. For example, City Grange garden center in Chicago, started offering gardening kits that have selected vegetables and everything you need to plant and grow these plus weekly online coaching instructions for the plant combos. Simply select the curated collection you want and the kit will be shipped to you in May. They also offer attractive 6-packs of perennials that thrive together the same growing conditions.

For easy to implement garden designs with various themes, check out the website Rozanne and Friends. The featured flower combinations consist of 5 or fewer powerhouse perennials and shrubs that provide months of interest. I designed three of the featured collections: A Fragrance Filled Retreat, A Sunny Oasis for Pollinators, and A Seasonal Kaleidoscope of Color.

Also, to learn more about many of the fascinating trends for 2021, visit Garden Design’s web page. Garden Design offers a wealth of great gardening information and stunning photos, both on their website and in bi-weekly newsletters.