Pitch perfect pines, garden tribalism, and the impact of soil regeneration science on the home garden are all top gardening trends for 2018, according to Monrovia, the leading grower of premium garden plants in the United States.
“In 2018, the garden will be a both a haven and a laboratory as gardeners seek a respite from a stressful world, and also dive into the flood of new plant choices they’re seeing in garden centers and on social media,” says Jonathan Pedersen, Vice President of Business Development for Monrovia. “We’re also seeing more interest in flowering shrubs as time-crunched gardeners seek to simplify, and while we’re still seeing lots of color (especially ice-cream hues), patterned foliage is the story for 2018.”
“Overall, gardening is seeing huge growth with an estimated six million more people nationwide taking up the activity last year,” adds Pedersen. 80 percent of those are millennials (ages 18 to 34), according to a National Gardening Survey. “We’re seeing this new dynamic play out in unequaled demand for unique, sustainable, and social share-worthy plants and for gardening as a differentiator of sorts. It looks to be an interesting year!”
The top eight trends for 2018 are:
1. Roses and Rhodies Renaissance: It’s back to the future as the lure of Insta-worthy posies, year-round beauty, container compatibility, and tales of low-effort/big rewards are making gardeners take a second look at old timey shrubs in general, and the next wave of fuss-free roses and rhododendrons (the “it” flower of UK last year) in particular.
2. Garden Tribe: Always on the leading edge of mindfulness, home gardeners are creating a new type of tribalism where the shared experience of gardening inspires a leafy sort of group therapy. Seeking to find community, the garden has become not only a place of refuge and comfort, but also a way to define one’s world view.
3. Pitch Perfect Pines: After years of being overshadowed by boxwoods and birches, this compelling conifer is on the comeback trail, with a starring role at 2017’s Chelsea Flower Show. Notably fuss-free problem solvers which also offer a distinct personality in the landscape, pines feel fresh and wow-worthy. A new generation of gardeners will use them in inspiring ways.
4. Soil Matters: Collectively, home gardeners manage a great deal of land, perhaps as much as commercial farmers, and are poised to be a critical part of the solution to the urgent environmental issues of soil degradation and carbon capture. Expect to see programs promoting the application of commercial agriculture principles of “soil regeneration” in the home garden.
5. Suburban plant hunters: First comes a garden, then comes a garden that no one else has! From heritage fruit trees and “who-knew” annuals, to (always sold out) Itoh peonies and complex topiary, savvy garden-makers are foraging far and wide for the goods to make a landscape that’s bespoke, not cookie-cutter. Look for growers to respond with rare and limited quantity offerings.
6. We See a Pattern: It might be due to the big box of crayons allure of succulents, the 21st century houseplant infatuation, or the desire to add zip to deep shade spaces, but whatever the cause, there’s no denying that plants with foliage patterned with dots, dashes, stripes and slashes have been spotted everywhere. Case in point? A 533 percent increase in “saves” of patterned plants to Pinterest in 2017.
7. Hydrangea Mania: Everyone’s much-loved bloomer will cement its “must have” status as the plant of the decade in 2018 with a slew of new varieties that solve lots of consumer woes. Breeders have built a better hydrangea – re-blooming, right-sized for pots, simpler to prune, with sturdier stems that don’t flop under the weight of large flower heads, and thicker leaves that are more tolerant of heat, humidity, and wind. We grow them, and even we’re surprised by how fast gardeners are snapping them up.
8. Show Me How: In the year of the woman, we’re seeing a surge of interest by these gardeners (especially millennials and social media savvy first-time home buyers) in taking back their power and engaging, in record numbers, the one-on-one services of coaches to teach how-to’s from pruning and planting to chain saws and composting. Gardening classes and Master Gardening programs are also posting sold out signs.
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Founded in 1926, Monrovia, the nation’s most valued premium consumer brand and resource in the gardening industry, was established to enhance the beauty and value of the North American landscape. Holding over 300 patents worldwide, Monrovia’s innovation continues today growing more than 4,000 plant varieties. Monrovia’s home office resides in Azusa, CA with four active nurseries located in Visalia, CA, Dayton, OR, Cairo, GA, and Granby, CT. The Monrovia brand can be found online and nationwide at re-wholesalers, leading independent garden centers, and Lowe’s® home improvement centers. For more information, please visit www.monrovia.com