Lawn & Garden
Trends come and go in the gardening world.
For example, compact varieties of sunflowers are starting to be sold in pots. Plumbago and knock-out roses, while still can be easily found, are not being pushed as hard anymore. Bulb interest has been decreasing downward for some time.
Beyond specific plants, broad trends can be seen rising and falling.
Landscapes, especially local ones, are being planted with more emphasis on drought tolerance. Native plants are slowly moving beyond specialty nurseries. Perennial plantings are being favored over annual changeable plantings. People are building more outdoor living spaces.
Some trends, like the move towards more drought resistant plants, can be easily predicted.
With more watering restrictions, it makes sense.
Other trends are more difficult to predict.
This hasn’t stopped the compapany “GardenTrends” from releasing their annual predicted trends every year.
This year, they’ve released the following predictions for 2020.
Their first trend they foresee is “greener” cities; cities with more green spaces and plants.
According to GardenTrends, creation of “Central Recreation Districts” have increased greenery to attract people searching for “instagrammable” locations.
Now before you roll your eyes at this (and I don’t blame you), I don’t think this is a new trend for 2020. Is it uncommon for people to take selfies at a vineyard in front of the vines?
What about bluebonnet pictures in the spring?
In Fredericksburg, I’m not certain if people are taking pictures in front of the pretty planters on Main, or in the Marktplatz rose garden during bloom, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were.
I think this is a good trend.
Having more diverse and flowering landscapes can attract not just millennials with cellphones, but be helpful for pollinators too.
GardenTrend’s next prediction was a move towards a more circular economy.
I’m not an economist, but the gist of this trend was a return to times when things were repaired and made to last, unlike our more consumptive society today.
Does anyone else feel guilty when they throw a water bottle away now?
I would like to see more renewable, repairable, reusable and recyclable items considering our current state of affairs.
On a personal level, instead of throwing away your plastic flowerpots, you could reuse them. It’s easy to do, just make sure you sterilize them with a solution of bleach water between plantings.
The next trend they predicted was for more “Green Collar Jobs.”
No, not necessarily the way it’s been phrased politically. It’s the need for more people to go into the horticulture field as a career choice.
When I tell people I work in horticulture, their first thought isn’t usually plants.
Horticulture isn’t one of the more popular agriculture degrees either, because one there isn’t as much money in it as others and plants aren’t moving and breathing like animals, and therefore are less desirable.
As a result, horticulture departments at universities decrease, which means even less people in the horticulture field.
There are efforts being made to encourage people to choose horticulture as a career choice.
Gardentrends suggests alternative educational opportunities, like associate degrees, apprenticeships or certificate programs. One example that comes to mind is the Small Scale Farming Certificate program at Texas Tech Fredericksburg.
I think having more kids involved with plants will help.
Greenhouses on school campuses, garden classes, gardening activities and 4-H gardening programs I hope will help encourage kids to look into horticulture as a career. It worked for me. I wouldn’t have chosen horticulture as a degree if it hadn’t been for one of my high school ag classes. (Thank you Mr. Townsend!)
Other potential “new” jobs that were listed included plant blogger (influencer) which I can understand.
Influencers are basically average people that have social media accounts where they post general information or pictures, but can turn it into a job by advertising and talking about products for companies. The Texas Pecan Industry has already taken advantage of recruiting people such as this in an effort to promote pecans.
The next trend is towards better soil management.
If you’ve been involved in gardening or plants at all, this trend has been building as of recent years.
There is more emphasis on composting, pasture cropping and no-tilling. New is a more “hardcore” organic certification that emphasizes not just the use of organically derived pesticides, but soil health, fair trade, and animal welfare.
Houseplants are continuing to be a trend, especially for my generation.
Who hasn’t seen a cute succulent and felt desire to purchase it? A great many people?
Though I see mine and think, “hmm, maybe I should have watered it a week ago.
Finally, the trending color next year is “indigo blue.”
There aren’t a lot of blue vegetables (blue corn is one of the few), so I suppose blueberries will be more popular?
Maybe more indigo and blue salvias will be featured?
Last year’s trending color was “mint green” and I didn’t notice more mint green than usual.
GardenTrends isn’t the only company that thinks they can predict the future.
Technomic, a foodservice research firm, predicts that there will be a trend towards vegetables with cooler colors (not just blue), as well as increased consumption of more unusual vegetables such as broccoli rabe (sprouting broccoli), kalettes/flower sprouts (mini kale heads), and celutuce. Celutuce is a type of lettuce that you eat the stem, not the leaves.
While this isn’t necessarily a prediction, the National Garden Bureau has proclaimed 2020 the year of corn.
I’m not getting excited about this one, because 2019 was supposed to be the year of the pumpkin, and I didn’t notice a lot of new varieties or any specials on pumpkins.
Corn though is more common, and I’ve already noticed a couple of gardening catalogues highlighting some unusual varieties.
I might just take that bold step and plant some indigo blue corn. The racoons will certainly appreciate it.
Keep your eyes sharp to see if you spot any of these trends in your local farmers market, government councils, or plant nurseries.
If you have any questions about plants, please feel free to email me at Elizabeth.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 830-997-3452.
Elizabeth McMahon is the
Gillespie County Horticulture