A natural approach
Indoor gardens and clean technology among trends for 2017
THE Garden Media Group is a US-based organisation that researches global consumer trends from home design to fashion, and then produces an annual Garden Trends Report that predicts what will be big in the year ahead.
According to the report for 2017, indoor gardening will continue to blossom, and will be supported by clever, clean technology such as hydroponics, aquaponics and lighting in systems that are specifically designed to make it easy to grow herbs and vegetables indoors at home. Photos I’ve seen of these systems look really quite lovely, in a space-agey kind of a way.
Wellness is another theme, and the report predicts an increased awareness of the health benefits of time spent in natural settings, the importance of trees in urban environments, and the positive effects of having plants in workplaces. “Forest bathing” is a term I hadn’t come across before reading this report. It originated in Japan in the 1980s and is all about the benefits to health and well-being that are gained by spending time immersed in the natural environment. It will be “a thing” for urban dwellers in particular.
A rise in “Tidy Gardens” is another prediction. This doesn’t necessarily mean clipped hedges and topiaries. It’s about using good design to define garden spaces, removing clutter, getting rid of poorly performing plants, and also using a reduced palette of plants and other landscaping materials in gardens to create a more harmonious effect.
The “Clean Food” trend will see people becoming even more concerned about the origins of the food that they eat. Synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers will continue to give ground to natural alternatives.
As living spaces become smaller, dwarf varieties of plants, including fruit trees, will continue to gain popularity. For container gardens, a single large pot containing multiple plants will replace the collections of individual plants in smaller pots. The beautiful large lightweight pots now available will help this, as large pots are no longer impossibly heavy.
Natural insect control is another predicted emerging theme. Gardens will contain plants that attract beneficial insects and help to repel undesirable ones. Nesting boxes for birds, insects and insectivorous bats will be more widely used.
Gardening is never boring, but, having read this report, I can’t wait to see how it unfolds in 2017.