Find Bliss by Channeling Forces of Nature
Garden Media, a top home and gardening marketing and public relations company, recently released its 2013-2014 garden trends report which spots a positive trend revealing people are searching ways to be happy. According to the report, people are re-evaluating values, re-defining “happiness” and re-considering how gardening and caring for Mother Nature bring joy and satisfaction.
“People today are searching for ways to find bliss in everyday life. Being in nature – either in a garden or park or filling your home with indoor plants – adds immeasurable happiness and wellness to our lives. Connecting with nature is a necessity, not a luxury,” says garden trendspotter Susan McCoy, president of Garden Media.
Global trends expert Li Edelkoort agrees. When looking at the future of fashion and home décor, she explains the ‘Year of Bliss’ takes its cue from nature, finding expression in bright colors, nature inspired products and tactile experiences. She notes as a society we’re slowing down, seeking authenticity and well-being, and tuning into “now.”
“A shift is happening,” explains McCoy. “People are voting with their wallets, and the winning brands are the ones that enhance lives and give back to communities.”
Eric Liskey, Deputy Garden Editor of Better Homes and Gardens, says people are using a more modest, down-to-earth aesthetic in their landscape and gardens. “People are being more thoughtful in their purchases and are buying higher quality plants and garden products that perform and last.”
Looking ahead, Garden Media sees 12 influences or “forces of nature” shaping the lifestyle choices people are making for their homes, gardens and landscapes.
1. Lifestyle Forces
A big shift in where we are living. New “home pioneers” are influencing urban planning and “re-suburbia” with easy access to services, connectivity, self-sufficiency and sustainable lifestyles.
We want to know where our food comes from. So much so that foraging – going out into the wild and finding food – is becoming a lifestyle choice and even a restaurant movement
Foodies will find low-maintenance, small fruit shrubs and herbs offer easy pickin’s next spring, and a foraging experience right in the backyard or from a patio container.
2. Wellness Forces
Health and wellness are the #1 reason people select the products they buy, according to the international research group TrendWatching, and herbs are topping the list in the edibles category.
According to the 2012 GWA Summer Garden Trends Survey backyard vegetable gardening has dropped from 43% to 38% since last year, but people are continuing to grow herbs. The popular blog Garden Rant has predicted herbs will be “the next hot edibles”.
An uptick in demand for medicinal herbs supports this wellness trend, according to herb expert and farmer Briscoe White of The Growers Exchange www.thegrowers-exchange.com. “We’ve seen an increase in the usage of bergamot, chamomile and comfrey as well as other more unusual culinary herbs.”
3. eCono Forces
Suburban homes are getting smaller. Young professionals and retirees are moving back into the city as we enter a new age of greener urbanization. Beautiful landscapes and gardens are valuable assets that increase property values and home sales, and help drive local economies.
4. Color Forces
From bright metallic, energizing blues and shades of green, colors mimic nature and in turn, evoke positive emotions. Pantone’s palette for 2013 forecasts a wide range of bright cheerful colors. Bright metallics in gold and silver coupled with neutral browns and grays lend an upbeat look in garden accessories.
5. Natural Forces
eco-friendly and non-toxic yet effective traps and lures to catch pesky insects and caring animal control solutions to repel and trap wildlife and annoying pets.From eco-scaping to native plants, there is a need for natural ways to conserve. Additionally, solutions for weed and pest control that are safe for the environment, people, and pets are in high demand. People are turning to
A landscaping trend spotted by the Association of Professional Landscape Designers incorporates sustainable design practices and elements for natural lawn and garden solutions. Nature inspired plants and garden products reflect the move toward “naturing.”
“Designing landscapes that incorporate elements like rocks, natural stone walls, and water, along with plants that provide color, texture, and ease enhance natural contours and provide a tranquil backyard retreat,” says Susan Olinger, president, Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD).
6. Ground Forces
From plant-based clothes and jewelry to growing plants in soils good for the earth, people are purchasing products that go beyond sustainable and instead, boost and heal Mother Nature. People are learning the importance of healthy soil and what goes into it. They consciously are selecting organic solutions and becoming better stewards of the earth.
7. Air Forces
Air plants are the new terrariums and are popping up in fashion and interior décor. These little pieces of living art are taking center stage in homes, offices, and schools. And, naturally, plants purify the air we breathe of indoor toxins.
8. Aqua Forces
“Waterprint” is the new “carbon footprint.” The need to reduce water consumption is driving the demand for drought tolerant plants, including succulents, ornamental grasses, and natives. Fountains and ponds are getting smaller and the use of rain gardens, rainwater/graywater harvesting, and drip and water efficient irrigation is on the rise.
9. Light Forces
White plants give a luminous reflection at night in gardens. Light features that blend low energy and create a ’wow’ effect like up-lighting, down-lighting and solar powered lighting allow people to extend their time outdoors when the sun goes down.
10. Inner Forces
Our need to connect with nature is inspiring a variety of green interiorscapes such as living green walls. Live indoor houseplants add instant green beauty, freshen spaces, reduce stress, speed healing, lower blood pressure, and bring peace of mind. Being “in nature” promotes healing and increases concentration.
“Indoor plants like peace lilies, palms and orchids scrub the air clean of toxins so we can breathe healthier. Plus year-round beauty brightens any space,” says Marta Maria Garcia, marketing director from Costa Farms®, who initiated O2forYou.org, a public service campaign designed to educate people on the health benefits of plants.
11. Micro Forces
Anything tiny is flying off the shelves, plus they make great gifts. The growing demand for miniature containers and plants, like mini cacti, succulents, and lucky bamboo in 2-inch pots are fun and foolproof. Miniature gardens and mini meditation gardens are springing up and encourage interaction and conversation among family and friends.
12. Shared Forces
The new shareable economy is giving rise to an emerging collaborative 21st century lifestyle. From sharing sustainable living spaces to plant swaps, this cultural shift is gaining steam.
Community gardens, CSA’s and Farmers Markets are becoming the new grocery stores where people go for fresh produce and good company. “The new movement of sharing yards, tasks, and bounty is totally grassroots with neighborhoods creating a sense of community,” says Liskey.
McCoy says anyone can channel the forces of nature to find happiness in the garden. She suggests turning gardening tasks, like weeding and watering, into a Zen experience, creating a backyard retreat that offers a place of serenity and bliss and filling the home and office with live plants. “Nature has given us the tools to find happiness in ordinary living things,” she says.