Michael Geary, CEO and president of AmericanHort, hit the road during California Spring Trials and noted trends he saw at many of the stops. Here’s one that he says we’ll need to consider carefully.
California Spring Trials is one of the events growers and retailers attend to get an early look at trends and consumer preferences. Some years it’s a new color and sometimes it’s inspiration for mixed containers. This year, it’s apparent the trend is something that will be with us for a long time: plants grown for water usage restrictions.
While California is currently in the news for its statewide water policies, let’s not forget that many states/provinces and municipalities promulgate restrictions and guidelines due to short-term concerns. I think these actions are leading consumers to a greater understanding of, and therefore preferences for, landscapes that require less water (and other inputs). In fact, labeling plants as “drought tolerant” may not be the right strategy. The majority of the U.S. and Canada isn’t experiencing drought conditions, so perhaps we are limiting our perspective and the market.
We can be leaders by encouraging sustainable practices, especially for the younger generations. Now that’s a great trend!