Kitchen Counter Gardening Leads Garden Media Group’s Annual Trends List

Kitchen Counter Gardening Leads Garden Media Group’s Annual Trends List

basil-growing-indoorsEach year, Garden Media Group, which is owned by Suzi McCoy, gathers the top trends McCoy and her staff think will have an impact on the garden industry.

This year’s list includes several items around healthy living and eating, from gardening indoors year-round, to “forest bathing.”


 1. Kitchen Garden And The Kitchen Counter

Much of the survey looks at how consumers look at food, and how that will be impacting gardening.

First, the GMG team says, millennials want to grow their own food, teas, cocktails, beer, and medicine. The team then quotes a staggering statistic: 5 million of the 6 million new gardeners last year were 19-34 years old, according to the National Gardening Report.

The GMG gang draws the logical conclusion that if people want to grow much of what they consume, that desire does not disappear with the onset of winter. They want to find ways to grow indoors year round.

And that’s where another stats comes in: Growing under lights is forecasted to grow 6.3% each year through 2021.

There are a couple of other significant trends that have an impact on this desire to grow all year long:

  • 66% of parents think children need to be involved in activities centered around healthy food
  • 37% of millennials and 28% of boomers are growing herbs indoors

2. Clean, Healthy Living

The next big trends the group identifies is a demand for clean food, clean water, clean air, clean medicine, and clean environments.

From the examples they give in the Trends Report, that demand stems from a couple different things: a desire for less stress in their lives and a desire for more control.

One trend they spotted for reducing stress is the practice of “forest bathing,” a Japanese practice that involves walks in the woods in an aware state of mind and deep breathing. Think of this as taking yoga on a hike.

The other side of the coin from ridding your life of stress is gaining control. And that is why a trend for “tidy gardens” is developing. Tidy gardening is making sure plants are under your control by not over planting and keeping the design clean and simple.

Frankly, that particular trend will likely be a short-lived one, considering the studies that show that consumers are intimidated by plants. So trying to create a design that will be tidy on top of learning how to care for plants is not enough of a pay off to consumers to make it last.

But the need for control was expressed in two more trends that promise to have much more longevity. First is “clean” gardening. This is about controlling the types of chemicals your family and pets may be exposed to. And non-toxic gardening has the added bonus of being gentle to the environment.

Then there’s the scare about mosquito-born diseases like Zika. Homeowners want to reduce the pests in their yards, but also keep pollinators healthy. The team, therefore, thinks natural mosquito control in the form of bats, birds, lavender oil and other effective essential oils will be huge in 2017.

3. Gold Will Be A Big Color

The first two trends were the main ones, with many sub-trends backing them up. But the team had a couple more trends it thought the industry to know about.

The first is that, “gold is now the ‘metal of the moment.’ Metallic materials and textures have been trending in home décor for years, and 2017 shows them melting into the outdoors as well.”

4. The Uber-izing Of Gardening

And the fourth trend the team identified was that the industry is about to see a sharp increase in gardening subscription service, or to use their metaphor, the Uber-izing of gardening.

Online sales technology is finally becoming more affordable and reliable, which means more retailers will take the leap into e-commerce to meet the existing demand for easy-buying via the internet.

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Great recap of the 2017 Garden Trends, Carol! Thank you!

Angel Miller says:

A small indoor garden under lights is trending up right now. It resonates with millennials and moms, as Carol points out. Miracle Grow has responded to the trend with the “AeroGarden Indoor Kit.,” but Modern Homesteading has a great design that has more options at a more palatable price point. These small table top indoor growing systems don’t take up a lot of space in the home, which appeals to customer, but is also great for garden centers with limited retail space. As this new idea rises in popularity, it may well bring in new customers during the cold months.

Ethan says:

Awesome to see this list and trends together, thanks for sharing!

Not too sure the “Uber-izing of Gardening” really is accurate though. Uber is not a monthly subscription service as the report talks about, but rather an on-demand service. Though when they talk about it being more than delivery, but about the experience too, I think that is very true. Curious about anyone’s thoughts on how gardening subscription services work when combined with seasons always changing?

Suzi McCoy says:

Ethan, you are correct that we stretched the term “uber-izing” from an on demand service to an experience. Here are some ideas: Think of how a garden center of garden consultant could have a “subscription service” to change out a customer’s garden and containers for the four seasons, putting in warm and cool weather crops; decorating the outdoors for the holidays; starting and maintaining a veggie garden through several harvests; maintaining an indoor growing system for 365 days of clean eating. You could offer an indoor plant of the month. The possibilities are there.
Suzi McCoy

Suzi McCoy says:

Carol, excellent analysis of Garden Media’s 2017 Garden Trends Report. You really captured what we are seeing and expressed it clearly.