What’s Most Popular On Google — Flowers Or Produce?

What’s Most Popular On Google — Flowers Or Produce?

New Vegetables vs Flowers FEATUREUsing Google Trends, we took a look at how garden-related terms have rose and fallen in popularity since 2004, and which terms are on the rise. There are some interesting trends to be found.

Before diving into our results, you should know a bit about Google Trends. If you get the chance, spend some time on the site.  You can plug in any phrase you’d like, and it will let you know how it has performed as a search term since 2004. It’s a type of consumer research that involves millions of people, something small business would never have access to normally. Despite this big positive, your research is limited to search terms. There’s no motivations, income levels, or other types of demographics to glean, save for the locations the searches originated from.


Google Trends prefers to use big numbers for its graphs. That means it will return an error if you get too specific. For example, I put in the term “ideas for the garden.” While it returned a graph, all the secondary information was missing. But when I changed the search to “garden ideas,” then Google Trends was happy and shared all sorts of information with me.

One final note before looking at our findings. Each graph has steep peaks and valleys, with the sole exception of the term “growing food.” Not surprisingly, those peaks show the search terms in April or May, while the low points are December or January.

Now to our results!

Gardening Vs. Landscaping

U.S. landscaping vs gardening on Google

When Dr. Bridget Behe of Michigan State, Dr. Susan Hogan, who was with Emory University at the at the time, and I first started researching how consumers under 50 view gardening and garden stores, we very quickly learned garden retail had a name problem. Our focus groups told us they disliked gardening, but thought landscaping was appealing. And this graph seems to bolster that finding. Consumers are much more likely to search for “landscaping” than for “gardening.”

Terms most commonly searched for while also searching for “gardening”

  1. organic gardening, 100%
  2. vegetable gardening, 95%
  3. container gardening, 85%
  4. square foot gardening, 80%
  5. home gardening, 65%
  6. gardening tips, 55%
  7. gardening tools, 45%
  8. gardening ideas, 45%
  9. gardening supplies, 40%
  10. indoor gardening, 35%

Related terms that are seeing the most growth

  1. square foot gardening, 350%
  2. raised bed gardening, 180%
  3. urban gardening, 170%
  4. hydroponic gardening, 160%
  5. gardening ideas, 140%
  6. home depot gardening, 120%
  7. gardening store, 100%
  8. green gardening, 80%
  9. vegetable gardening, 80%
  10. container gardening, 60%

Terms most commonly searched for while also searching for “landscaping”

  1. landscaping ideas, 100%
  2. landscape, 90%
  3. yard landscaping, 40%
  4. landscaping design, 35%
  5. home landscaping, 30%
  6. garden landscaping, 30%
  7. landscaping rock, 25%
  8. backyard landscaping, 25%
  9. landscaping plants, 25%
  10. landscaping companies, 20%

Related terms that are seeing the most growth

  1. front yard landscaping, 200%
  2. backyard ideas, 170%
  3. backyard landscaping ideas, 150%
  4. landscaping companies, 60%
  5. landscaping jobs, 60%
  6. mulch, 60%
  7. landscaping services, 50%
  8. valley landscaping, 50%
  9. yard landscaping, 50%
  10. landscaping rocks, 40%

Vegetable Garden Vs. Flower Garden

U.S. Flower garden vs vegetable garden on google

As you can see, the term “flower garden” has began falling as a popular search term in 2006, but leveled out around 2009, and has held somewhat steady. “Vegetable garden” trended the opposite direction, peaking in 2009. Interestingly, although it has become more popular than “flower garden” in April and May in the years since 2009, it has an almost identical pattern the rest of each year.

Terms most commonly searched for while also searching for “flower garden.”

  1. flower and garden, 100
  2. garden flowers, 50
  3. the flower garden, 45
  4. how to garden, 30
  5. garden ideas, 25
  6. flower garden ideas, 25
  7. flower gardens, 20
  8. flower bed, 20
  9. epcot, 15
  10. flower beds, 10

Related terms that are seeing the most growth

  1. garden ideas, 300%
  2. flower garden ideas, 250%
  3. how to garden, 250%
  4. flower bed, 180%
  5. flower beds, 170%
  6. the flower garden, 170%
  7. flower and garden, 80%
  8. garden flowers, 50%
  9. garden design, 40%

Terms most commonly searched for while also searching for “vegetable garden.”

  1. how to garden, 100
  2. raised vegetable garden, 50
  3. vegetable gardening, 45
  4. gardening, 45
  5. the vegetable garden, 45
  6. garden vegetables, 40
  7. vegetable garden plants, 35
  8. garden plants, 35
  9. vegetable garden soil, 30
  10. vegetable gardens, 25

Related terms that are seeing the most growth

  1. garden layout, 300%
  2. raised bed garden, 300%
  3. how to garden, 250%
  4. raised vegetable garden, 200%
  5. vegetable garden layout, 190%
  6. vegetable garden plants, 190%
  7. garden plants, 180%
  8. vegetable garden soil, 180%
  9. organic vegetable garden, 170%
  10. the vegetable garden  150%

Growing Different Types Of Gardens

U.S. growing search with different adjectives

Next we took a look at how a more active terms compare. We looked at “growing flowers” (blue line), “growing food” (red line), “growing vegetables” (yellow line), and “growing herbs.”

There’s a lot to unpack here. The first thing that pops out is how different the “growing food” searches look. Growing food garners interest throughout the year, even when other types of growing are not being searched as often. Although “growing vegetables” and “growing herbs” are also growing food, consumers must see a difference in the concepts. Also, the number of people who are searching for “growing food” have been steadily increasing since 2005, and the term is on track to be at its highest in 2016.

In contrast, people have been typing “growing herbs” less often each year since 2004. In May, 2005, “growing herbs” was so close to “growing flowers” at the top of the chart that the two lines merge. This year, it is on track to be searched much less often compared to the other terms.

As in the previous graph, “growing vegetables” surged in 2009, when the recession was at its peak. And it’s remained popular since then, outpacing “growing flowers” through 2013. In the past couple of years, however, growing vegetables has dipped somewhat, and it’s following a similar trajectory so far this year.

“Growing flowers” has held consistent attention over the years since 2004, even though it is not as popular a search term as it was in 2004 and 2005.

Overall, it looks like consumers are increasingly interested in how their food is grown and are maintaining an interest in flowers, interests that seem to be less tied to frugality, since neither seemed to be impacted by teh great recession the way growing vegetables was. As the economy improves, interesting in growing vegetables is softening, although it is still a highly popular search term.

Terms related to “growing flowers” that are seeing the most growth

  1. low growing flowers, 300%
  2. perennial flowers, 250%
  3. fast growing flowers, 150%
  4. growing flowers indoors, 150%
  5. shade flowers, 150%
  6. garden flowers, 130%
  7. sun flowers, 110%
  8. growing plants, 60%

Terms related to “growing food” that are seeing the most growth

  1. growing food indoors, 180%
  2. growing home 160%
  3. growing gardens, 70%
  4. plant food, 40%


Terms related to “growing vegetables” that are seeing the most growth

  1. growing a garden, 300%
  2. planting vegetables, 100%
  3. growing herbs, 80%
  4. growing vegetables indoors, 80%
  5. garden vegetables, 70%
  6. growing tomatoes, 60%
  7. shade vegetables, 60%
  8. winter vegetables, 60%
  9. gardening vegetables, 40%


Terms related to “growing herbs” that are seeing the most growth

  1. herbs to grow, 600%
  2. herbs in pots, 400%
  3. growing herbs indoors, 300%
  4. growing vegetables, 300%
  5. planting herbs, 250%
  6. grow herbs indoors, 200%
  7. garden herbs, 170%
  8. growing basil, 110%