A Promising Year For Gardeners
By Teresa Woodard
Goodbye, 2020, and hello 2021! Thankfully, the new year is shaping up to be a bright one for the gardening world. Here are a few highlights of what’s to come.
Experts report more than 20 million new growers took up their trowels in response to the pandemic. The nation went from 42 million gardeners to 63 million in the past year. And following the Black Lives Matter movement, the green industry is working to become more supportive and inclusive. Check out Black Girls With Gardens and Walter Hood’s new book, Black Landscapes Matter.
Public gardens are reporting record attendance figures with as much as a 300 percent boost in a pandemic year. Luckily, more public gardens are slated to open in 2021. Head to Detroit to see the Oudolf Garden Detroit opening this summer at Belle Isle. Last August, more than 26,000 plants were installed on the 2.6-acre site designed by internationally renowned Piet Oudolf in front of the Anne Scripps Witcomb Conservatory. Visit Waterfront Botanical Gardens, a 23-acre urban garden being developed on a former landfill along the Ohio River in downtown Louisville. The visitor center, its surrounding gardens and Beargrass Creek Pathway are now open. Future plans include a Japanese garden, children’s garden, biopond, pollinator meadow and conservatory. Also, plan a trip to Kingwood Center, a historic garden in Mansfield, Ohio, to see the new visitor center and Gateway Gardens by Austin Eischeid, an Oudolf protege. While the matrix planting will take three years to reach its full potential, the new garden should be quite lovely by June.
More Garden Content
The green industry has stepped up to provide stay-at-home gardeners with more online content.
Free of charge, I virtually toured English gardens through the UK’s National Garden Scheme, learned from garden masters at Garden Master Class Weekly Garden Chats and heard from new book authors at the Garden Conservancy’s Literary Series.
Every 17 years, a large brood of cicadas emerge in the Midwest and make big buzz – reaching up to 100 decibels — for five to six weeks. The brood will return this year in May. While there’s no need to spray chemicals, you may want to cover or delay planting new fruit trees this year. The stems are vulnerable spots for cicadas’ egg laying. In 2021, also be on the lookout for spotted lanternflies and viburnum leaf beetles.
More New Plants
Gardeners will find new plants at the garden center this spring. A few favorites include:
- Better Boxwoods: NewGen™ boxwoods are promising higher resistance to boxwood blight and leafminers. In addition, Gem Box® inkberry holly by Proven Winners is a tougher native alternative to boxwood.
- No-So-Basic Houseplants: No more simple snakeplants and pothos. This year’s houseplant darlings include tropical calatheas, sculptural mangaves and bold alocasias.
- Super Veggies: Pack more nutrients and flavor in your garden crops with smart seed selections and soil amendments. See this article and video for more tips.
- Color-Charged Annuals: Consumers can add instant eye candy to their landscapes with brilliant new annuals like Marvel II pom-pom marigolds, Double Delight begonias, Roller Coaster impatiens and Surprise Sparkle petunias.
- Pollinator Favorites: The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden trials pollinator plants each year and posts its favorite annuals, perennials and shrubs.
For more pandemic trends, see our post on trend-spotting from the green industry’s trade show –Cultivate 2020.