Bugs, Biophilia and Boldness
By Teresa Woodard
Hello, 2016! At Heartland Gardening, we ring in the new year with a trends round-up including some highlights from this week’s CENTS convention (Central Environmental Nursery Tradeshow) at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in downtown Columbus.
· Embracing bugs – Today, more than ever, gardeners are appreciating insects’ important roles not just as pollinators but also as decomposers and predators to manage insect populations. They’re adding plants to attract beneficial bugs and rethinking pesticide practices that can harm them. According to Bug Lady Suzanne Wainwright-Evans, beneficial bugs bring a $4.5 billion value to the green industry. She shared a link to helpful plant lists from Penn State’s pollinator trial gardens.
· Designing biophilic – Economist Charlie Hall says biophilic design is today’s hottest architectural trend. Architects and landscape designers are adopting biophilic design elements to bring nature’s healing qualities to today’s homes and landscapes. Think green roofs, green walls, natural lighting, water features and green infrastructure.
· Changing demographics – Hall also says two changing demographic groups – Millennials (ages 18-34) and Baby Boomers (ages 51-69) will offer opportunities for the green industry. As the Millennials begin to buy homes, they will be adding landscapes, and as Baby Boomers age they will demand more landscape services to maintain their properties.
· Growing edibles – More and more nurseries are jumping on the edibles trend, so consumers will have even more options at their local garden centers. At the CENTS show, Debra Knapke presented on “Native Edibles” and said that adding plants that have multiple functions, edibility being one of them, is a way to build functional plant communities.
· Bold backyards — The Garden Media Group reports homeowners are taking a bolder approach to outdoor living. Customization, new lighting and sound options are driving the trend for these ultra-personalized backyards. Homeowners are moving away from subtle, minimalist aesthetics toward designs that heighten sensory appeal. At the CENTS show, we saw bold tropicals, striking succulents and beautiful porcelain outdoor tiles. In the color palette, orange and sangria continue to be popular colors. Pantone, the global color authority, recently announced its colors of the year for 2016: Rose Quartz and Serenity (muted shades of pink and blue). We’ll have to wait and see how these pale colors play out in the horticulture world in the next season or two.