Trade Show Reveals New Plants and Gardening’s Future
By Teresa Woodard
If there’s a silver lining to COVID for the green industry, it’s the 16 million new gardeners that discovered plants during the stay-at-home orders. At last month’s Cultivate virtual show for horticulture pros, Heartland Gardening got a sneak peek at trends from the Garden Trends Report 2020 and preview of new plants to entice both new and long-time gardeners.
- New plants: Plant breeders continue to find ways to make plants tougher, more compact for smaller spaces and more varied in colors. Standouts include coneflowers (Sombrero® and Artisan™ series) in new ombre sunset hues, larger Marvel II™ African marigolds, dwarf Fire Light Tidbit™ panicle hydrangeas (2-3’), a new ‘Primavera’ Spanish lavender, Zesty zinnias and Whispurr™ catmints. Wave petunias celebrates their 25thyear with new Shock Wave® Purple Tie Dye and Pink Passion cultivars.
- Mini Houseplants: While houseplants remain hot, collectors are running out of space to grow them. The solution . . . focus on mini houseplants to squeeze more plants in tighter spaces. Look for String of Pearls succulents or mini African violets.
- Community gardening: In 2020, the power of collective action has never been stronger whether protesting #BlackLivesMatter or wearing face masks to flatten the COVID curve. Community gardens also appreciate collectivity of attracting diverse groups to sustain neighbors with fresh food, plus build community. Check out how in this New York Times piece covering ways community gardens are adapting with social distancing.
- Growing food: Victory gardens are making a comeback amid fears of food shortages just like those inspired by WWII food rations. No doubt this spring, seed companies saw a spike in vegetable seed sales and sold out of many varieties.
- Embracing nature: During lock-down, the outdoors has been one place people can still go. Instead of working out at the gym, neighbors met to walk or run at social distances. Visitors flocked to hike at local, state and national parks. Others took on backyard projects and embraced outdoor hobbies like bird watching and gardening. This renewed interest in nature is spilling over into more pollinator gardens and abundant landscapes to support wildlife.