Top Garden Trends for the 21st Century

It's all about bees, compost and orchids, orchids, orchids!

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Thanks to Pantone naming Radiant Orchid the color of the year, orchids are getting lots of attention these days. This year, more people will start growing orchids and incorporating their delicate patterns into outdoor décor. 

The Buzz

Bees will continue to create buzz in the gardening industry this year. "Bees are at the forefront of environmentally-aware consumers' minds," says Suzi McCoy, trend spotter and founder of Garden Media Group in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. "(To preserve them), people are inspired to plant native, pollen-rich flowers, trees and veggies to provide safe shelters." 

Radiant Orchid

Goodbye emerald, hello Radiant Orchid. Inspired by the fragile flower, Pantone named Radiant Orchid the color of the year. Expect to see it in everything from garden gloves to the tabletop. "An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health," says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.  

Houseplants Are Hot

Houseplants are the new puppy—and let's face it, they're a lot less maintenance. "Plants make us smarter, more productive and less stressed," McCoy says. Expect to see them being a bigger part of design inside and out. 

Food Frenzy

If you like it, you can grow it. "Edibles are going to the next level with foodies growing everything from quinoa to dandelions in straw bales and keyhole gardens," McCoy says.

One, Two, Tree

Published in 1971, Dr. Seuss' book The Lorax warned readers what happens when we don't take care of our trees. Today, "America is losing more than four million urban trees a year, taking their environmental, economical and emotional benefits with them," McCoy says. "Plant a tree or care for the ones around you." It's like Seuss said: "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." 


A mash-up of cultivating and culture, cultur-vating "takes local to the next level," McCoy says. "People are growing the world in their gardens, but embracing what's native to their region." Southern style will be a big trend this year, from ferns on the front porch to the table and beyond. Get your okra seeds ready!  

Drink Your Garden

According to McCoy, "balance" is the word of the year. "People are determined to be happy, healthy and thoughtful in their actions," she says. That includes making smoothies, juices and cocktails with fruits and vegetables straight from the garden. 

Virtual Gardening

Technology can't simulate a true connection with nature, but it can still do a lot of cool stuff. This year, garden apps will continue to let your fingers put a plan in place before they start digging in the dirt. 

Wild At Heart

"Neat, clean lines are out," McCoy says of landscape design. "Explosions of color and fractional shapes like triangles, circles and squares dominate design." 

The New Recycling

"Recycling food scraps and creating compost is the new recycling," McCoy says.

Oh Man!

Women, especially mothers, are considered to be the household spenders, but garden-savvy guys are taking over that territory. "Young men 18-34 are spending $100 more than the average gardener," McCoy says. "They are grilling, growing their own hops for beer and taking the kids out to play in the dirt." 

Decor Details

McCoy says worldwide spending on gardening and outdoor living is on track to reach $220 billion a year by 2016. "People want their outdoor space to look beautiful, but want to invest their time and money into high-quality, eco-friendly products with a smaller carbon footprint." 

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