Landscape & Irrigation

January/February 2016

Landscape and Irrigation is read by decision makers throughout the landscape and irrigation markets — including contractors, landscape architects, professional grounds managers, and irrigation and water mgmt companies and reaches the entire spetrum.

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Whether it's syncing to the Cloud, sinking toes in the grass, or sync- ing plants with local ecosystems to support wildlife, people want to get back in sync with nature. Garden Media Group's annual Garden Trends Report for 2016 finds people are interacting with Mother Nature, both in an au natu- ral way — camping, hiking and gardening — and in a connected state using technology, to create a more personalized experience. "It's time for the industry to fully embrace technology and all it can do for the garden," said Susan McCoy, president of Garden Me- dia. "The more consumers learn about nature, the more they will grow to love and care about it." These advances allow younger people with little gardening ex- perience to get their hands dirty, knowing they have the support of their electronic devices if needed. Millennials aren't the only ones affected by this revolution. "These initiatives encourage all demographics, young and old, to 're- wild' and reconnect with nature," said McCoy. Garden Media's 2016 Garden Trends Report identifies eight trends that work together to highlight consumers' true personalities. Here are five major landscape trends that will resonate with consumers in 2016. BACKYARD BOLDNESS Consumers are saying goodbye to minimalist décor and hello to bright lights and bold colors. Trend-setting lawn and landscape companies are taking a bolder approach to outdoor living, using fluorescent lighting and LED products to add a sense of whimsical- ity to environments. "Homeowners are moving away from subtle, discreet aesthetics toward designs that heighten sensory appeal," said McCoy. "Design- ers are transforming porch swings and swimming pools with LED lights to create a striking glow at night." Additionally, backyards are serving as family nature centers where parents can teach children about the environment. "There are so many benefits of getting children outside and in the garden," said McCoy. "What better way to get them outdoors than by appealing to their sense of wonder with bright lights and bold colors?" This year, the outdoors returns as a destination. People are making memories, seeking adventures and having fun in their backyards. By embracing the rising trend of backyard boldness, companies can help their customers create beautiful gardens while making memories. PETSCAPING Pets run through the lawn, roll in it, dig in it and often eat it — so it's no wonder that pet parents are thinking more and more about how to make their lawn and gardens safe. Dogs love to roll in the grass and cats love to dig in gardens. The petscaping trend puts paws in focus and aims to create a safe space for animals to run freely in the yard. A survey by the Philadelphia Flower Show and Subaru found a direct correlation between pet owners and gardeners. Pet owners spend about $60 billion dollars on their pets each year, second only to Christmas spending. Programs like Espoma's Safe Paws helps pet parents make the switch from chemical to organic lawns. Other petscaping tech- niques include using non-toxic and pet-safe mulch, mending fences, and protecting pets from pools, ponds and fire pits. Truly dedicated cat lovers are installing elaborate "catios" for their cats to have sun and fun. LAYERED LANDSCAPES A grass roots gardening movement is just beginning, and with it, a relaxed look and feel when it comes to garden design. Living land- scapes ensure every plant serves a purpose in supporting local, natu- ral ecosystems, pollinators and other wildlife. Syncing with Nature in 2016 INDUSTRY INSIGHTS 8 January/February 2016 Landscape and Irrigation Garden Media Group's annual Garden Trends Report finds consumers seeking small changes in landscaping that make a big impact ALL PHOTOS PROVIDED BY GARDEN MEDIA GROUP

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