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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Page 8 of 35 Landscape and Irrigation January/February 2016 9 Doug Tallamy, professor of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware, said people want to create natural wild- life habitats in their yards, adding that every living landscape should start with trees and end with layers of native shrubs and flowers as eyes shift from the tree canopy down. "Creating a dynamic environment from the ground up is key to building a healthy ecosystem," said Tallamy. "Gardeners can main- tain biodiversity in their yards by reducing the amount of lawn, fo- cusing on forming plant communities using the most productive and diverse species." In addition to calling for more native plants, the layered land- scapes trend identifies a shift in consumers' mindsets. As people's passion for preserving the Earth increases, they will see and purchase plants for their function as well as their beauty. CONNECTED GREENERY Connected Greenery people walk, talk and sleep with their phones. Now, individuals are getting plugged in outside and syncing garden habits with technology. People want to be successful with plants without a lot of work or information. To do this, they are turning to technology to help grow plants both indoors and in the garden. Newly enhanced digital tools make gardening more approach- able for younger generations, like millennials, who possess limited gardening knowledge. Modern systems work on the "one home, one app" model. They're focused on ease of use and connectivity in which people can wire- lessly and remotely control what happens in their home and garden. According to McCoy, consumers are merging technology with na- ture, not as a distraction, but as a way to explore, educate and entertain. "Consumers are seeking experiences that enhance their well- being and support their busy lifestyles," she said. "When used to- gether, technology can bring people into nature and connect one to the other." Millennials are not the only generation plugging in and getting outside. Despite popular opinion, people ages 46 to 64 spend more money on technology than any other demographic. And one in five of them now use social media every day, up from one in 10 last year. They see social as a way to get something done — whether that's something at work or staying in touch with gardening peers. PRECIOUS RESOURCES The resources that we depend on to garden, particularly water, are limited and need protection. Precious Resources is a trend where necessity meets innovation. New technologies and plants offer the opportunity to protect and conserve resources with small lifestyle changes that make a dramatic impact on the gardening experience. Gardening with less water will continue to be a top priority in 2016. Being mindful of Earth's precious resources enables companies to foster a new connection with consumers and create a better environ- ment. Companies like Vita Gardens and Costa Farms recognized this trend, and created products with the earth in mind. Vita Gardens' Keyhole Garden uses an ancient African gardening technique of growing in dry conditions. It combines a raised bed with a built-in composter that turns biodegradable scraps into rich soil, saving water, space and time. Costa Farm's new Drop and Grow sedum tiles and the new Des- ert Escape collection of cacti and succulents save both planting time and water. Being in sync with nature is the first step in a healthy and reward- ing lifestyle, according to the report. People have a passion for pre- serving the Earth, and any small improvement in home landscapes can have a big impact. Garden Media Group is a boutique PR and marketing firm special- izing in the home, garden, horticulture, outdoor living, and lawn and landscape industries. The annual Garden Trends Report is one of the most published garden studies in trade and consumer news. For more information, visit Download the complete 2016 Garden Trends Report for free at http://grow.gardenmediagroup. com/2016-garden-trends-report. Stay updated on all the trends for 2016 with Garden Media's "Trending Thursday" weekly GROW! Blog feature at INDUSTRY INSIGHTS LI

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