Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Home Magazine Restoring balance in life and the garden

Restoring balance in life and the garden

Features - Cover Feature: Winter Planning Guide

Exclusive to Lawn & Landscape, Garden Media Group unveils top lifestyle and garden trends for 2014.

Lawn & Landscape Staff | December 4, 2013

In its 13th Garden Trends Report, Garden Media Group finds consumers spending more leisure time outdoors, which means more money spent on the land. People are socializing more, hosting garden parties, lawn games and brewing events.

Globally, the 2014 Garden Trends Report finds the gardening and outdoor living market is expected to increase yearly by 3.5 percent through 2016, when it should reach $220 billion. The North American market, which has remained flat at $58 billion, is expected to grow annually at a rate of 1 percent for the next four years.

“2014 is about balance,” says Katie Dubow, creative director for Garden Media. “People understand the serenity the outdoors brings to their lives, but they want that space to provide both a private oasis and a hangout for socializing,” Dubow adds.

Below are some trends for 2014:
 

Dress up your yard.

From decorative throw pillows to fanciful furniture and colorful garden ornamentation, homeowners are putting their personal stamp on their yards.

There is a growing emphasis on using outdoor spaces as extensions of today’s homes, fueled by the social trends of outdoor gatherings for barbeques and lawn parties, according to global industry analysts.

This new emphasis will drive demand for outdoor furniture, planters and other furnishings that can be used out-of-doors.
 

Keep it simple.

Classic elegance in colors and visuals will become a popular attitude of 2014.

Think monochromes or pairing a single color with white for simplicity, whether for plants, pots, outdoor fabrics or furnishings.

This is also achieved with a planting of a single variety for an even more dramatic sense of unity.
 

Close to home.

Taking local to the next level, people are growing the world in their gardens, mixing cultures and embracing what is local to their own region.

As they connect to the history that surrounds them, they are gaining an appreciation for the land, the people, and the culture that have brought their community and region to this point in time.

As they embrace “local” they are willing to improve or enhance their lives with “outside locals” – elements from other cultures that add inspiration or a hint of the exotic.
 

Get crazy.

Neat clean lines are out. Geometry explodes in the outdoor living space in the form of fractional shapes like triangles, circles and squares.

This adds architectural structure to the garden, whether it’s with the structure of the plants themselves, the designs into which they are planted, or the art and accessories that accompany them.
 

Dad’s domain.

Young men are discovering the great outdoors and are grilling, growing and taking their kids out to play in the dirt. Men 18-34 are spending $100 more – $441 annually – on the lawn and garden sector than the average gardener, according to the National Gardening Association 2013 Survey. This demographic is also heavily involved in the brewing and wine making trends, growing their own hops, grains and grapes. They also gravitate towards edibles, like hot peppers, that can be used in grilling.

Young men are also making parenting more of a “guy thing.” With 20 percent of fathers as the primary caregivers of preschoolers and 33 percent regularly caring for their children, according to the U.S. Cenus Bureau in 2011. These fathers are instilling in their children an appreciation for nature and the outdoors at an early age.
 

The buzz.

Bees are at the forefront of environmentally aware consumers’ minds, inspiring them to plant native, pollen-rich flowers, trees and veggies to provide safe shelters.

With more than 85 percent of the planet’s plant species dependent on pollinators for their existence – many of them food crops – the fact that one-third of all honey bee colonies in the country are depleted is of grave concern.

Consumers are taking steps to nurture biodiversity to counter bees’ habitat loss by providing bee shelters in attractive and effective forms. Consumers are also being careful to limit dangerous chemicals and bee habitat destruction.
 

Benefits of trees.

Trees increase property values, save on heating and cooling expenses, reduce stress, foster safer, more sociable neighborhoods and clean the air.

Americans are being asked to plant or care for trees to replenish this loss. Doing so brings together and benefits communities.

These trends offer insight into how consumers will seek to bring balance to their lives through the home and garden segment.

The complete 2014 Garden Media Trends report is available for free download by visiting bit.ly/gmgreport.