Jan 11th, 2016

Gardening Trends for 2016

Gardening trends include taking mobile devices into the garden as technology resources.

2016’s top trends for wellness call for being in sync with nature. Photo: 2016 Garden Trends Report

Some things never change, but gardening trends certainly do. Following are predictions for the New Year’s trends, according to retailers and the “2016 Garden Trends Report.”

Synced to nature. With mobile devices bridging the gap between indoor technologies and outdoor opportunities, people can stay “plugged in” while venturing outside to work, garden or play. Newly released high-tech programs and apps provide at-your-fingertips gardening resources. They also connect gardeners for info sharing, photo posting and green-thumb encouraging.

Container plants are being used indoors to support welltality.

The trend of using more indoor plants offers health benefits, as well as aesthetics. Photo: 2016 Garden Trends Report


Welltality. Maximizing wellness through horticulture is more than a concept, now it’s a reality. More and more, people are putting their heath first at home and work, on vacation and at the grocery. The garden-to-table movement and organic growing methods remain high priorities in the quest for optimal health, as do plant-your-own wholesome fruits and vegetables. Welltality is impacting interior environments, too. Retailers anticipate an increased interest in indoor plants for homes and public spaces, such as restaurants and hotels. Container plants, plant walls and even indoor forests in larger spaces are being set out for oxygen production. Experts tout that the indoor greenery also helps improve moods and concentration, promote healing and create a healthy ambiance. Incidentally, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is offering a container gardening workshop this spring. In fact, registration is now open for all our early spring classes.

Backyard boldness. Forget boring patios, formal container plantings and tame landscapes − now things of the past! Customized backyards are sporting more vitality and more luxuries, such as themed-to-the-max party areas, family-and-friend game zones and even comfy daybeds that swing from trees. High-tech outdoor sound systems and specialty lighting create whimsical nightscapes for after-hours enjoyment. Ginormous outdoor movie screens foster community, and all combine to transform the backyard into a destination.

A pet trend is dog parks customized for exercise, play and overall wellbeing.

Trends growing among pet owners are chemical-free dogscapes and designated doggie parks to help ensure pet safety and well-being. Photo: 2016 Garden Trends Report

Dogscaping. With one in three dogs getting cancer each year, pet owners are joining parents in the quest for environmentally safe backyards, free of chemicals and poisonous plants. Specially designed doggie parks and trails continue springing up in neighborhoods and city centers so pets can safely exercise and socialize. Only the best for man’s best friend!

Precious resource. In the quest to save water, professional landscapers and homeowners continue experimenting with ways to garden and landscape with less reliance on water. Don’t be surprised to see more informal landscaping, as well as increased use of sedum, cacti and other drought-tolerant plants. Water-wise tips for this area are provided by Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.

Trends for growing hops connect gardening with backyard brewing. Photo by Grace Chapman Elton

MIY (make it yourself) gardeners relish the process as much as the end product, such as growing hops for backyard brewing.

DIY facelift. Expanding from “doing” to “making,” the children of yuppies and hipsters engage in more hands-on nature projects, such as growing hops for backyard brewing and experimenting with natural dyes from fruits and vegetables. They take pleasure not only from the results, but also the process itself.

Editor’s Note: This article first published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch in January 2016.

About Lynn Kirk

Lynn Kirk, a freelance writer and marketing consultant, has collaborated with Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden since 2002. She considers it a joy and privilege to write newspaper articles and member newsletters for such a top-rated (and utterly gorgeous!) public garden.

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