We have a role to play

Gardening for a changing climate and healthier communities is a key trend presenting a role for us with lots of opportunity


January often brings promises of New Year resolutions, especially anything to do with health and well-being. Every lifestyle and gardening platform talks about latest trends and how these will benefit us if we focus on them. It’s wonderful for us in the industry to have the linkage between well-being and gardening so top of mind, but do we capitalise on it?

Coupled with this, world leaders have been talking in Davos about safeguarding the planet.
Trends reports from the likes of Garden Media and other industry bloggers talk about reconnecting with the natural world and how banding together could be the best defence to protect the earth.
Nature (including gardening) has become our oasis to de-stress. Gardening gives us peace and purpose while world events effect change on our daily habits.

In the US people are spending more money on lawn, garden plants and associated products than ever before. It’s reported household expenditure on outdoor living is up nearly $100 over the previous year setting a record $47.8 billion in retail sales. Millennials make up 29% of all gardening households.

Our industry is habit changing, having the ability to engender a healthy lifestyle at a personal level and little by little a healthy community and healthy planet.

Garden retailers have a huge role to play but it means looking beyond the boundaries of our garden centres; keeping up with change, gathering information; learning from other progressive retailers; sourcing product that’s in increasing demand and/or meets the needs of modern living

It’s clear to see this year that gardening for a changing climate and healthier communities is a key trend that we can spearhead by encouraging customers to 

  • plant the right plants for the conditions in their garden rather than continually using sprinklers
  • Collect and store excess water.
  • explore a looser style of gardening to support wildlife and the survival of species on the path to being considered endangered.
  • be aware of new trends in plants – bee and pollinator friendly, dwarf versions of popular plants, patio fruits, plants with distinctive shaped and colour foliage; edible flowers and foragers herbs.
  • Use solar lighting for security, safety and ambience
  • Use eco friendly garden products. Every country is encouraging citizens to ditch the plastic and use recyclable materials

There is nothing in the above list that should defeat even the smallest garden centres.
The move towards smaller houses continues. Vertical gardens will continue to be popular. Table top planters and terrariums are taking house plants to exciting new levels
Interior trends will continue to creep outdoors – lush leaves and splashes of colour, fun and colourful foliage; stunning planter designs

In our own organisations lets try exploring all of these. Lets train and delegate so we can present latest garden practices and new ideas to enable customers to realise healthy lifestyles and do their bit to protect our world. After-all it’s in our interest.

Source products, prepare signage, plan workshops, build displays, create ideas for container gardening; write our newsletters, plan Kids activities; getting onto facebook and Instagram. 

Be ready with enthusiasm, customers should easily see you’re up with the game when they enter the garden centre.

- Joy Lamb