The Coastal Gardener: Frugality, 'organic' and other 2010 trends

January 07, 2011|By Ron Vanderhoff
  • Vegetable and edible gardening is the biggest global gardening trend. Dedicating a portion of a garden to food production was a popular decision in 2010.
Vegetable and edible gardening is the biggest global…

As I have for the past five years, it's time to take a look back at the gardening year just completed. Here are the trends, as I saw them, that shaped gardeners and gardens during these past 12 months. If you agree or disagree, let me know. I'd love to hear from you.

The economics of gardening

Just about every man, woman and child has been affected by recent economic issues. Since gardens are, by their very definition, products of the whims of their keepers, they too have been living on reduced budgets and fiscal uncertainty. Annuals got replaced less often, landscape projects got put on hold and gardens, like the gardeners tending them, have almost universally had their belts tightened a bit during the past year.

The edible garden

Kitchen gardening is the biggest global gardening trend at the moment. The reasons for this relate to saving money, a desire for a healthier lifestyle and safer foods; but there are also subtle forces like food miles and waste. Dedicating a portion of one's garden to food production is a part of the human psyche to return to our roots, when times are lean or uncertain. Food, shelter, clothing and companionship are the basic needs of all people, including gardeners. As luxuries disappeared, we returned to basics. For many gardeners, gardens equated to food.


Smaller spaces and smaller gardens

Increased demand for time, smaller properties and the new economic realities added up to smaller gardens. Dwarf plants, tiny trees, narrow shrubs and slow growing species were more popular than ever, as we tried to squeeze gardens into smaller spaces.

Redefining luxury

What constitutes luxury has changed dramatically. Luxury used to equate with buying the biggest and the most expensive. In today's reality, "luxury" in a garden might translate to fresh tomatoes or a place where the family can dine or spend time together. The idea of luxury is now often tied to the idea of a personal oasis or a retreat at home or a place to escape. 2010's definition of luxury had less to do with more, bigger and shinier and more to do with one's personalization of their garden space, perhaps even in eccentric ways.

Plants for wellness

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles