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.