It’s that time of year when garden prognosticators are laying out the trends they see on the horizon.
The garden trend list from Garden Design, a magazine website for high end gardeners, seems on-track with the trends we see in northern gardens here. Things like finding ways to keep landscapes lower maintenance, incorporating food-growing in all kinds of gardens and creating sanctuaries in the garden are increasingly popular among our members and readers, too. And, of course, there is the resurgence of houseplants! (You can read advice on the best houseplants for northerners and how to take care of them in the most recent issue of Northern Gardener.)
Of the 10 trends Garden Design highlighted the one we like best is what it calls “Giving Back with Gardens.” The Garden Design folks describe this as homeowners being “increasingly aware of the fact that their gardens have the potential to be much more than a plot of land that’s pretty to look at. There are many ways to give back with your garden—both to the earth and your community.” True, true, true.
We see it in the great interest in planting for pollinators, both in folks creating pollinator gardens in their yards and more people choosing the native plants that pollinators need to thrive. We also see it in the number of folks who buy our pollinator packs each year. We see it in the interest in gardening for birds, interest in humane ways of dealing with pests, and people choosing to avoid pesticides in their gardens.
Giving back gardening also includes community gardening—and that’s something we know a lot about. Our Minnesota Green program is more than 30 years old now, and it just keeps growing. More than $200,000 in plant material was donated to community gardens in 2018 through Minnesota Green, which acts as an intermediary between nurseries and garden centers that have excess plants and some of the 1,200 community gardens in our state. The plants given away range from really nice shrubs to vegetable seeds—and all of it is appreciated and used by the community gardeners we serve. If you are part of a community garden, here’s information about joining Minnesota Green.
We’re inspired by the stories we hear of gardeners giving back and are thrilled to be a part of their mission.