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Hortifuture: How the Future of Gardening is Primed for a Big Change

At times, gardening can feel like something that hasn’t changed since it was passed down from our ancestors. In other moments, we can utilize new technology and methods and gardening can feel like something new and exciting. The world of gardening is constantly changing. Here’s where I predict the future of gardening will lead.

the future of gardening

A little while ago, I was doing an interview with HGTV about chaos gardening. It was, and still is, trending all over social media, and a lot of people had no idea what this unique take on gardening was.

I’ve been doing a form of chaos gardening for quite some time (you can see my take on it here), and I’m glad to see that people are finally starting to mix up the norm.

There are so many different ways to garden, and yet we got sucked into the idea that every lawn needs to be perfect and that we all have the same ten shrubs.

But change is inkling, and I’m very excited to see how people are starting to shake up gardening trends.

Here’s where I predict the future of gardening is heading

Native plants and wild birds at the High Line in New York City
Seeing native plants growing “wild” in a city like New York at the Highline is exactly what the future of gardening needs.

The Fall of the Manicured Lawn

Lawns originated with European aristocracy as a way to show off their wealth. They were meant to be tedious, overconsuming, and perfect, as it showed that you could afford such a luxury.

Yet, we still do it today. Lawns are the norm, and so we use them to fit in with the neighbourhood and have our houses look neat and tidy.

In most people’s eyes, they think of lawns as “lawful good.” There are lots of rules, it’s an established order, and it’s somewhat easy to follow.

However, newer generations are beginning to see lawns and manicured gardens as lawful evils because of their wastefulness and sustainability issues. They require an incredible amount of maintenance, are expensive to maintain, use synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, waste tons of water, and way more.

I focus on regenerative gardening, which I consider chaotic good. I utilize the path of Mother Nature to find easier, more sustainable, and more eco-friendly ways of gardening.

Yes, some people see it as chaotic evil. I talked about that in this post, where the neighbours of some friends saw their food forest as a wild and unruly front yard and not the wildlife and food haven it was.

the future of gardening includes green lawns
Eco lawns require less maintenance and resources and can be great for local wildlife.

Gen Z and Sustainability

Without a doubt, climate change affects how we garden. From increased forest fires affecting how our crops react to needing to plant more resilient vegetables, gardening is not the same as it was even twenty years ago.

Gen Z is being championed as the sustainability generation. They prefer to buy sustainable brands and are willing to spend 10% more on sustainable products. And you can bet that comes to the garden as well.

A lot of Gen Z are homeowners as well, which may surprise you. In a 2022 report, 30% of 25-year-olds owned their home, compared to 27% of Gen X and 28% of millennials when they were the same age.

This generation is used to working from home and spends more time at home than previous generations. It makes sense that they want to put more effort into making their home a welcoming, joyful place, outdoors included.

The future of gardening lies in Gen Z’s hands! And I’m quite happy about it.

gardening trends
I’m raising my own little eco-warrior.

Vertical Gardening is Here to Stay

More and more people are living in urban spaces. By 2050, nearly 7 out of 10 people will live in cities.

And many of these spaces have increasingly smaller backyards or simple balconies to act as their green space.

But this isn’t stopping people from having a green thumb! Vertical gardening has been and will continue to be a dominating gardening trend as people try to creatively make use of their small space.

I’ve been seeing items like these hanging plant pulleys or these floating garden rail baskets trending on social media.

For most, container gardening is a great way to landscape in urban areas, where you might only have a deck or patio. In 2022, the NGA reports that 600,000 more households began container gardening, an increase of 200% from the year prior.

vertical gardening remains a big gardening trend
This vertical planter has been one of the best ways to grow annual edible flowers and herbs on my deck.

Taking the Stress Out of Gardening

What a lot of these gardening trends above point to is that gardens will become less maintenance and work. As we transition to gardens that mimic and follow Mother Nature as opposed to fighting against it, gardening will become less of a daily chore.

Gardening should be a form of creativity. Your space should reflect what you want to grow rather than trying to fit in with the Jones.

We should also lean away from gardening guilt, where we feel bad for killing a plant. It’s all part of the learning process, and will make you an even better gardener.

It is my greatest hope for the future of gardening that more and more people will see its mental health benefits and use it to decompress.

Stephanie in the garden
Gardening, for me, is a way to heal, connect with nature, and get moving.

Focusing on Community

As sustainability becomes a top concern and as more people flock to urban areas, looking locally will become key.

People already try to support local businesses, farmer’s markets, and growers. Planting native and local species will also help our wildlife community.

The gardening community has become very global, and while this is an amazing thing, it’s still essential to talk with those in your community to find advice and connections. After all, they’ll know your area’s last frost date best!

Gardening can become expensive, and to keep it as accessible as possible, it’s essential to share resources. Little seed libraries and buy-nothing groups where you can get free plants are great ways to help out other gardeners.

As a community, we must work together to preserve greenery. Green spaces in urban areas are key to maintaining our mental health and keeping Mother Nature top of mind.

the future of gardening
Share your extra seeds or those saved from your garden in a seed library.

What gardening trends do you predict? Share your ideas for the future of gardening in the comments below!

More Ways to Rethink Gardening

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