Gardening guru Denise Cleverley talks us through what is trending in the gardening world.
Several trends have become apparent in the last decade or so, all of which are set to continue for the foreseeable future.
The NZ dream of a quarter-acre section is long gone for most city dwellers. Smaller sections and infill housing in most urban areas have taken its place and changed the face of the average garden forever.
This has brought about more careful consideration of indoor / outdoor living areas and better use of outdoor spaces in general. Diminishing outdoor spaces also trends towards more intensive gardening practices and an ever-increasing demand for smaller growing, more reliable and productive varieties, in both ornamental and edible plants.
As the population grows and intensive (apartment) housing along with it, we are also seeing a huge growth in container gardening, especially in growing edibles in containers, and in convenience gardening with products such as the Yates Ready to Use range of sprays.
A more recent effect is that of the GFC, which saw a massive upsurge in vegie growing in the 2009 / 2010 period. The negative side of world wealth and greed prompted a return by many to a more meaningful and frugal lifestyle, led by the simple pleasures in life and easier, more achievable goals such as growing their own vegies - just as our grandparents did.
Sales of vegie seeds and seedlings went through the roof during this time as hundreds of new gardeners tried their hand at growing a few vegies. This trend has grown and will continue to do so as younger generations learn the therapeutic effects of gardening and the pleasure it can bring - not only from a physical perspective, but as a money saving venture also.
Fruiting plants have also experienced a major lift in sales on the back of the ‘grow your own’ vegies trend as people learn how to use fruit trees and bushes in more creative ways in their gardens and the art of intermingling edibles with ornamentals.
Although organics is nothing new, a renewed interest in growing our own edibles, coupled with increasing concerns for the health of our planet and its associated eco-systems, together with concern for our own health, has brought about a steady upwards trend in the use of organic practices and solutions.
There’s now a great selection of organic based products available from planting mixes to insecticides and even weedkillers, providing choice for those who prefer to follow an organic philosophy.
Over the past few years, there’s also been a huge trend in Community Gardens. Check your local public noticeboards to find out if there’s one in your area - if not, start one! Similar to the English allotment gardens, community gardening brings people together to share and learn from each other and of course reap the benefits an edible garden can bring.
Community gardens fill the need for those who love to garden but don’t have space or perhaps a lot of time or money. They’re also a wonderful way to meet new people and provide a fantastic social outlet.
Lastly, one of the most important trends on the increase is that of teaching children about gardening. Schemes such as Enviro-Schools are teaching our kids how to ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ with the use of composting and warm farms and many of these schools also have a vegie garden.
Some have a kitchen as well, so kids can learn how to grow edibles, then how to cook them. This not only promotes gardening from a young age, but a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle as well - fantastic!
The Garden to Plate scheme at Wynyard Quarter in Auckland is another example of teaching kids the benefits of vegie growing. Capturing the new generation and teaching them about gardening and its interrelated effects on our environment is an extremely positive move to ensure future generations know how to look after our planet and have the life skills to look after themselves in the event of a catastrophe.