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Urban farming, organic food, native plants and water conservation are at the top favorites in the 2015 Garden Media Garden Trends forecast. But what are some of the details?

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The Garden Media Group has put out their annual forecast of garden trends.

Some topics for 2015 are landscaping, color, containers, pot growing, and outdoor living, but the ones that caught my attention had to do with human and planet health.

It is clear that gardening is on the upswing, but not for the sake of gardening. People now want to grow healthy food, attract pollinators, and garden organically.

This has been the gardening trend for a couple of years now, and it is slated to continue. As long as we continue to become aware of the negative impacts of pesticides and GMOs on the environment all living things, we will continue to garden responsibly.

Expanding markets

Millennials make up the 18-35 year old generation that drives consumer trends in a big way. Thankfully, they are into gardening, and they have buying power! They want to be more in touch with nature, and they want healthy food. This is a bigger trend with this age group in Europe and the UK than it is in North America, but apparently we are catching up. Male millennials are the new big garden spenders.

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The Hispanic population is growing faster than any other segment in the US, and they traditionally grow their own food. It’s part of their culture to feed their families and their friends. This is boosting the homegrown food trend as far as numbers. I hope they are influential, and that others will follow their example.

mother daughter gardening

Urban and suburban dwellers are fighting to get codes, ordinances and homeowner association regs changed. They want to be able to have vegetable gardens in their front and back yards, and raise livestock. The trend is towards self-sufficiency. So urban farming is on the rise, too. Considering how many people live in urban areas, this is a huge number of people wanting to take care of themselves, their neighbors, and their communities.

Water, bees and air pollution

Water conservation is important to more and more people now. People are noticing how much of the US is in a severe drought, and they realize how precious water is. Native plants are becoming more and more popular, since they are adapted to local conditions. They will thrive on available rainfall, which means less or no watering from a well or municipal source.

Native plants also attract native pollinators, which is another thing gardeners are concerned about. It’s big news that bee colonies are dying off. Without bees, our food supply is in danger. No food, no life, so bringing hummingbirds, bees, birds and butterflies into the yard is crucial.

Plants of all kinds clean the air. They convert CO2 into oxygen, and this is one more environmental reason gardening is getting popular.

Living with the planet

It’s probably obvious that these are my favorite aspects of the forecast! Environmentally friendly gardens should not be a trend. Food should not be a trend! Sadly, it is.

What do you call it when a trend becomes a permanent lifestyle? That’s my vision – for people to live with the planet instead of trying to suppress its challenges.

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Nan Fischer

Nan Fischer has been living and building green for over 35 years. Nan’s emphasis on the BuildDirect blog is about how to make your dollar stretch further, while also moving toward a more sustainable lifestyle, as well as upcoming and existing technology to help us live in an ecologically-friendly way. Nan also authors posts on the website of her seed business, sweetly seeds.