In today’s world, it is almost impossible to escape the realities of social media, instant news, 24/7 connectivity and the mental exhaustion that follows.

The rising trend of wellness isn’t just about keeping the body healthy anymore; it’s about keeping the mind and spirit healthy, too.

In Garden Media Group’s 17th annual Garden Trends Report for 2018, Nature’s Rx for Mental Wellness, nature is the best medicine.

The 2018 report introduces seven industry trends that inspire a cleaner, more relaxed state-of-mind. It shows that when we disconnect from digital media and reconnect with Mother Nature, we can make steps toward rebuilding mental wellness.

“We all know gardening works wonders for our physical health,” says Katie Dubow, creative director at the trend-spotting firm. “In our 2018 Garden Trends Report, we’re looking at new ways people are transforming their spaces, indoors and out, to further improve their mental well-being.”

The report highlights new ideas, styles and colors to help clear the mind and step away from the infinite connectivity that is wearing people out.

The 2018 Garden Trends Report encourages confidence in Wabi-Sabi, going with the flow of being perfectly imperfect. It dives deeper into the role of climate change in the garden, showing also how plants form their own social networks to cope with challenging conditions.

Gardening is again shifting to reflect global changes. The 2018 Garden Trends Report closely examines how these changes affect gardeners.

FOR MORE Here’s a snapshot of the 2018 Garden Trends: Nature’s Rx for Mental Wellness. The complete report is available for free download here:

Climate controlled

Gardeners can no longer rely on historical data to predict the climate in their own backyards. To adjust to these unpredictable times, Garden Media has outlined four climate controlled garden types. From wind-resistant gardens and desert gardens to rain gardens and freeze-proof gardens, each collection is designed to guide garden centers and gardeners toward successful choices for their climates. Plants that stand up to hot, dry conditions, are essential for desert gardens.

Climate change can be tough on trees in all areas, especially urban, according to The Davey Institute. Tree care needs to be addressed or those valuable benefits could be lost forever, which is why many homeowners need to consider their trees as part of their gardens.

Social network

Just as people utilize the benefits of networking, plants in gardens benefit from networking among themselves. It’s time to shift the thinking from thinking of plants as individuals to thinking of them as a community.

Choosing plants that work in harmony allows management of the garden instead of maintenance of each plant, which makes gardening less stressful. Plant communities, once established, are more for enjoyment and less for yard work.

Imperfect gardening

The ancient Japanese practice of Wabi-Sabi is catching on as a more laidback way of living. Wabi-Sabi is an appreciation of the imperfections in life and the ability to age gracefully. Applying that perfectly imperfect attitude to the garden encourages an imitation of nature in a way that allows people to relax and appreciate humble and perhaps what was traditionally thought of as unkempt designs and plants. The garden doesn’t have to be perfect all of the time, and that mindset will allow people to enjoy it more.

Choose plants that look good, are easy to manage and provide food for pollinators. Allow natural beauty to shine in imperfect design, lawns and plants, and a peaceful, relaxing mindset will follow.

Breathing room

Take a moment to relax, unwind and clear the mind in new breathing rooms. Most people spend the bulk of their lives indoors, so the focus needs to shift to creating clean air around us.

Encourage customers to designate places at home to meditate, unplug and relax while surrounded by hard-working houseplants.

Make a splash

As more public gardens receive overwhelmingly positive responses to reflective pools and fountains, there’s proof that water is more popular now than ever before.

Preparing the garden to embrace storms and excess rainfall will not only help save water by RainScaping, but also help to control storm water runoff. The growing trend of filtering water with plants helps with healthy water management, while still keeping beauty in the garden.

All photos courtesy of garden media group

Purple reign

Purple is the color of 2018, mirroring Pantone’s 2018 pallet “Verdure.” Purple goes beyond the vibrant color and often indicates nutrient density and antioxidants in food. Grow purple at home by incorporating colorful plants indoors and out. Purple foods promote mental focus, which is the first step in achieving mental wellness.