Millennials enjoy water features.
Photo: Istock.com

During Cultivate’17 in Columbus, Ohio, The Garden Media Group introduced its trends for 2018, giving attendees a preview of the direction gardening is expected to take in the coming year. Katie Dubow, creative director of the Garden Media Group, provided a sneak peek of the 2018 Trends Report, which will be available for download in September (gardenmediagroup.com).

The big picture for this year’s trends is “Nature’s Rx For Mental Wellness” - a theme focusing on how gardening has several benefits for mental health and how everyone in the industry can utilize them for sales, promotion, design and more.

Other trends include:

Allium ‘Millennium’ 2018 Perennial Plant of the Year.

Climate controlled. “People are gardening in a changing climate,” which can be stressful, Dubow said. Trees are being used to reduce heat in urban environments, a factor taken into consideration into this trend report.

Social network. A trend centered on creating a social network for plants and promoting symbiotic relationships. The future is in learning how these plants work together, DuBow says.

Breathing room. Emphasizing the importance of disconnecting and relaxing. This trend is driven by people giving themselves spaces to renew. Gardening is becoming more about creating relaxing spaces.

Imperfect gardening. Promoting the spirit of the Japanese term “Wabi-Sabi,” which means to embrace imperfection and transience. Making mistakes and aging gracefully are among life examples, and in the garden, perfectly-maintained lawns are getting less common and sought-after.

Make a splash. A trend all about water - using water in beautiful, colorful ways. Water in landscapes is expected to be a big demand. Millennials are also spending more on water gardening. Growers can take advantage of this trend by offering plants that do well in or around water.

Purple reign. Purple is a very trendy color this year, especially in edibles, according to DuBow. Purple foods and ornamentals are big draws as is blending flowers and edibles in displays and landscapes. Think: salvia, lavender, echinacea, berries, plums, acai, and gogi flowers, for example. And allium ‘Millennium’ is the 2018 PPA Perennial Plant of the Year.