12 Trends Impacting Outdoor Living

12 Trends Impacting Outdoor Living

Garden Media Group’s 2014 Garden Trends Report identifies several major shifts in the marketplace. 

12 Trends Impacting Outdoor Living

According to the 2014 Garden Trends Report, compiled by Philadelphia-based Garden Media Group, consumers are spending more leisure time outdoors and not only “decorating” their homes, but their gardens as well.

The rise of social trends, like lawn games, glamping, and garden parties, are fueling a record growth in garden furniture and accessories, driving demand for tabletop fountains, outdoor chandeliers, garden art, decorative birdfeeders, unusual planters, and candleholders.

The report notes the worldwide gardening and outdoor living market is expected to increase yearly by almost 3.5% through 2016, when it should reach almost $220 billion. In North America, where the market was flat for the past four years at $58 billion, annual growth is expected at one percent over four years.

“After several years of bleak economic reality, the sun is finally starting to shine again,” says garden trendspotter and president of Garden Media Susan McCoy. “The economy is improving, and people across the country are exhaling a sigh of relief.” This time around, McCoy says, people are vowing to restore balance to their lives. Frivolous spending on more “things” is out.

“People are determined to be happy and thoughtful in their actions since they’ll have more money to spend in the upcoming year,” she states. According to the 13th annual Garden Trends Report, people are beginning to truly understand the relationship between gardening and connecting with nature – and how this can lead to a fully satisfied, purposeful life. The new twist? People still want their outdoor spaces to look beautiful, but want to invest their time and money into high quality, eco-friendly products with a smaller carbon footprint.

“2014 is all about balance. People finally appreciate that being in nature and in the garden is true bliss. But now, they want the garden to do double duty: A Zen oasis and the social hub for entertaining,” notes Katie Dubow, creative director of Garden Media. “Surrounding yourself with nature – with trees in the yard and houseplants in the office – brings a sense of peace, boosts productivity, and enhances your quality of life in addition to providing a great escape from the hustle and bustle of a technology intense life,” Dubow adds.

So what’s fueling this growth? Looking ahead, Garden Media sees six balanced sets shaping greener lifestyle choices people are making for their homes, gardens, and outdoor living.


  • Ground Up: Recycling food scraps and creating compost is the new recycling. Products like The Green Cycler® make it easy to pre-compost right on the kitchen counter.


  • Super Foods, Super Models: Edibles are going to the next level with foodies growing everything from quinoa to dandelions in straw bales and keyhole gardens.


  • Drink Your Garden: People are drinking their gardens using such super foods from their gardens, like BrazelBerries® blueberries and raspberries to craft cocktails and green smoothies. Plus, “Fermentation gardens are the new chickens,” says Rebecca Reed of Southern Living – people are growing hops for home-brewing, grapes for home-made wine.


  • Dress Up Your Yard: From decorative throw pillows to decorative insect traps like the RESCUE!® OrnamenTrap™ and Perky-Pet®’s shabby-chic mason jar seed and hummingbird feeders, people want their yards to have a personal stamp.


5. Bee-neficials: It’s all about the bees this year. Bees are at forefront of environmentally aware consumers’ minds, inspiring them to plant native, pollen rich flowers, trees, and veggies to provide safe shelters.


  • Cultur-vating: Taking local to the next level, people are growing the world in their gardens, mixing cultures and embracing what is local to their own region.


  • Simple Elegance: Think one color flower in an elegant container or an eco-chic, hand-cast planter.


8. Frac’d Up: Neat clean lines are out as explosions of color in fractional shapes like triangles, circles, and squares dominate design.


9. Young Men Get Down and Dirty: Big surprise here – young men 18-34 are spending $100 more than the average gardener. They are grilling, growing their own hops for beer, and taking the kids out to play in the dirt.


10. Think Gardens: Plants make us smarter, more productive, and less stressed and are showing up in offices, schools, and hospitals across the country.


11. Fingertip Gardens: Gardens go high tech with mobile apps and technology.


12. Tree-mendous Reversal: Losing more than four million urban trees a year, Americans are being asked to plant trees. There are many environmental, economical, and emotional benefits of trees.

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