The recent release of Garden Media Group’s Garden Trends Report for 2018 has sparked discussion in garden communities around the nation as to how they want to revamp old or build new green spaces in the new year. In this blog post, we discuss a few of these trends, and you’ll learn how to incorporate them into your own garden space, no matter its size or your level of gardening expertise.
Gardening for Your Mental Health
According to the World Health Organization, depression is predicted to become the #1 health concern by the year 2030. There is no doubt that we live in stressful times, which is why people are looking for ways to improve their mental health and well-being on a daily basis. The positive effects of gardening on mental health have been proven time and time again. As an example, one study in Norway had people with depression and bipolar disorder work in a garden for six hours a week, and after three months noted that half of the participants’ symptoms were eased significantly. And multiple studies have found a clear link between gardening and improved self-esteem, as well as decreased depression symptoms.
How to garden for a better mood:
Work in soil. It contains Mycobacterium vaccae, a harmless bacteria that has been proven to boost serotonin production (a “feel good” brain chemical).
Start small. Plant one or two planters or window boxes and cultivate the foliage over time, an act proven to increase hopeful feelings and a sense of accomplishment.
Join a gardening club. Working with others in a calm environment and with a common goal can help with feelings of loneliness, while building a sense of connection and community.
As I write this, the East Coast is having what is being referred to as a “bomb cyclone,” with temperatures expected to be colder than those on Mars! But this is just one example of the intense weather conditions experienced in the last several years, with its hurricanes, floods, extreme droughts, and the like. For this reason, Garden Media Group included growing “climate-tolerant” plants on their list of trends. Green spaces made to withstand the elements in a particular area are very on-trend, and here’s a list of climate-tolerant plants for every type of weather:
Ornamental cabbage and kale
Rain garden plants
New England aster
A “breathing room” is defined as an indoor green space that encourages people to relax, unplug, meditate, and essentially “take a breather” from the world. Really, it’s any space (whether in a home, business, or public) that uses indoor plants to infuse a sense of calm into the environment. And since plants have inherent air-purifying qualities, they also help remove common toxins found indoors, like formaldehyde, pollen, bacteria, and molds–quite literally helping you to breathe easier.
Ideas for your indoor green space:
Make your own breathing room at your home or office by arranging planters or hanging baskets in a small group.
Place one or more small plants in your shower caddy or on the edge of your bathtub.
Arrange pots filled with overflowing greenery in rows on a shelving unit and hang it on the wall near your desk or bed.
Hang some terrariums at different heights for a modern hanging garden filled with greenery at every level.
Growing Plant Proteins
With millions of Americans turning to plants to meet all or most of their protein needs, there is an increased interest in growing protein-rich plants from the comforts of your own backyard. The benefits of planting an edible garden are plenty: a reduced carbon footprint, better-tasting and chemical-free produce, and money saved on expensive organic produce. New to growing your own food? Not to worry—we’re here to help!
Tips on growing a plant-protein garden:
Keep it simple. Use a raised garden or even a gathering of pots to create an edible container garden on your windowsill, patio, or balcony.
Know what to plant. For a protein-rich garden, try plants like lima beans, broccoli, edamame, asparagus, black-eyed peas, and kale.
Pick a sunny spot. Most edible crops require 6-8 hours of direct sunlight a day.
Get soil, fertilizer, and quality garden tools. Look for loam soil, and add organic matter such as compost or wood chips to provide nutrients, increase drainage, and help plants absorb water. Buy a high-quality fertilizer based on your crops’ needs, keeping in mind a proper N-P-K (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) ratio, which can be found on the fertilizer package. Garden tools like gloves, a hand trowel, a spade, and a hoe will also need to be purchased for your new garden.
Start Your New Year Off Right!
We’d love to help you with your new garden projects! Call us with questions or to order items for your small space garden: 1-888-427-3362.