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Grow-it- yourself gardening ‘is back’
From blueberries to houseplants ‘grow it yourself’ — or GIY — is the new mantra for both seasoned gardeners and beginners as folks turn “back to the future” to simplify their lives while gardening for the greener good. Fueled by rising prices in gasoline, milk, bread and produce combined with an eco-culture to do something good for the environment, the trend toward GIY is exploding. “Gardening is back!” says Susan McCoy, trendspotter for the gardening industry. “Everyone, particularly young people, is planting vegetables, herbs, perennials and shrubs – anything they can grow themselves with enthusiasm and gusto.”
Not just a holdover from the “flower power” ‘60s movement, GIY has gone mainstream. America is digging into their gardens — and community gardens — with a renewed sense of expectation and connectivity within their local neighborhoods and the global ecosphere.
According to the recent National Gardening Association survey, do-it-yourself lawn and garden activities were up more than a billion dollars from the previous year, to more than $35 billion.
“That’s good news because it’s the first year we have seen overall retail lawn and garden sales increase since 2002,” said Mike Metallo, NGA president. Do-it-yourself activities that saw the biggest increase in spending in 2007 from 2006 included lawn care, vegetable gardening, ornamental gardening, and herb gardening.
Trend analyst Faith Popcorn agrees. “I think we are going back to the ’50s decade,” said Popcorn, who feels consumers are re-learning how to stretch a dollar. “We expect consumers to start growing food in their own gardens.”
McCoy says the renewed interest in spending more time at home coupled with the trend for bringing the indoors out, and the outdoors in, is driving consumers to the garden. “The urgent commitment to environmental sustainability and the basic desire to make our homes our havens is reflected in all gardening trends for next year,” predicts McCoy, president of Garden Media Group (www.gardenmediagroup.com).
A sneak peak at GMG’s 2009’s gardening trends reveals a resurgence in perennials, growing native plants, creating “blended” gardens using vegetables and herbs in flower beds, cultivating with best practices “au natural,’ attracting wildlife, and going local.