Return of the Garden
As people shelter in place, they’re finding solace in home remodeling projects. Sustainable landscaping and edible gardens are on the rise, offering a welcome connection with nature and the security of self-sufficiency.
As Spring ushers in warm weather and a bit of well-timed cheer, homeowners are rediscovering their gardens, as evidenced by market data harvested by COGNITION Smart Data (Green Builder Media’s suite of market intelligence and data services.)
The volume of landscaping related conversations increased during March and into the first week of April; and while general online consumer sentiment is relatively negative right now due to the Coronavirus, sentiment about landscaping is overwhelmingly positive, with people using words like love, beautiful, and enjoy when discussing the topic.
COGNITION data also shows that people’s concept of landscaping is shifting—they’re not talking about sweeping lawns with sprawling Kentucky bluegrass that require vast amounts of water and mowing.
Rather, they’re expressing interest in edible gardens that provide food security, native plants that save water, and urban oases that offer refuge in concrete jungles.
People are getting creative about finding ways to grow herbs and vegetables on small apartment patios or even bringing the garden inside with living walls and potted plants.
More and more, consumers are looking to landscaping experts, like Pioneer Landscape Centers, for ideas and inspiration about outdoor living and gardening solutions to relieve stress and offer a creative outlet.
Furthermore, the Coronavirus has increased interest in gardening and food production as an essential survival tool and path to resilience. According to COGNITION data, not only has there been a sudden and pronounced spike of interest topics like vegetable gardening and pantries, there has also been a surge of panicked queries on food shortages and even a rush on live chicken purchases.
In response to the exploding interest, Green Builder Media has crafted a Landscaping Guide as a salve for the pandemic-shocked soul, highlighting ways to create an abundant outdoor oasis.
The Guide showcases some of today’s fastest growing trends, such as transforming lawns into biodiverse sustainable landscapes, permaculture, veggie gardens, native plants, habitat enhancement, storm water management, and urban gardening.
To provide additional information about food security, Green Builder Media’s Editor in Chief, Matt Power, wrote a fascinating article exploring the difference between what he calls the Crisis Pantry, illustrating how we have approached food security amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, versus the Resilient Pantry, which takes a more sustainable, localized approach.
In the Crisis Pantry scenario, Americans stock up on cans, frozen food, dried goods, and bottled water, which may offer a short-term solution but is ultimately unsustainable. In contrast, the Resilient Pantry demonstrates enhanced food security with home food production, local specialty farms, and reverse osmosis filtration for clean water.
No doubt, digging in the dirt clears the mind and nourishes the soul. In addition, enhancing food security and local food production is always a smart investment. I encourage you to peruse our Landscaping Guide and Resilient Pantry resources, and then to go out, enjoy the beautiful weather, and plant a garden.
For, to paraphrase the old Chinese proverb, the best time to plant a garden was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.
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