2021 Garden Trends

by | Jan 2, 2021 | Industry News, Plants

Garden Media Group Explores What Consumers Want Post-COVID-19


We’re in the middle of “A Great Reset.” I’ve seen a lot of positive responses from businesses during the shutdown, and they have one common thread: Ctrl Alt Delete. This is the biggest opportunity our industry has to reboot, recharge and rebuild.

Improv Era

The world watched as businesses shifted from in-store to delivery and curbside pickup. To continue to succeed, companies must pivot frequently and efficiently. 

Customers have been trained, perhaps by fire, to shop differently. They don’t need as many choices, and research shows they want quality over quantity. Promote the health and wellness benefits of being outdoors to your customers and potentially upsell more outdoor space. 

Don’t keep the status quo by repeating what you’ve been doing. Take a look at your business practices and pivot each season. 

Backyard Aficionado

According to a new survey, the industry gained 16-24 million new gardeners last spring. However, these new customers won’t stay unless the industry can find a way to entice them. 

Start by offering to design edible garden spaces. With the surge of at-home cooking and the fear of food scarcity, many Americans are growing their own food for the first time. Show them how to mix edibles in ornamental beds, make them beautiful, unique and maintain them. 

According to a recent National Garden Bureau survey, 67 percent of respondents 35 and under shared that, while they want green grass, they want a wide variety of other plants in the rest of their yard. Round out hardscaping with native plants and easy-to-grow perennials. Create garden rooms for clients to enjoy with their family.

Help customers reduce stress. According to a recent IKEA study, respondents wished for more greenery in their living spaces even before the pandemic, but now it’s a must-have for mental health. They want a private garden or outdoor space, and the younger the respondent, the more likely they were to depend on spaces beyond their home to fulfill emotional needs. 

Design Abundance

A dynamic shift in the industry will lead to greener societies and a return to nature. Customers want less mulch and more plants. They want gardens that are more than human spaces but ecologically functional spaces. 

As people return to the comfort of their own backyard, they want hands-on learning for their kids and spaces for themselves to relax. They want beneficial landscapes that put the FUN in functional.

Turn Out the Lights

Lighting up the sky at night is one of the major causes of insect decline. White light draws insects in all night long, exhausting them, making them easy prey for bats and birds.

According to “Nature’s Best Hope,” by Doug Tallamy, turning out the lights is one small step. Install timers, motion sensor lights or LEDs.   

If we each do our small part, we can enact change. Not only will we restore insect populations, we will create the largest collective conservation effort in our history, and one that can—and must—succeed for our own good. 


Katie is the president of Garden Media Group, a boutique PR and marketing firm representing the garden, horticulture, outdoor living, and lawn and landscape industries. Now in its 20th edition, the annual Garden Trends Report is one of the most published garden studies in trade and consumer news. 


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