Horticulturalists nationwide have settled on an overall gardening theme as well as a few trends that beginning gardeners and longtime green thumbs can expect to see this year.
“Basically, the overarching trend for 2018 is using gardening for that kind of prescription for mental wellness,” says Calloway’s Nursery Marketing Director Kimberley Gotcher.
Gardening can relieve stress, help with blood pressure and put people in a better mood, she says, adding that indoor gardening also has a few benefits. Gotcher points out that indoor organic gardeners can enjoy cleaner air and healthy eating.
For instance, since they know where their food is coming from, they can break off a piece of a house plant, rinse it off with some water and then pop it in their mouth or in a pan. Gotcher says some great kitchen gardening plant choices include rosemary, parsley, thyme, mint, basil, cilantro and chives. “Once spring really kicks off, we’ll have tables full of these herbs,” she says.
When growing and caring for edible plants, just about all that is needed is water and maybe some organic fertilizer, Gotcher notes. The plants can be grown inside on a windowsill, outside in a garden or in a container on a porch. For windowsill gardening, Gotcher suggests a rectangular terra cotta pot with a saucer underneath. “Just as long they’re getting the right sun conditions as other plants are, they’ll grow,” she says.
When Calloway’s has televised cooking shows, the chefs literally use plants sitting on the nursery’s shelf to cook with. While those types of plants will typically come in various shades of green, Gotcher says people can look for ultra violet to be a standout color in 2018 since Pantone chose ultra violet as its color of the year.
“So purple is a thing,” she says. “[Pantone] will mix colors and create new ones. They pick a color of the year every year.”
That yearly color choice is all pervasive, she says, and determines the colors designers will use in things like clothing and cookware. Gotcher says some great plants that contain purple include cabbage, pansies, kale and some shrubs that will arrive throughout the year.
Another trend in gardening is simply to find plants that will grow together easily so things aren’t so regimented, she says.
For cleaning the air indoors naturally, Gotcher recommends sansevieria, a plant that has had a resurgence of popularity and that the nursery bills as a tough, attractive plant requiring medium to bright light. Along with hanging air plants for meditation spaces, sansevieria’s texture, style and air cleaning benefits “kind of fit where design is heading,” Gotcher says.
“Orchids will have some color,” she says. “And orchids just sort of have that serene feel. You look at it, and you kind of feel calm looking at it.”
Gotcher also says water features such as small ponds and fountains can be incorporated into gardens to create a calm, soothing effect and add a little bit of extra serenity.