Digital Access

Digital Access
Access from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

News, features, sports, opinion and more!

Email Newsletters

Sign up for MyWebTimes email newsletters and stay in the know.

Jump into gardening for 2019

Being outdoors offers therapeutic experience

While I don’t miss the rat race of corporate America and knowing the trends in time to capitalize before the fad fades, my garden associations and philanthropical support put in front of me this month an interesting bit on 2019 garden trends.

From survival seed vaults to butterfly gardens, all the way to container planting of edible landscapes and sticking succulents on anything rustic as yard art, trends are a reflection of the people and inspiring values that create community. As I read “Garden Media’s 2019 Garden Trends Report: Rooted Together,” I am moved to share with you a few takeaways to inspire your gardening direction in the coming season.

Time for fresh air

Do you miss it? Do you miss Grandma’s homemade pasta sauce? Neighbors dropping a pie tin of string beans on the stoop? Can you think into feeling the joy and satisfaction of sipping freshly made basil sun tea with mint sprigs steeped to perfection while hulling freshly picked strawberries under the shade tree, giggling at black stained fingertips from metal berry pruners? Or are you an insider?

That’s right. What this report refers to as an the “indoor generation” refers to what I think of as a lifestyle resultant of rapid technology growth and a weakening of dollars spent on community resourcing.

Government-funded programs and sometimes whole states abruptly shut off funding to arts, nature and personal development programming. Careers driven by 60-hour work weeks and commutes capable of anything a personal computer can accomplish. Home offices blurring family time and webinars replacing interactive learning. Americans today spend approximately 93 percent of their time enclosed indoors or in vehicles. Children spend an average of one hour per day outdoors.

One hour.

Give back to nature
and your community

While many will remain a slave to the system, some of us will rise up with privately funded programs driven by a desire to replenish earth as a life force and move past individual self-care or a need to know why or how we got is such dire straits and simply do something to nourish Mother Earth. Personal action toward community progress and horticultural healing may be the very saving grace to endow our individual wishes for recovery and regeneration upon the globe.

The year 2019 is a great time to turn somewhat valid fears into sheer personal and community joy. If you’re not extending your garden skills beyond your own backyard, volunteerism is much needed in our botanical community. Be active in coming months to shift alarmist movements of recent revelations into creating space for observation and retaliation.

Honeybees, monarchs and native beneficial insects are all on the rise in our region. Come on, Japanese beetles! Come reside in our monarch waystation where natural prey like mantids and snakes go undisturbed all season long. Flood-prone properties are becoming marsh bird migratory sanctuaries and drought-prone land cherished as native prairie full of heat-tolerant canopy safely harboring beneficial insects as another line of defense.

Reaction to global crisis sparked the design of many environmental causes. Taking responsibility for redeeming disaster into an awake and aware community and personally contributing to a solution proves to be a primary deciding factor when consumers choose where to do business. Gardening-on-purpose trends from a few years back are gassing up and downshifting as self-care and mental health awareness evolves into empowered graduates capable of integrating learning and personal recovery into practical landscape architecture to propel our communities into a truly joyful lifestyle.

Generations of gardening

And the trend is not just for those who retire to relax. America reports millennials, ages 18 to 34, comprise nearly 29 percent of all gardening households. That may explain increased spending, up to an all-time household high averaging $503 spent annually on everything from seeds to backyard waterfalls. Container gardening peaks may be tied to this same genre being pacified with railings of leaf lettuce cut once a week to gather with friends passing the token kitchen ladle from apartment to condo to dorm room, each bringing a salad dish or freshly picked drink garnishes to share.

Thankfully, my husband knows I’m well above average, so our household trends way beyond average spending as we instill pieces in our landscape that will remain for generations to come. Even if the generation is 30 days of a butterfly cycle, we share accountability for doing what we know how to help nature thrive and balance once more. Thankfully, he didn’t make me calculate what percent I contribute to the $47.8 billion in gardening goods across America. Whew!

Consumerism alone is a concept even our grandparents could not fathom. When my grandfather’s grandfather came to America, they farmed. A garden was essential to feed their family and to eat through the winter months. During Grandpa’s lifetime, farmers moved to factories. In my grandmother’s career, factories shut down and you better know shorthand with a nice figure if you wanted an office job. From factories to office. From offices to cubicles.

Life beyond the
glow of screens

Meanwhile, outside, insects are disappearing, climate shifts in extremes, flooding and drought are becoming more intense than the year before. Technology and information advancements have us focused inward on artificial means of not only intelligence but also literal “stuff.”

Much of the drive toward gardening may be a literal boycott of the side effects of our blue light glow. With America is a state of crisis over formerly manageable diseases like diabetes, obesity and stress alone, we are beginning to believe the physical and energetic interruption of our natural cycles from spending so much time looking at our computers literally may be killing us.

Teens spending seven hours a day in front of a blue screen as a matter of course benefit largely from naturally lit living rooms full of oversized houseplants. Latchkey kids prone to technology addiction change their whole outlook on life participating in community gardens and identifying veggies for basic self-care nutrition. Youth gardening is as much about joy and learning as it is a treasured defense to prevent long-term side effects of daily technology use.

Healing by way of roots and shoots, wiffs and sniffs may be more believed than a decade ago. Personally, I credit the massive onslaught of invisibly debilitating radioactive waves and incessant presence of beeps and buzzes to a more immediate awareness of relief or calm of simple aromatherapy that proved itself centuries ago. Synthetic medicine may be losing its grip as an immediate fix when the 20-year after-the-fact results are showing as much damage from side effects as distress from the condition for which it gets prescribed.

If you don’t garden yet for fragrance, trust me when I say that if you step through a patch of mint on a groggy day, the surprise of the scent seeps into the bones and invigorates the mind, too.

And if defiance is not in your nature, sign up now to be the first with a solar powered robo-weeder strolling through the garden. Last year’s development of Tertill learns how to avoid obstacles and identify weeds, just like the handy apps we already use for quick ID in the landscape of good bugs, bad bugs, saplings and seeds.

Whether you embrace the trends or make your own way, I like to discover and enjoy at least one plant announced by the National Garden Bureau “Year of” program each year. Dahlia (bulb), pumpkin (edibles), snapdragon and salvia (annuals and perennials, respectively) have been selected for 2019.

Share your 2019 garden plans with me at

Loading more