Hanging baskets are a way of gardening in a small area.

Hanging baskets are a way of gardening in a small area.

Garden trends for 2020 similar to last 5 years

By Steve Smith

I have spent countless hours researching “trends for 2020” but really they are just a continuation of what I have observed over the last five years.

They include: •Dirt is good for us. The Royal Horticulture Society says, “New findings have revealed that a soil bacteria known as mycobacterium vaccea is good for our immune systems, which could spark interest in mud pies next year.” I am not sure about “mud pies,” but at least we don’t have to be OCD about Johnny getting dirt on his hands. I have always preferred to garden without gloves. I get an emotional high putting my hands into a healthy bed of soil. It

becomes a therapeutically beneficial activity. •Gardeners are becoming more environmentally aware. When I was into the organic gardening movement in the early 1970s, I was considered crazy. Fast forward 50 years and “organic” has become mainstream. Home gardeners and even some areas of commercial farming are now embracing the age-old principles of good soil stewardship and the value of compost and integrated pest management. “No dig” and “no till” methods of planting are becoming popular. Along with growing our own organic food, we are also becoming increasingly aware of the importance of providing habitat for insects, bird, frogs and all that goes along with what we call “nature”. This gives me hope for the future.

•Messy can be good. Gardeners are beginning to realize they don’t need to control everything in the garden. Gardens that have neat and tidy lawns and shrubs that don’t touch each other can be sterile environments for attracting the birds and the bees. We are learning to let our plants grow together and go to seed and leaving the mess until spring so the fallen leaves can replenish the earth. This doesn’t mean that we let the blackberries, morning glory and horsetail take over the yard. •Creating secluded spaces. As builders continue to put bigger houses on ever-decreasing lots, homeowners are challenged to find creative ways to use their outdoor living areas. Vertical gardening continues to increase in popularity. •Incorporating fountains and ponds add a level of interest and often tranquility to the garden, and they attract birds, frogs and raccoons. I remember when I was 14 as the neighborhood yard boy, that almost every garden I worked in had some sort of water feature. It just goes to show that some things never go out of style.

•House plants are back in vogue. House plants improve your indoor living environment. They are a great way for younger generations to get back to nature and learn the basics of gardening and to allow older generations to still be surrounded by their beloved plants as they downsize their living conditions. The choices and sizes have never been more diverse, so think about adding living plants to your home. You will breathe better and probably have a more positive attitude toward life.

Finally, no matter what size your garden with a little effort you can make it your own special place to recharge your batteries or to fill your belly. With our current pace of life it has never been more important to spend time outside in our gardens. May it be your 2020 resolution to do just that.

Steve Smith owns Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville.

P.S. – Sunnyside will be hosting a free class – “Houseplants = Healthy Air” – Jan. 11 at 10 a.m. For details go to www.sunnysidenursery.net.

More in Business

Bare-root fruit trees. (Courtesy Photos)
Now, yes now, is the time to start thinking about fruit trees

By Steve Smith Believe it or not, by the end of this… Continue reading

Tips on getting garden ready for arctic blast 

By Steve Smith It looks like the next couple of weeks are… Continue reading

Vertical gardens, such as these strawberries, make good use of little space. (Courtesy Photos)
Garden trends for 2020 similar to last 5 years

By Steve Smith I have spent countless hours researching “trends for 2020”… Continue reading

Lemon tree very pretty. (Courtesy Photo)
Citrus can be grown in the Northwest

By Steve Smith We live in a horticultural paradise. There is very… Continue reading

Business briefly

Business awards MARYSVILLE – Four-Day Fireplace was recently named Business of the… Continue reading

Not too late to dig up a gift for garden lovers

By Steve Smith I know it is crunch time for gift buying… Continue reading

New luxury pre-owned car dealership opens in Marysville

MARYSVILLE – North Marysville’s auto row just added a touch of luxury… Continue reading

Before and after photographs of the fire and nature’s recovery at Steve Smith’s house. (Courtesy Photos)
Nature’s healing powers: You can’t even tell there was a fire anymore

By Steve Smith As the season winds down and the garden is… Continue reading

So many benefits to a ‘real’ Christmas tree

By Steve Smith As gardeners, the concept of “going natural” is nothing… Continue reading

More new goodies to be looking for in 2020

By Steve Smith Back in September, I introduced you to several new… Continue reading

A hardy fall container.
Garden list of things to do this month

By Steve Smith Here’s an all-in-one-place list of chores for the month.… Continue reading

It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature, but do it anyway to have flowers during winter

By Steve Smith As the temperature drops, along with all the leaves… Continue reading