Garden Media Group Unveils First in Series of 2012 Garden Trends: Cultivate the New Good Life with the Power of Plants

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Trendspotters at the Garden Media Group forecast rise of Urban Knights; Eco-scaping and Occupy Local

Edward Wilson's book, Biophilia

Studies prove that plants are more than just a pretty face. From the power of healing to restoring neighborhoods, plants are vital for healthy, balanced lives

Garden Media Group, the leading public relations agency and green living trend spotters, is unveiling its first in a series of top trends that empowers gardeners to cultivate the new good life, with the power of plants.

Ongoing studies worldwide reveal plants are vital for our health and well being, elicit powerful positive emotions, revive neighborhoods, and influence everything from food to life’s milestones.

“Plants are not a luxury, but a necessity,” says Susan McCoy, trendspotter and outdoor living expert. “Plants can live without us, but we cannot live without plants.”

The power of plants. Dr.Charlie Hall, professor of horticulture at Texas A & M, says, that younger generations are discovering the power of plants. “Gen Y’s are connecting with plants on many levels - economics, environmental impact, health and wellness.”

Why nature? According to Harvard professor Edward O. Wilson, humans can’t help ourselves. They are hardwired and have an innate bond with all living things he calls “biophilia.”

McCoy agrees.”Plants are more than just a pretty face. From the power of healing to restoring neighborhoods, plants are vital for healthy, balanced lives.”

Heath and quality of life are the number one reason people buy certain goods and services, according to Trendwatching, a global trend research firm in Amsterdam. Gardening fits right in.

Here’s what McCoy and her team of Garden Media Group trend spotters see for gardening in 2012:

Urban-Knights. A growing army of ‘urban knights’ are planting shrubs, flowers, edibles and pop-up gardens on balconies, in alley ways, and on street parklets – even in abandoned buildings and walk-in shipping containers.

Gardens with wind turbines and reclaimed materials, water saving plants and vertical walls are springing up in small and large cities.

From yard-sharing and raising chickens to ‘step gardening’ and harvesting rain water, urban knights are discovering a ‘new good life’ by getting grounded with the earth.

Eco-scaping. Nature’s influence can be found both indoors and out.

“Borders are blurring between indoors and out as nature becomes more important in our lives,” says Bobbie Schwartz, FAPLD, past president of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, “Many people want their gardens and their homes to be sanctuaries of tranquility, reflecting their ideal concept of nature.”

Beauty and sustainability are key. Eric Liskey, deputy garden editor for Better Homes and Gardens magazine, suggests that people want the “beauty and romance” of a garden with less work. “Gardeners want easy, low maintenance plants that give plenty of color.”

The new Bloomtastic! ™ dwarf butterfly bush, Buddleia Lavender Veil from Hines Growers is both easy and low maintenance and attracts butterflies and hummingbirds with abundant, richly-colored, scented blooms.

“It’s easy to pot up herbs indoors and out for fresh ingredients, year round,” says Briscoe White, head herb farmer at The Growers Exchange. He recommends planting containers of herbs de Provence for beauty and cooking or covering a wall with rosemary.

Inner Gardening. Decorating our inner gardens with houseplants for better, healthier lives is now the new norm. These natural oxygen machines clean indoor air while bringing life to any room.

Bring nature in and green up your spaces with ferns, palms and peace lilies for a better, healthier you. To learn more about the benefits of indoor houseplants check out http://www.O2forYou.org.

Watch for additional green living trends from the Garden Media Group in upcoming weeks. For the latest gardening news visit Garden Media Groups blog.

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Lynne Whelan
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