Current society is at the very least, curious… is it not? As a non GenX, Non- Millennial, boomer of sorts my optics on societal development are perhaps jaded. Nevertheless, there is a very interesting common denominator that exists in our techno-information polluted age, and that is the need/want/desire to touch reality. Landscapes whether at home or developed under design for public use are finally being considered as valid for health reason. There seems to be a shifting relationship between us as humans and the natural environment, and for the better. The Japanese culture has understood this for eons, ‘Forest Bathing’ is the translation that is given to this interesting ritual of simply spending time in a forest, under and with the trees. Practicality enters and rears its head here, as so many of us are unable to simply leave the office and wander off into the forest to absorb all the positive ions and breath in the terpenes and healing agents that trees offer. However the built landscapes are taking on an improved role benefiting society. Many younger folks are discovering that working cooperatively, either in the true sense of actually being with other people or virtually as in social media, that gardening is where it’s at. In a society that considers “chatting” online is an actual conversation, the act of being outdoors, interacting face to face with real people and in a green growing space is healthy for the brain as well as the body. Additionally, many of these growing spaces produce edibles as well as decorative plants which panders to the 100 mile initiatives and healthy, non GMO foods. I delight in observing younger people’s reaction when they see that their physical efforts actually produced something that is tangible, real and positive. Alternatively, the life lessons learned when effort is less than required and their crop or plant withers and perishes, all very immediate and real. From a social perspective, groups of folks gardening collectively in let’s say a community garden, there seems to be a wave of delight expressed as they are doing something, however small, to make a better world. Often times, produce from these collectives is shared with local food banks or with the homeless.
On trends, further to the social aspects of gardening, textures, colours and whimsy are taking centre stage. What a wonderful way to attract the very young to the delights of growing something through wickedly cool plants. Some look like animals while others will wither and appear to die only to regain composure and then the brilliant colours of so many. All trending, all good and perhaps one secure path towards a sustainable and brilliant new generation of gardeners.
October 21st, 2018