A Sneak Peek into 2020 Garden Trends By Katie Dubow

Whether it’s a fanny pack or a scrunchie, I have always been attracted to trends. And the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Garden Media Group, a public relations business my mom started when she put me on the bus for kindergarten, took her trend predictions national when she launched the Garden Trends Report in 2001.

Today, our annual trends report is one of the most widely read in the industry. Cultivating and culminating the trends is literally a labor of love. It takes about a year to research, curate and write each trends report. When we wrapped up the 2019 GTR in August, we jumped right into brainstorming for 2020 — which launches this month at Cultivate’19.


People often ask what our process is like, and after 20 years, I must say we’ve gotten it down to a science. We start collecting data on a global scale from related industries, like home design and fashion. We interview our trusted media sources and garden experts. And finally, there is a little tea leaf reading and connecting the dots. When you’ve been predicting trends successfully for almost 20 years, like our boss — and my mom — Suzi McCoy has, you learn to trust your instincts.

Now that I’ve stepped into the role as guest host on QVC for Cottage Farms, the trends have taken on a whole new dimension. When I hear the hosts announce, “Katie Dubow, author of the widely read Garden Trends Report,” I take great pride.

The exposure for the report is now reaching more than 100 million households in which QVC airs. My mom’s idea has blossomed into a report with enormous national and international exposure — not just for our clients and our business, but for the industry as a whole.

As proven over the past 20 years, we believe the value of trends is to provide new ideas and inspiration to breeders, growers, retailers and gardeners. We take a deep pride in searching for and sharing new innovations the gardening public will adopt and incorporate in their gardens. Our goal is give people a glimpse into the future so they can adjust business plans, tweak garden layouts, or take a tip and go from there.

COMING IN 2020 …

The trends we identified over the last two decades suggest people are changing their gardening practices in response to the increasing demands for time in their daily lives. People are over-stressed and don’t want the same pressure in their gardens. And this year is no different.

The 2020 Trends — The Roaring Twenties — introduces seven industry trends that show how people are using plants and gardens to improve every aspect of their lives, from healthcare to the environment.

One of my favorite trends for 2020 is what we call Endangered Soil. In it, we call for a Regenerative Revolution. Over the last 75 years, we have stripped nutrients from our soil, leaving the food we grow in it useless at best and dangerous at worst. Our earth suffers from deforestation and erosion. Organic isn’t enough anymore; we need a new soil operating system to restore the health of the planet from the ground up. Regenerative Gardening builds soil health and sequesters carbon, all in our own backyards. We can grow in new ways, using new methods to rebuild soil and perhaps find a substitute for not using soil at all.

In looking at new ways we can grow food, we are also looking at new ways cities will need to adapt to suit the growing populations. With 68% of the world population projected to live in urban areas by 2050, future cities will need to include green infrastructure, millions of plants and an army of landscape practitioners. Oh, and, they need to be valued, demanded or mandated, and supported in their work.

The people living in these cities will demand access to nature. Several studies already show millennials deeply in touch with nature. And although they are living predominantly in urban areas, they crave greener spaces, processes and products. This renter generation isn’t buying homes or living in expansive spaces, having little to no access to yards; so their inclination is to transform their indoor space into a plant forest. Also, house plants are a relatively cheap form of home decor. They make every space look more inviting. Plus, this generation is having children later, making plants a low-risk commitment while also giving them a sense of responsibility.

I like to say that trends are fun. We have fun putting them together, we have fun presenting them, and you should have fun reading them.

These are just a few of the trends we will unveil at Cultivate’19 on July 14. Please join us!

Katie Dubow

Katie Dubow is creative director with Garden Media Group and a member of GPN's 40 Under 40 Class of 2018. She can be reached at katie@gardenmediagroup.com

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