Garden trends point to animal sanctuaries

By: 
Rob Zimmer
Columnist

Each year, a number of garden marketing groups and organizations predict and highlight trends among consumers and gardeners. This year, among the many trends being predicted are a number of tried-and-true projects and hobbies that gardeners have long been passionate about.

This week, here’s a look at some of the gardening trends taking place locally and nationally.

Several home and garden organizations spot color trends among property owners, as well as home and garden art and projects. This year’s hot color is cyber lime — a bright, almost neon lime green that has captured the attention of home and garden decor businesses and trendsetters.

Cyber lime shows itself in many forms. There are many plants that are decorated with lime-colored foliage, such as coleus varieties and coral bells and ninebarks, smokebush and others. It is also displayed in garden art and accent pieces, as well as doors, window frames and a number of other garden elements.

Bumblebees are especially hot in 2024. Gardening for them has become all the rage. One species, especially, in Wisconsin, the rusty-patched bumblebee, is officially on the federal endangered species list.

Growing and gardening for bumblebees and other pollinators is a hot trend in 2024.

Of course, there are monarchs, and, as always, the trend in gardening is to provide more nectar sources for monarch butterflies, as well as their host plant, milkweed.

Growing and providing nectar sources throughout the season — most notably late in summer and into fall, after Labor Day — is essential to rebuilding monarch numbers.

We will talk much more about the monarch situation throughout the year.

Moving house plants outdoors into the summer garden is another hot garden trend.

Growing and including house plants in our exterior gardens and landscapes is a fun trend and one that I hope to see continue to rise here in our state.

Another trend among gardeners is transforming yards and gardens into foraging oases.

More than just a typical, traditional row garden filled with edibles, the new trend is expanding edible plants to fill the entire yard.

By combining nut trees, berry bushes, greens, fruits and vegetables, root crops, herbs and more throughout the entire yard, not just limiting them to a garden bed, is a growing trend.

Imagine being able to walk out into your garden and yard and forage edible plants and greens, nuts and berries throughout the seasons.

Much more to come on new plants for 2024 in my next column.

Rob Zimmer is a nature and garden author, public speaker and radio show host on WHBY. Readers can find him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RobZimmerOutdoors.