Attending Glee, the leading garden and leisure industry show, was a great opportunity for Nathan Dodd to spot trends and anticipate products that will come onto the market in the near future.
One of the main reasons for our buying team to attend Glee 2015 has been to gain an insight into the future, here Nathan James Dodd outlines what is currently trending in the gardening industry.
Within the garden industry, accessibility will continue to be emphasized, whether this means low or zero threshold greenhouses, planters at a convenient height, the new ‘Baksaver’ wheelbarrow, or other equipment and accessories that make gardening practicable for everyone.
New technology will become increasingly prevalent. Look no further than the self-cleaning barbecue, and the award winning Hozelock app that allows you to water plants via a mobile phone from wherever you are. The device will also suggest changes in the watering pattern depending on local weather information.
Outdoor dining is another hot topic with barbecues, grills and ovens expected to increase sales again next year. Although BBQs with outstanding technology will retain popularity, many people are going for modest models that boast an authentic charcoal taste.
New fabrics and furniture designs allow you to enjoy your BBQ in comfort, and for those who enjoy taking an afternoon nap, hammocks seem to be making a comeback.
Kelkay’s new range of horticultural grits and sands endorsed by the RHS suggests that landscaping materials will become ever more varied in their usefulness, texture and colour.
Stone ornaments are a perennial garden feature but highly detailed resin figures, both quirky and traditional, show continued popularity and Vivid Arts chose Glee to launch the concept of miniature gardening. You can now create your own diminutive scene where reality and fantasy exist in tandem, upload to social media and you might well have a viral sensation.
On the subject of scaled down gardening, terrariums are a favourite of James Wong. These are decorative closed glass containers with plants thriving inside due to the continual re-cycling of moisture. When open they are suitable for succulents, and our bet is that these terrariums are likely to appear in many people’s homes over the next twelve months.
Low maintenance products will continue to prove their worth, with products subjected to new processes and protected by modern coatings that extend their life. And the garden is bound to be a more colourful place, as manufacturers of structures and equipment continue to introduce new colours in preference to greens and browns.
Artificial grass, either highly realistic or gaudily bright, will remain a practical addition to high traffic areas. Garden lighting of all kinds including solar is also anticipated to sell well as the trend towards outdoor entertaining continues.
Finally, the demise of the garden centre in favour of online retailing seems to be misplaced. Suppliers are increasingly keen to use them to showcase their products with experienced staff on hand to pass on their knowledge.
Visiting a garden centre is a tactile and visual experience where you can interact with a manufacturer’s product. You get a much better idea of its qualities than reading a brief description and looking at an online photograph. The common concensus is that garden centres are the beating heart of the industry, and will remain so for some time to come. Garden retailers like Gardensite.co.uk which has at its heart a 60 year old garden centre business, are the kind of companies both consumers and garden manufacturers appear to be favouring.
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