May 2021 - 21

GREEN GOODS
I
t may not seem surprising to people
in the horticulture industry (because
we're already major plant lovers), but
one of the few positive outcomes of the
stay-at-home orders of 2020 has been
the renewed and new-found interest
in gardening - specifically growing
your own food at home. It's estimated
as many as 20 million new " gardeners "
were created in the time of pandemic,
and their rising demand for plants,
seeds and supplies has thrown many
garden retailers and vendors for a loop.
However, one of the key differences
in this new batch of consumers is that
their approach to traditional garden
layout and design may diverge from the
established garden mindset. They have
no preconceived notions - whether
from a place of little knowledge base
or a state of over enthusiasm. Rather,
they are willing to break some " rules " to
meet their needs.
This is where the edible landscape
trend can really take off! With new
gardeners growing their own food,
it doesn't take a large leap for them
to incorporate non-edibles, too. They
can dress up a vegetable garden with
flowers, or blend in their edibles
among foundational plantings around
their dwelling.
Here are some concepts and insights
from the experts at Ball Horticultural
Co. to help you cultivate these new
gardening trends.
Plants with Purpose
Pandemic aside, the movement
toward plants with a purpose has been
swelling for a while, and breeders have
taken note over the years.
" There's been a swing toward
choosing plants that are more than just
pretty. The consumer is asking what
they can DO for me besides just cause
more work? " says Claire Josephson,
product marketing manager for seed
breeder PanAmerican Seed. " That could
mean a multi-purpose plant that's
edible as well as ornamental, or it could
be a useful flower or herb that offers
medicinal properties or an answer to
craft and DIY projects. "
There are several edible flowers that
can be used in the garden, including a
staple for spring beds: Pansies. When
PanAmerican Seed launched its Cool
Wave Pansies series, part of its debut
included showcasing pansy flowers in
Ornamental pepper 'Purple Flash' has striking leaf coloration and interesting
plant architecture.
plated salads, cocktails, baked goods and other non-ornamental uses. Several DIY
videos and craft projects also were promoted on social media to show the useful
side of this pretty cool-season flower.
" We've seen the growth in mixing flowers and vegetables in the home garden -
both front and back yards, " says Josephson. " And through our plant trials, if our
experts can call out compatibility between flowers and vegetables, they will. "
There are a few mixed container recipes shared by PanAmerican Seed's Plug &
Play Combos program. Mixes like 'Cantina Heat', which uses peppers, petunias
and marigolds in a 12-inch container, or 'Lunch Date' blending an eggplant, basil
and marigold.
LGRMAG.COM | 21
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May 2021

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