Connecticut Flower and Garden Show hints at season's gardening trends

HARTFORD, Conn. —Each year, garden show offerings hint at what will be trendy for the growing season. Despite a large fairy garden display, vendors were offering less fairy gardening supplies than in past years. There was also more emphasis on wooden garden decor (think trellises and even greenhouses).

Here are some trendy highlights from this year's show.

A windowsill garden display in the Natureworks booth features colorful pots and decorative glass plants.

Windowsill gardens

Container gardening is not just for the outdoors: Think a smaller scale for indoor use.

Over at the Natureworks booth, windowsill garden components were the popular items. "When you wake up in the morning and look out over the kitchen sink, these little plants in little pots make you happy," said Diane St. John, retail manager.

Fun pottery was an important component to this trend. "The pot is always an afterthought, but choosing the right pot is just as important as the plant," she said. St. John recommended updating the display in the summer with bud vases containing the season's flowers.

There's even an option for "black thumbs."

"If you kill plants, use decorative glass plants."



Macramé plant hangers on display in the Natureworks booth.

Macramé planters

When you've picked out the perfect pot, you may opt to hang it and its contents in a macramé plant hanger. The 1970s trend is back again. These planters emphasize texture and shape, and elevate houseplants to new levels.

With various designs and shapes, the planters were able to accommodate smaller houseplants as well as larger ones. (Assorted pricing based on size.)

The larger version of the iMow on display (and
running in the background).

Robotic mowing

Too busy to mow the lawn? Stihl has a solution for that. The new iMow Robotic Mower, just introduced in fall 2017, uses installed boundary wires to mow the grass on your property — which keeps it out of your garden beds as well. To work properly, the iMow needs programming and to be installed by an authorized dealer (there are three in Connecticut). Totally battery-powered, gardeners can program the iMow when to mow — and when not to. (It has a sensor to know not to mow if it is raining.) A full charge equals about two hours of mowing, and the iMow will know when to return to its docking station to recharge (it follows its installed perimeter). A plus: it's fairly quiet, something not usually associated with lawnmowers. (View a video of it I shared on Facebook while at the show.)

"It was just introduced in the fall," said Joe Passarello, sales manager for Northeast Stihl. "There are 25 dealers in the Northeast for this pilot program. There will be more dealers in 2019." Available in two sizes, convenience does come with a price: the iMow ranges from $1,300-$2,000, plus installation.


Campanulas for sale in the Country Flower Farms booth.

The colors purple and cranberry

Purple is back in a big way this spring, partially thanks to Pantone announcing Ultra Violet as the Color of the Year, and well, because people just seem to really like it! At the Country Flower Farms booth, anything purple and cranberry were selling well, according to Mary Legace LeHerissier. "The campanulas are trendy and selling well," she said in between helping the many customers. (Pictured above, the campanula plants ranged from $4-$7.)

Soil blocks made from the soil block kits for sale in the Fruition Seeds booth.

Say good-bye to plastic

Ready to start seeds? Fruition Seeds offers two sizes of soil blockers, a tool they swear by for use on their farm. Fruition Seed representative Haley, who was showing spectators how the soil blockers work, explained how the soil blocks save space and grow healthier plants: the roots won't circle around like they would in a plastic container cell. Instead, when they sense air, they instinctively know to stop and turn around.

There are two sizes, and the smaller versions can be planted into the next size up when the plants area ready. The kit cost $60 and included two trays.

For more information on the show, which runs through Sunday, Feb. 25, click here.

Comments

  1. Sounds like an exciting show! I was thinking about going to a local home and garden show this weekend and decided against it. I love the idea of a windowsill garden. I would grow plants indoors but my cats are curious and might nibble them!

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