Gardening in January 2019

Gardening in January
And just like that we have closed the book on 2018. This was the year that saw Ramaphoria hit South Africa – a new president ushering in a new dawn? It also saw the rise of the far left in South Africa, as well as some unwelcome noise being made regarding land expropriation without compensation. The trade war between the East and West have forecasters worried – will this lead to a full-blown conventional war? Who knows what is going on in the UK – we are still not sure whether there will ever be a deal on Brexit. Weird weather is hitting the world – devastating simultaneous hail storms has just hit 3 continents. 2019 may come with uncertainty, but I am sure it is going to be an adventure like no other.

Traditionally, this first article of the year is where we look at some gardening trends for the coming year. Before I start prophesying, let’s reflect on my forecasts for 2018. I forecasted a movement back towards 70’s fashion – not as big as I thought but still significant. Indoor plants were big as forecasted. So was the colour purple. Permaculture did not become mainstream, but I will keep this one on the list for 2019. I do see some “healthscaping” happening, but not on the scale I would like – let’s keep that one on the list too. Fermenting was big in the home kitchen – will it become mainstream in 2019?

Millennials are an indoor generation – screen time, virtual reality, automation, fast internet and an online world has brought the universe to our children. This is the year when we will see those born in this century enter the job market – and no one knows what this will mean. I do think that we will see a continuing of the trends towards indoor gardening. The garden itself will become part of the home – with outdoor “rooms” becoming very trendy. I see plenty of pastel shades this year – especially blue and mint. Instagram gardening will spread ideas and trends through the world. Online interest groups will see information sharing like we have not seen before. This year might see another billion people come online – and we have no idea how they will influence fashion and thought.

I see people becoming more interested in the rhythms of nature. Gardening while conscious of the cosmos will bring us in harmony with the rhythms of the sun, moon, planets and stars. We will start to eat seasonal food from our own gardens, embrace the first blossoms of spring, wait patiently for the rain, look forward to the heat of summer and the cold winds of winter all while knowing whether the moon is in perigee or apogee. The Waldorf school movement has piqued an interest in the teachings of Rudolph Steiner.

His lectures on bees and agriculture can change the world for the better – I am hoping on these becoming standard reading material in lounges of gardeners around the world. Other green trends will continue to gain traction – recycling, composting, biodegradable plastics, water saving and a complete movement away from damaging chemicals in the garden. Hopefully we will see less plastic in garden centres. Coir and peat pots will become trendy and I trust that we will soon see compostable compost bags.

We cannot ignore the influence that Cannabis will have on gardening. The ability to grow this highly medicinal plant at home has made gardeners out of many. Information, genetics and methods are shared freely, and we are seeing anything from a closet to an entire room turned into an indoor garden.

Hydroponic shops are popping up everywhere and garden centres suddenly have grow-your-own sections stocked with all the supplies to enable you to propagate, cultivate and harvest your own medicine – be it for health or recreation or both. Online grower clubs are stoking the movement and millennials have embraced it – who knows where these new minds will take it.

I see this same tend continue into the kitchen. Cannabis edibles will be huge this year – everything from juicing fresh leaves to THC-infused sweets and drinks. New ways will be found to use this plant in food, both in its psycho-active and non-psycho-active forms. Be careful with your own experiments on this though – it won’t kill you, but a heavy hand may lead to some very unpleasant experiences.

I wish you the best year ever! Happy gardening.