The secret is revealed! Gardeners and their plants are the new trendsetters! I was flipping through a home and garden magazine recently and came across a name I recognized – Carl Linnaeus. A Swedish botanist, zoologist, and physician, Linnaeus is credited with developing the two-name, or “binomial,” system used in the classification of organisms.
For example, the scientific name for rosemary is Salvia Rosmarinus. Salvia being the plant genus and Rosmarinus being the species. This is usually indicated on the plant’s label under its common name in italics.
However, Linnaeus was not featured in the garden section of the magazine, but in the home section. Taking inspiration from the famous botanist, a designer for a Swedish-based company created a sheet set in the ancient style of hand-drawn plants. Since the company was established near Linnaeus’ birthplace, the flowers in the design originate from that region of Sweden.
Turning the page, there was a whole layout of other botanically inspired creations. Pillows, wallpapers, mugs, plates and chests of drawers all adorned with beautiful plants.
My mind immediately went to trendy plants. It turns out that more than once in fashion history, botanicals have been all the rage. In 2011, it was “cruise-wear” and in 2012, New York Fashion Week bloomed with floral motifs. A few of these models ended up being made for furniture upholstery as designers moved away from ho-hum solids.
In 2015 it was all about what to wear to a resort and 2016 saw botanical print dresses burst as the trend in bridal fashion. In 2020, a nod to the flower power era of the 1960s returned to boost the fashion industry as bohemian style became the new hippie look.
Fashion trends aren’t the only ones channeling the 60s and 70s, trailing plants such as spider plants, philodendron and pothos spilling over macrame hangers are back in the limelight. Ficus and Monstera Deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant) are also making a comeback.
It’s all about color and texture for other trending indoor plants. Combinations of cacti and succulents of varying sizes and shapes are artistically mixed together in oversized shallow containers. Interesting foliage plants such as croton, African mask, snake plant, fiddle leaf fig as well as striped, zebra and rattlesnake calathea are grouped together or used individually to make a bold statement.
Herbs have long been a staple in tea and medicine, but they are now sold in the market as infusions. Herbal tea blends are touted with the ability to reduce stress, calm an upset stomach, or stimulate the mind and body. Floral infusions such as red clover flower and hibiscus are formulated into refreshing soaps, or you can relax and rejuvenate your body in a floral bath tea. More recently, universities and other specialized institutions are offering degrees in alternative and holistic medicine as society’s interest in natural remedies increases.
The start of this decade also saw an increase in sustainable gardening, a style of gardening that focuses on saving the planet. This includes the use of natural pesticides and fungicides, water conservation, companion planting and composting. It also encompasses efforts to save our essential pollinators, bees. Gardeners are gradually planting pollinator gardens to attract and support bees, and beekeeping is also on the rise.
We can say that the maintenance of vegetable gardens and aromatic herbs could fall under sustainable gardening. An abundance of gardeners are starting or expanding vegetable gardens, as well as planting fruit and nut trees, all with the goal of achieving healthy, organic food choices. Farm-to-table restaurants are the perfect place to dine.
Going hand in hand with sustainable gardening is an increased interest in native plants. Just as people here in the south prefer good local barbecue and sweet tea, native bees, birds, hummingbirds and beneficial insects have a taste for the nectar, seeds and nuts of native plants. Natives are plants adapted to our climate and soil conditions, so once established they are virtually maintenance free.
From home decor to pollinator gardens, beautiful plants are the bees’ knees. See you next week, happy gardening.