Birding is booming. According to Garden Media Group, sales of bird feeders and feed reached $2.2 billion in 2021, and Audubon’s Bird Guide app grew eighty-one percent from 2019 to 2020. In a matter of weeks, birds will make their way back up to our neck of the woods. To optimize bird activity in your yard, plant native flowers and shrubs that birds like, such as asters, sunflowers, coreopsis and cardinal flowers. Set out a nice feeder for birds to perch on, preferably near a shrubby area and stocked with plenty of feed, install a birdbath, grab a pair of binoculars, and enjoy the show.
In 2020 and 2021, we saw remote employees taking their Zoom conference calls al fresco and getting creative with outdoor home office spaces (TL;DR: A WiFi range extender is key).
Work hard, play harder: Adult yard games and activities are trending now more than ever. And we don’t mean yard games that you pack up and store in your garage or shed at the end of the day. Think permanent fixtures like a backyard axe throwing target. Or, if throwing sharp tools for fun isn’t your cup of tea, consider a putting green, custom horseshoe pit or hook and ring setup.
Dahlias are becoming more popular by the day for both new and seasoned gardeners, and we can’t blame them. The perennials’ stunning plate-sized blooms grow up to ten inches in diameter and come in every color of the rainbow.
Mark Corder, secretary of the Great Kansas City Dahlia Society, says that membership of the dahlia-lovers club is exponentially increasing: “When I joined six or eight years ago, there were probably fifteen or twenty active people,” he says. “I recently had to count the number of people that were still on the rolls, and it’s around a hundred. But probably twenty-five to thirty of those joined in the last few years.”
The society’s acting officer, Ron Stauffer, says that he thinks dahlias are becoming increasingly popular in home gardens because the labor is worth the reward, as the Instagrammable flowers bloom continuously from late summer into fall. “When I have dahlias in the yard, I can go out there and I can cut three, four, five bouquets,” Stauffer says. “And you can’t see that I’ve ever been out there because they are so prolific. The more you cut, the more you get.”
Curved Pools and Gardens
Curved furniture, like sculptural couches and asymmetrical rounded tables, will be huge in 2022, and it will be no different in outdoor living. According to Pinterest, search volume for “round pool deck ideas” was up a hundred and seventy percent by the end of 2021. If you’re not looking to build a home pool anytime soon, try the trend with spherical or curved garden beds, round daybeds, half-moon benches, circular water features and fire pits.
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is undoubtedly the biggest garden show in the world, and one trend that rubbed off on garden bloggers last year was hardscaping with a coastal theme, with a huge emphasis on outdoor showers. Outdoor showers are not only ideal for washing off pool chemicals; they also add a spa- or resort-like experience to a home and can increase home value.
If installing an outdoor shower year-round in this pocket of the Midwest is not realistic to you but you still want that indoor-outdoor spa bathroom feel, try an indoor shower with a floor-to-ceiling
frosted glass window, or install a balcony off the bathroom.
Electric-Only Lawn Equipment
Last fall, the governor of California passed a law banning the sale of new gas-powered equipment using small off-road engines, which includes lawn equipment like leaf blowers and lawnmowers. The new law will be applied in 2024, but if this is like any other movement that is born in California, it will eventually move eastward. Elimination of gas-powered equipment will also significantly reduce noise pollution.
Sabine Green, manager at Farrand Farms, says that she’s seen an influx of licensed cannabis growers coming into the greenhouse in search of supplies for growing the green.
“We sell a lot of soil that is geared towards cannabis growing,” Green says. “We carry Nectar for the Gods, and that’s been a super popular one.” And as for grow lights, Green jokes that growers “probably go to Amazon for something a little less expensive.”
Get more info on cultivation licenses here.
Nicole Bradley is Kansas City magazine’s former Associate Editor and forever friend.
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