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Highlights from “Reshaping the American Garden: The Effects of Demographic Trends and Urban Renewal on Gardening” Garden Writers Association of America September 2008 Age Trend a Positive for Gardening Average Annual Amount Spent on L&G Care by Age Source: National Gardening Association, 2007

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Highlights from “Reshaping the American Garden: The Effects of Demographic Trends and Urban Renewal on Gardening”

Garden Writers Association of America September 2008

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Age Trend a Positive for Gardening

Average Annual Amount Spent on L&G Care by Age

Source: National Gardening Association, 2007

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Trend 2: Increased Demand for Smaller Homes

Source: Arthur C. Nelson “Leadership In a New Era” JAPA, Vol. 72, No. 4, Autumn 2006

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Trend 3: Future Housing Demand

Outer Suburbs

First Tier/Inner Suburbs

Downtown

Could rising gas prices kill the suburbs?

When a high-cost commute reaches the point of no return, home buyers will start finding houses closer to work – some already are.

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There are Highs and Lows

Population Growth in Selected Downtowns

Source: Selected from a sample of 44 U.S. Cities – see Eugenie L. Birch “Who Lives Downtown?” in Redefining Urban & Suburban America, Brookings Institution, 2006

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Trend 4: Green/Outdoor Space in New Homes is Declining

Outdoor Space in New Homes

Sq. Ft. Excluding House Area

Source: US Census, Characteristics of New Housing (2007)

  • Note: Outdoor space = Lot size less home sq. ft. (controlled for number of stories). Estimates exclude space covered by garages, driveways and other outside fixtures
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Summary

Boomers Simplifying/Lower Maintenance Homes & Yards

Decline in Household “Greenspace”/Yard Size”

Increasing Interest in…

SMALL-SPACE

GARDENING

Downtown and Inner-Suburb Growth

Price of Gas

Increase in Demand for Smaller Homes

Decline in Households With Children

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It’s likely that the American garden is headed toward a gradual reinvention. Let’s see how the City of New York is a good example of this…

small space gardening
Small Space Gardening

In the urban environment, people of all economic backgrounds are willing and able to create gardens despite challenges and available space.

small space gardens
Why?

Food

Recreation

No interior garden space

Connection to Nature

Stress Therapy

Education/ Community

Wildlife

Where?

Vacant Lots

Alleys

Balconies Terraces, Fire escapes

Containers and Window boxes

Small Space Gardens
challenges of small space gardens
City laws/ordinances

Building rules

High Traffic zones

Inquisitive public

High winds

Sun

Movement of plants

Water

Availability of materials

Space

Challenges of Small Space Gardens
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Factors such as the decline of residential outdoor space, aging baby-boomers and renewed interest in urban areas will propel the small-space gardening trend.

  • A gradual reinvention of the American garden is predicted as people look for ways to maximize their space.
  • Today’s victory gardens are uniting communities, reclaiming land for agricultural purposes and are helping increase city green space.
  • Ethnically diverse neighborhoods are using gardens as a way to stay connected to their heritage.
  • Independent garden centers and gardening-related organizations are offering classes for urban small-space gardeners in response to this trend.

The Seeds For a New American Garden

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If you’d like more in-depth information on the presentation, please contact Keri Butler for a document highlighting key presentation takeaways:

Keri Butler

Director, Public Affairs

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company

(937) 644-7410

keri.butler@scotts.com