3 trends in the garden business


Oregonians are scrambling to get their gardens in order for the summer. Here are three tips from landscaping and urban farming expert.

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Oregonians are scrambling to get their gardens and urban farms in order.

Click through for insights from landscape and backyard garden experts.

1. Making more with less water


Sixty three percent of the state is in “severe drought.” 

Demand for such products will increase in the coming years. John Dougherty, of Willamette Valley Landscape Management in Eugene, said his company hasn’t yet seen a rash of preservation-geared irrigation systems, but expects it is inevitable.

“At some point, it has to [shift], especially with what is going on in California and people are going to see what’s going on,” he said. “We’re going to see more landscapes that are designed with drip irrigation with rocks placed strategically in the yard, plants that need less watering. There are so many different decorative things we can do with different color rocks and pavers.”

2. Gardens aren’t just for flowers anymore

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Urban farming is now as much a part of Portland experience as biking to work and “Keep Portland Weird” stickers.

Gardeners today want something more than aesthetics from their garden, be it food or medicinal herbs, says Rob Daigle, of City Farm in North Portland,.

“People want duel purposes, they want it to look good but do something for them too,” he said. “Flowers are nice to look at, but people are wanting more. Customers are also getting away from the full-size fruit trees and getting the dwarves for their backyards. It’s becoming really trendy to grow your own food and raise your own chickens to get your own eggs. People are even doing their own goats around here to get their own dairy.”

3. Garden centers are diversifying

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The key to meeting demands of garden center customers is to offer a little bit of everything to stoke inspiration, says Michael Ludeman, owner of Tumalo Garden Market in Bend, said.

“We have areas for people to gather, ponds, waterfalls, radiant floor greenhouses — interesting, different types of things,” he said. “I’ve built my garden center over the years to give people ideas, we build greenhouses. When people walk on this property, they see a multitude of ideas for their backyards, perennial gardens, ponds, rivers, windmills, bird aviaries, bee apiaries.”

Tumalo was named one of the Today’s Garden Center 2015 Revolutionary 100.