Feb 28, 2011

Global Garden Report Finds Garden Bloggers on "Cutting Edge."

global garden report 2010. Garden Bloggers Repor.
The second annual Global Garden Report by Kairos Future, an international research and management firm, for Husqvarna and Gardena finds the hottest gardening trends by what garden bloggers around the world are talking about.

"Remember that since we depict the world of gardening through the eyes of gardening bloggers, what you meet will not always reflect the mainstream gardens of a specific country, or what you read in newspapers and magazines. Most often, garden bloggers do not represent the mainstream, but rather the cutting edge, showing the way to the future-though they would never admit that personally." 

They searched for what "gardening lovers" across the globe were passionate about. What they talked about on blogs and online. Their methodology included combing through blogs manually and automatically to find key topics. They seemed to have talked with bloggers about which topics they were passionate about to identify to discover these trends. They came up with a list of themes and then researched how much they were talked about in 13 selected countries, based on this information they create a top ten list of the hottest topics according to the garden blogging community. 

Here are some of the finding that I think are interesting. 

1. Kitchen Gardening
2. The Organic Garden
3. The Feel-Good Garden
4. The Designed and Artistic Garden
5. Re-Creating Wilderness
6. The Social Garden
7. Urban Farming
8. The Lush Garden
9. Container Gardening
10.Greenhouse Gardening

They find that the value of gardening comes from personal fulfillment, not from competition or trying to keep up with other gardeners. This laid-back approach to gardening "is also why there is little competition in the world of gardening, at least among passionate bloggers." 

The US, Scandinavia and China seem to be the countries with the most garden bloggers. In Austria and Switzerland garden bloggers are few and far between. 

Public Gardens are a source of inspiration for garden bloggers. 

Garden bloggers don't seem to care much about gardening tool. There's a large quote in the tool section by Colleen Vanderlinden of In the Garden Online.

Garden bloggers love lawns. 

"Finally, the majority of gardeners are not the hard-core passionate gardeners that tell the world about their whereabouts. They are the ones who fight an uneven battle with their ambitions to achieve and maintain the garden on a decent level, with a minimum of time and effort."

"...more traditional garden bloggers do not share the goal of being totally in sync with organic gardening practices. They believe that simply avoiding pesticides in the garden is in itself an environmentally friendly act."

They found that garden bloggers in the US are focused on designing and landscaping. I don't agree with this, they must have found a lot of garden blogs by landscape designers which are different from garden blogs. Designer blogs are not indicative of the average garden blog or garden blogger.  

Another trend they found among US garden bloggers is the appreciation for “natural gardens” which contradicts the above finding. To back up the finding of natural gardens being "in" they quote a comment in a 2008 post on Zanthan Gardens by someone who is not a garden blogger

In the United States, the gardening expert is out, while the wisdom of the amateur gardening crowd is in. In America's garden blogosphere the expert opinion is out and we are "rebellious" amateur gardeners who openly confront and question the experts.

They find that container gardening is big in the US, China and Brazil. The quote in the container gardening section by the American garden blogger is from Kerry Michaels at About.com

The biggest laugh comes in the container gardening section where GardenGuides.com is quoted.

Their methodology seems to be a bit off, but it is interesting to read about what garden bloggers in other parts of the world are blogging about. I do agree with them that garden bloggers (and gardeners on forums and social media sites) are on the cutting edge and even shaping gardening trends in ways that the experts and pros are not. You can open a garden book or magazine and come across trends and techniques that you’ve been reading about for months, or even years, online before it made it into print.

You can read the whole report (pdf) here


  1. Feeling that cutting-edginess out here in the garden blogosphere! Thanks for the report, MBT.

  2. The only bit I would agree with, is that I am still battling to find Swiss garden blogs. But I have an Austrian one, and lots of Germans. There are good gardens in Switzerland, just the blogging mentality is not there ...

  3. Great info from you as always. Thanks.
    Interesting to see the topics and know about global blogging differences. Not surprised by the emphasis on organic and edible. Loving lawns doesn't seem cutting-edge though, or reflective of the natural and edible trends.

  4. You're welcomed Helen.

    Elephant's Eye, I wonder why there aren't that many Swiss garden blog. Hope you find some more.

    Mary, It's always weird to see someone I know in real life commenting. Don't ask me why, it just is. Anyway, Thanks for the feedback. Hope to see you this weekend at the flower show or seed swap.

  5. I'm dubious about a number of their findings. For example, the lawn thing - it's not my experience reading garden blogs that we 'love lawns.' Speaking for myself, I live with someone who loves his lawn. If I didn't there'd be a lot more garden here and a lot less lawn.

  6. Thanks for finding this - I've added to the discussion over at mine.

  7. I laughed at the no competition among gardeners. Who has the first tomato in the neighborhood? or the biggest pumpkin? etc..We have only friendly competition and lots of sharing our produce with the neighbors. Gardening is a delight. This "study" is too intellectual. One gardens with his heart for the love and satisfaction of planting a miraculous tiny seed and nurturing it into an edible, tasty fresh bite.

  8. Interesting report. I would wonder what their methodology was for gathering the info, but with the many blogs that are extensions of a business that might explain some of what they found, like the love for lawns.

    I like a bit of lawn, but rarely blog about it, and don't often find bloggers that write about lawns, except in the negative sense.

  9. I'm just amazed that anyone would want to survey what we write about. I mean, I just write stuff that I find interesting in the garden, mine and others. I'm sure I'm not "cutting edge."

    I think a lawn is useful, but I certainly don't love mine!

    I haven't read the report yet, but I wonder if it mentions "messy" gardens, in which case perhaps I am cutting edge after all!


  10. I laughed at the no competition among gardeners. Who has the first tomato in the neighborhood? or the biggest pumpkin? etc..We have only friendly competition and lots of sharing our produce with the neighbors

  11. Anonymous5/18/2011

    Hmmm...very interesting. I agree with two things (public gardens are a source of inspiration for garden bloggers) and (in U.S. expert gardener is out and amateur gardening crowd is in). My take on the last part is that there is an amazing amount of energy in U.S. from the amateur/ beginning gardening group and they are the most vocal in a social media sort of way (blogs, twitter, FB, etc) so it seems the expert is out just because the beginners are so energetic. Definitely disagree regarding U.S. gardeners focused on landscaping and lawns! Interesting, thanks for sharing with us.


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