It’s 6 degrees outside, with about a foot of snow (and more on the way), so I can’t think of a better time to talk about spring.

Central Oregon Gardening Trends for 2017

Snowy and 6 degrees in Central Oregon today.

In a stroke of good fortune, yesterday’s paper (which I’m reading this morning) features a wire story from the Newport News (Virginia) Daily Press detailing several gardening trends for 2017. Count me in.

A few of the trends are pretty predictable -– healthy living with fewer chemicals; more organic foods; an increasing emphasis on folks growing their own food, especially among millennials. Then there’s indoor gardening (i.e, hydroponics and aquaponics), which has been on the rise for a few years –- and is now considered mainstream.

One of the 2017 trends has already firmly taken root (so to speak) here in Central Oregon: Growing your own hops -– which, the article declares, “is a natural step for the beer enthusiast who wants to experiment with the freshest, most local ingredients possible.” Sounds like that reporter in Virginia is familiar with Bend.

There is one trend, however, that, at first glance, seems pretty unlikely in Central Oregon, where a frost in July is not unheard-of: year-round gardening. Turns out, though, dramatic temperature shifts shouldn’t be a problem any longer: We now have “uber gardening”:  using subscription services to provide climate-appropriate seeds and foods. Apparently, it’s been around for awhile, but it’s news to me. And, according to Katie Dubow, creative director at the Garden Media Group, which tracks national gardening trends, “In the next two years, experts estimate people will carry an average of eight subscription services.”

Since the article doesn’t elaborate on said subscriptions to further explain this trend, I did some prowling around online to learn more.
Here are a few clever gardening-focused web-based subscription services I found:

  1. Our Little Roots, which delivers an organic/non-GMO garden (including pots, soil, stakes, seeds, grow guides and recipes) in a little brown box each month.
  1. Urban Organic Gardener, which delivers a collection of seeds and garden supplies each month at the right time of the year, based on your location.
  1. My Garden Box, which delivers a custom-crafted collection of plants, gardening décor and DIY projects each month.
  1. And Seattle-based Plow Box, which delivers quarterly boxes (one for each season) filled with regionally appropriate seeds, planting instructions and tips.

Other trends of note mentioned in the article:

  1. A return to more natural landscaping, combined with DIY garden decor made from repurposed accent pieces (i.e, a container transformed into a water feature or a child’s wagon used as a portable garden).
  1. Less lawn — a greater emphasis on planting beds, groundcovers, low-growing plants, walkways and patios rather than swaths of turf.
  1. Natural dye gardens – i.e, plants that can be used to dye your own textiles and clothing.

And, finally, here’s my favorite new trend (not to mention, my favorite new phrase): “forest bathing,” spending more time energizing self in Mother Nature’s woods.”

I’m all for that one — just not today.


About the Author
Lisa Broadwater, GRI, CDPE, is a Central Oregon-based real estate professional who specializes in listing and selling homes, especially in Sisters, Tumalo, Bend and Redmond.