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Nothing New that the Residential Landscape Business Is Slowly Returning

Last week at Boston’s New England Grows trade show,  I talked to several people in the landscape business.  I asked them if their clients are spending more or less on the landscape as compared with a couple of years ago.  Most agreed people are spending money, but only in specific areas.

Since people stay home more now, they want the lawn to look good.  They demand less pesticides for the lawn because of their children and also pets, but still want that green lawn.

Current market research also says that homeowners spend more money on gardening, but only for growing vegetables and maintaining the lawn.

Storrs and Harrison catalog cover of 1898 shows the lawn as the center.
Storrs and Harrison catalog cover of 1898 shows the lawn as the center of the home landscape.

The fact that the lawn continues to be a focus for the homeowner struck me as significant.  The lawn is still important to the American gardener.

The landscape industry people I talked to agreed with that.

Nineteenth century Philadelphia nurseryman Thomas Meehan wrote about the renewed interest in landscape gardening in his magazine Gardener’s Monthly in 1880.  He said “There are indications that the love of art in landscape gardening is meeting with fresh revival.  There have been several periods within the time of living men, when there was much enthusiasm for this kind of art, notably in the time of A. J. Downing [America’s premier landscape gardener in the mid-nineteenth century]. The business depressions of late years have kept people more to the bread and butter side of life. Art is now reviving, and garden art, with other kinds.”

The current opinion that people spend more  money on the home landscape reflects Meehan’s sentiment so well.

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