Libby Anglin, manager of Armstrong Garden Center, Westchester, Los Angeles, branch:
"Nurseries and garden centers are many people’s last connection to nature—whether or not they’re aware of it. I think nurseries will need to offer more fast-food gardens, as in prepared planters. For customers who still want to get their hands dirty, some garden centers are already offering recipe cardsfor plantings. The gardener doesn’t need to know which plants go together botanically, because the garden center has done that research already."
Jeff Garascia, senior vice president of global research and development for Scotts Miracle-Gro:
"We’re looking to make gardening simpler. There’s not an ancestral connection to the farm anymore. [So we’re] making it easier for the consumer to achieve good results."
David King, garden master, the Learning Garden at Venice High School, California:
In the future, I see city blocks coordinating their growing together. I see one person becoming the beekeeper, one who’s better at growing starts, and one go-to bug person. We need to encourage more gardeners and more study of gardening."
Nancy Somerville, executive vice president and CEO of the American Society of Landscape Architects:
"We’re at a tipping point of knowledge about how the conventional garden is ignoring the environment and what a landscape can do for us. It comes back to people’s own homes, especially in regards to water conservation through rain barrels, rain gardens, and vegetative swales."
Nysha Dahlgren, landscape designer, Ardenwoods Landscape Design:
"There’s so much connectedness through electronics. People will get tired of that solo ride. People will want to go back outside and connect with other humans, real humans. Land is, and will be, at such a premium in most places. We’ll need more public gathering spaces."
Megan Bomba, cofounder of Heart Beet Gardening and project coordinator at the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College:
"While land will be more scarce in 30 years, people are creative and will find ways to do what they need to do—– like gardening in little containers and hydroponics. If anything, gardening will be more creative."
Nicholas Bauch, PhD, and humanities fellow in geography and integrated studies at Stanford University:
"The future of gardening in the United States is dependent on how we manage the growing disparity of wealth. The shape of private gardens will be unchanged, but the challenge will be to increase the number of public gardens. City governments have to make public spaces a priority and support them financially."
Sara Carnochan is a cofounder of Heart Beet Gardening in Los Angeles where she plants, prunes, and writes. Her background is in literature—studying Creative Writing and Spanish at Bard College—and education—working as an assistant teacher at New Roads Elementary School. She is an ardent sheet mulching enthusiast, and if she were a vegetable she would be an eggplant.