Breaking Ground

Gardening For Spring? Ground Breaking…

From Michelin-starred restaurants to your own backyard, spring has finally arrived across the west and gardening is a trend here to stay. Take a read of Account Director and avid amateur gardener, Brett Depper Goldstein’s spring musings. 

As I sit down to write, we’ve just experienced the most snow we’ve had in New York in two years and yet, I’m fixated on the bulbs I planted this fall that have begun to peek through the soil in my garden. While my track record with house plants is quite abysmal, I have always aspired to have a green thumb and have found nature to be much more forgiving than an indoor pot. It turns out, I’m not alone. 

A 2024 gardening outlook report done by market strategy consulting company, Axiom, found that “respondents spent more money [and time] on gardening in 2023 and plan to spend more money [and time] in 2024.” This trend is not isolated to a certain age demographic, in fact, the report found that “Gen Z and Gen Y are 40+% likely to plant more than Gen X.” 

The increasing interest in gardening isn’t a random occurrence. Times of financial crisis often impact our relationship to food and space. It was following the 2008 financial crisis that NYC restaurant Riverpark developed their mobile garden seeing an opportunity to repurpose a neglected area in the wake of hundreds of stalled construction sites. More recently, many people increased their gardening at home as a result of inflation being at an all-time high last summer, according to the National Gardening Survey. 

From Bali to New York, culinary leaders are taking an approach that evokes nature from design to taste. At Aperitif Restaurant & Bar guests are delighted by unexpected Indonesian flavors, some of which are sourced from the property’s greenhouse harvest, while overlooking Ubud’s tropical jungle. Meanwhile Le Jardinier’s serene, lush interiors and produce-centric philosophy offers an escape from Midtown Manhattan’s hustle and bustle. Imagined by Barrière bars director, Emanuele Balestra, the cocktail program at Fouquet’s Bar at Le Majestic Cannes features herbs and honey which are cultivated from the onsite garden and apiary that was started by Balestra. As alluded to in the name, Botanist, located in Vancouver’s premier luxury hotel Fairmont Pacific Rim, showcases the surrounding Pacific Northwest region’s culinary abundance and botany. 

This all, of course, is happening with the backdrop of our impending climate crisis. Those searching for a short respite from environmental-induced anxiety, need only to pick up their phone to get lost in Cottagecore content on TikTok. Others, myself included, may turn to the meditative process of gardening. In the fashion realm, the industry’s finest will be dressing up to the theme of the “Garden of Time” for the 2024 Met Gala on May 6. 

A certain Ms. Priestly might remark, “Florals [or gardening]? For Spring? Groundbreaking.” However, the way I see it, literally breaking ground is equal parts restorative and surprising each spring. Last year’s bulbs may have multiplied, while the eager new seedlings might have sprouted too early to survive the season. After planting my own selection of annual flowers last May (my inaugural season at our house), I was thrilled by an abundance of unexpected perennials that gifted me gorgeous lilies throughout the summer. 

Now, as I begin to plan for the upcoming season, the pesky weeds have begun to pepper our front yard begging to be plucked, but I wonder if it’s even worth it yet? If we’re lucky, we’ll be able to try again year after year.