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GARDEN VARIETY

Brands experiment with new ways to embrace gardening

Climate change has put issues around eco-friendliness and sustainability front and center for modern youth. It follows that these youth are turning to avenues such as gardening to become more eco-conscious in the domain of their own homes while also indulging in a hobby that provides stress relief. Now, brands are catering to this new proclivity in new and creative ways.

IKEA X TOM DIXON

IKEA teamed up with designer Tom Dixon to design new gardening products and tools for city-dwellers in an effort to make “homes the new farmland.” These products will enable urban users to grow produce and medicinal plants in their own homes, ultimately allowing them to live more sustainably. Products from this new line will be available in IKEA stores globally starting in 2021. In tandem with this initiative, IKEA and Dixon co-created an experimental urban garden installation at the 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May to demonstrate the benefits of both hydroponic and natural gardening.

THE ROTOFARM

Australian company Bace created The Rotofarm, a hydroponic garden system that doubles as a piece of art. The Rotofarm is a sleek, stainless steel wheel that serves as a sculpturesque garden and can house up to five feet of growing area for plants. Water is stored in a reservoir at the base of the wheel, and an LED light housed in the middle of the sphere serves as a mini sun that provides UV rays to the plants as they rotate throughout the day. The garden itself is appropriately sized for space-conscious urban living and gives off a modern art-esque aesthetic that allows it to double as a piece of cool, wellness-inspired decor.

THE RISE OF GARDENING VIDEO GAMES

For those who don’t have the time or resources to start gardening IRL, there have been a host of virtual gardening games popping up that provide similar stress-relieving benefits. Games such as Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley, and Rosa’s Garden all provide online environments that give players responsibility and purpose as they build their inventory of plants and care for their plots. Not only are these games more customizable than narrative-driven games, they also lower players’ cortisol levels, helping them forget their real world stressors as they garden via these games.