We’ve just wrapped up one of my favorite workplace greenery and horticulture conferences – the annual Cultivate 22 held in Columbus, Ohio, by American Hort, our national organization supporting and promoting the horticulture industry.
We were back last year post-pandemic, but we were all still feeling the many effects of what we’d all gone through. This year, the energy, collaboration, and creativity were truly back. I could tell immediately from the bright-colored plant and floral displays in downtown Columbus. They were missing last year.
More than 650 exhibitors and 10,000 industry professionals like me attend this show to see all the latest products and plants and talk with colleagues to share and learn about the latest trends and solutions for our clients.
After the pandemic, we aren’t taking the opportunity to gather for granted. The energy at the conference was indeed off the charts this year. We also recognize more than ever how vital, healthy workplaces and public gathering spaces are to our well-being.
The understanding of the benefits of biophilic design in our lives is finally growing. The pandemic forced us to reconsider our well-being at work, at home, and in public spaces. We couldn’t be happier to see this trend leading the way in our field and contributing to new thinking about workplace design.
For years, Good Earth Plant Company has discussed the central concept of biophilia – the innate human connection to Nature. This drives our mission statement: We enrich peoples’ lives with plants.
Here’s what we saw at the show that’s gotten us fired up.
Color and Creativity
The innovation we saw last year is accelerating. Last year it was about technology, This year, it’s about creativity. Sometimes I hardly knew where to look. We’re pushing ourselves to deliver genuinely creative designs for our clients. They’re more adventurous than ever and willing to break boundaries and trust us. Thank you!
The top trends for 2022 at Cultivate 22 are about color and creative materials and designs.
Bright colors: Flowers and plants are vibrant. Pastels are out. BIG color statements are in.
Containers that don’t compete: To complement all these bright colors, containers are toned down in subtle colors, and materials like clay, concrete, stone, and wood act like beautiful frames and foundations for Nature.
Maximizing space: The design trend for indoor plants and workplace greenery we saw last year using overhead space has become even more popular. It’s one of our favorite ways to include Nature in “found” indoor spaces. We call it “overhead moments.” Plants are placed on high shelves, ledges, ceilings, and skylights. Good Earth Plant Company has completed several projects in this category in the last few years.
3-D thinking: Maybe the metaverse is hot, but we love what’s going on in the real world with the multi-dimensional use of design space. My favorite display in this year’s show was a living wall styled like a beautiful cave, just 23 inches deep. It incorporated moss and replica plants living plants at the base, lights, and other design elements. It was created by Michael Creath and Jessie Laux of Planthropy. I promise the photo doesn’t do it justice!
Moss wall fever: Interest in moss walls keeps growing. They are still Good Earth Plant Company’s most popular product category. The creative possibilities seem unlimited. Take a look at this moss wall with a monarch butterfly design. My friend Nico Bouchard of Design by Nature created this and it’s a real wow. It’s like our moss wall project combined with an outdoor mural in Venice, California. We’re going to see many more of these fantastic moss walls.
Edible walls: Good Earth Plant Company created and installed several edible walls for restaurants over a decade ago. They are challenging to maintain. There are now some new vertical growing systems and approaches we’re excited about. One is called “Smart Farm.” We’re consulting with a San Diego-based architect on a project incorporating Smart Farm.
We love the 70s: Along with macrame and woven elements that aren’t going anywhere, we saw a philodendron trained to grow up a central post – something we hadn’t seen since we started our business in the late 1970s.
Moving forward and always more to learn
We continue to upgrade projects with new design and construction techniques. Fabrication improvements save time and money for our clients. At this time last year, we were just starting to use 3D printing, which will continue to be an essential tool.
Supply chain problems are still with us, but they’re improving. Plant shortages are also improving. We still see some plant collectors paying outrageous prices for certain rare varieties of Monsteras and philodendrons. There are many other good choices for healthy, attractive plants without the crazy inflated price tags. We will continue to source the best for our clients.
Finally, a big thank you and enormous appreciation to my horticultural industry colleagues. We’re more like teammates than competitors. I had the chance to take a field trip and visit Columbus-based Planthropy. Owners Michael Creath, Jessie Laux, and their entire team made me feel welcome and shared so much good information.
It’s always good to see my colleagues at the Silverado Roundtable. We’ve been collaborating for many years. Our fearless leader, Will Phillips, gave a presentation about workplace culture that was the hit of the show. His audience was hanging on every word. Did I mention Will is 86 years old? I want to be like Will when I grow up!
The Good Earth Plant Company is growing, and our talented new team members contribute their unique skills and perspective to our work for our clients. (PS – check out our Careers page). We’re enthusiastic about all the latest innovations, but we also continue to use the techniques and systems we’ve tested and proven as the best available.
What can we create for you? Challenge us! Call 858-576-9300 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.