Trends and new products
Social gardens were the focus when spoga+gafa opened its doors again from 18 to 20 June 2023. This was the theme for 2023 of the world's biggest trade fair for garden lifestyle. The presentation of new products from the green industry in Cologne was all about gardens as places of encounter and social interaction. Taking a look at the current garden trends shows that themes like community, health or sustainability have gained a new dynamic over the past years. The design of outdoor space is further developing due to global megatrends like urbanisation and neo-ecology.
Community space garden: Living together in the open air
The garden is a safe place of retreat for relaxation and regeneration. Furthermore, today its uniting strength is coming to the fore. The key question is: How can we strengthen social ties again? When getting together with the family, neighbours and friends, the private living environment is leaving its traditional borders and moving outdoors. The manufacturers of garden furniture are offering an array of new products for this purpose: Dining tables, armchairs and lounge sofas, cooking appliances, even whole kitchen units are found outside today and invite people to get together. People eat, laugh, chat and relax together. The garden is becoming a social place with a high degree of design and function.
City Gardening: Growing neighbourhoods
If there were more green spaces as places of encounter, the cities would become more attractive again too. Trends like city gardening are picking up on this and are promoting the community and the social exchange. "City Jungle" or "Green Love" - the names of current products for urban outdoor areas already imply it: Greenery is reclaiming the city. Not only plants, flowers and herbs are blooming on balconies and roof terraces, but also the human interaction. People are planting, harvesting, chilling and grilling together. Modular lounge furniture, space-saving sunshades and balcony BBQs are turning even tiny open spaces into urban living islands. Compact planting tables and trellises or mini greenhouses promise rich harvests on the tiniest of spaces. Combinable raised beds offer a wide variety of design options for the neighbourhood community garden.
Sustainable gardening: Together for climate protection
In addition to the social aspect, environmental protection also plays a major role in sustainable gardening. A growing trend occupies itself with rethinking our product culture. Material cycles with a lower resource consumption are strived for. Recycled plastic for garden furniture, plant or cultivation pots are made from ocean or other plastic waste. New composters made from 100 percent recyclate ensure "green" cycles in two senses of the word. Even metal tool sheds are manufactured in a climate neutral manner today - green energy and the compensatory promotion of climate protection projects make this possible. More and more regional products and domestic plants or drought-resistant plants are implemented for garden work. The current trend is also towards bio-degradable and peat-free products as well as regrowing materials like wood, bamboo and rattan for outdoor furniture. In order to reduce the CO2 footprint, transport-friendly, self-assembly garden furniture is also offered.
The garden for everyone: Multifunctional and ergonomic
Garden work unites the old and the young. To make sure this continues, the manufacturers offer products for all generations today. Garden tools and work gloves or colourful planting tables for kids increase the fun factor for children. Optimised ergonomics and simplified operation facilitate gardening for the elderly. There are lightweight tools with a soft-touch coating, soft shock absorbers or designs for a back-friendly working posture for tasks like digging, pouring, spraying. New click solutions for changing adapters fast or smart irrigation systems promise more lawn care comfort. Multifunctional tools also make working with substrates or sowing seeds easier.
Indoor Gardening: Green encounters
Today, the garden is extended living and working space. Vice versa, indoor rooms are being transformed into small, green oases. LED-lit cultivation pots or indoor greenhouses enable self-provision with herbs and vegetables within one's own four walls. Hanging baskets, plant shelves and mobile flower caddies turn not only flats, but also offices or hotel lounges into flourishing landscapes. Parallel to this, outdoor spaces are turning into cosy places of retreat for relaxation purposes. Greenhouses with a creative design or in vintage look are offering green areas of retreat. There are radiant heaters powered by clean, odour-free infra-red technology that enable people to get together even when it is cold. Furthermore, mini garages for bikes, tools and outdoor furniture offer more storage space for garden accessories.
Diversity for togetherness: BBQs and outdoor kitchens
What can be better than dining together to turn outdoor space into the social focal point. Current hybrid grills that use gas or charcoal as well as a new generation of electric grills offer manifold options when having a BBQ with neighbours and friends. Heat for direct or indirect grilling and baking is available at the push of a button. What's more, the temperature and self-cleaning function can be set accurately. A selection of compact and yet high-performance barbecues can also be implemented in small spaces. Even pizza ovens are available with a portable design to enable Mediterranean flair on the terrace or camping holiday. Those, who have more room, can expand their outdoor cooking options with the uncomplicated installation of modular kitchen units. Fully-equipped outdoor kitchens unite cooking with design and the joint experience.
A place of exchange and encounter was also spoga+gafa 2023 in Cologne. As the leading trade fair for garden lifestyle, it brought together international companies from the green sector and trade visitors from all over the world from 18 to 20 June 2023. Exhibitors of outdoor furniture and accessories, garden tools as well as BBQ and outdoor kitchens then once again jointly presented innovations for the garden as a social living space.