SOUTH BURLINGTON, VT (March 29th, 2005) - The National Gardening Association (NGA) sees a critical need for heightened awareness and appreciation for the many benefits of gardening and the essential people-plant connection. This is highlighted by the latest consumer lawn and garden sales results reported in the National Gardening Survey, conducted for the National Gardening Association by Harris Interactive Inc. The survey indicates a 4% decrease in sales between 2004 and 2003. Consumers spent a total of $36.8 billion on their lawns and gardens in 2004 compared with $38.4 billion in 2003, a decline of $1.6 billion. This was the second consecutive year that nationwide sales of consumer lawn and garden products have stayed at about the same level, compared to the $39.6 billion spent in 2002 - the last time consumer lawn and garden sales showed a significant increase.
"Plants impact every aspect of our existence. They are represented in the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the homes we build, and the air we breathe. These are obvious examples of the people-plant connection," says Mike Metallo, NGA President. "Latest consumer trends point out the National Gardening Association's challenge and opportunity: to inspire and motivate consumers to discover the other important, though less tangible, benefits of plants and gardening. While there's plenty of valuable scientific evidence proving the positive influence plants have on individuals and society, nothing compares to personal experience when it comes to making a point. If we can encourage more people to take part in gardening activities, we'll have taken the first step towards helping them recognize how plants enhance the quality of their lives every day. We believe that the trade will be a crucial partner in this quest to raise awareness about the people-plant connection."
Three out of four households in the U.S. (an estimated 82 million households) participated in one or more indoor and outdoor lawn and garden activities in 2004, about the same as the five-year average seen between 1999-2003. Consumers spent an average of $449 on their lawns and gardens in 2004, just slightly less than the $457 average spent in 2003 and the $466 average spent in 2002. Households that spent more than the national average on their lawns and gardens in 2004 included:
The NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION (NGA), founded in 1973, is a national nonprofit leader in plant-based education. Their mission is to promote gardening as a means to renew and sustain the essential connection among people, plants, and the environment. To fulfill this mission, they offer publications and programs focused on five core areas: education, health and wellness, environmental stewardship, community development, and home gardening. For more information, visit www.garden.org.