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02: The mixture of patterns and colors is another trend of outdoor living on view at Netherlands-based Ter Steege booth. (Photo by Koelnmesse)
The city gardening theme was well illustrated in the Gardena booth. (Photo by Koelnmesse)
Putting the sport into spoga+gafa, Lali Industries of Pakiston showed off a colorful collection of game balls for the beach, or anywhere. (Photo by Koelnmesse)
At the Heissner booth, smart lighting gives character to a backyard fountain project. (Photo by Koelnmesse)
Hammocks from Descotis, an Austrian company that promotes the “art of indolence.” (Photo by Koelnmesse)
The Yard Force robotic lawn mower can be programmed for just about any sized lawn. (Photo by Koelnmesse)

Outdoor living, with European flair

From spoga+gafa, here are some trends that could light the way to sales in 2020.

BY HBSDealer Staff

City gardening, or the concept of creating green spaces in tight, urban areas, was a big deal during spoga+gafa 2019. But there was a lot more to plant and contemplate at the event with the funny name and the impressive status as world’s largest garden fair.

Spoga+gafa — the German phrase for sports/leisure and garden – attracted more than 2,200 vendors to Cologne, Germany in September. City gardening was described as a global mega trend by organizers, the Koelnmesse events team. “Today, the garden takes on the task of being a place to wind down and relax more than ever,” explained Stefan Lohrberg, director of spoga+gafa. “It gives people the feeling of security and homeliness and is thus gaining a totally new significance.”

Compact flower beds, vertical plant walls or mini greenhouses were among the stars of the show for their ability to transform balconies and other small areas into small kitchen gardens.

In addition to city gardening, spoga+gafa organizers highlighted the following trends on display in Cologne:

  • As people are looking for small escapes from everyday life, the outdoor living industry is supplying flexible, relaxing furniture. Modular sets and fast-drying materials are in demand, according to spoga+gafa organizers;
  • Optimized comfort — ergonomic, comprehendible and easy-to-operate design is gaining in significance;
  • Less is more: simplicity and reduction in materials are bringing a “new purism in outdoor design,” say organizers. Natural wood frame outdoor furniture is part of this trend.
  • Systematic irrigation. Systems designed to irrigate automatically and efficiently are coming under increased focus;
  • Diversity in grilling. Smoking, curing and baking are gaining wider appeal, and new high temperature models are bringing new flavors to the backyard. Versatile accessories are also gaining interest – LED grill lights; and integrated sound systems.

More than 40,000 visitors from 124 countries attended spoga+gafa 2019. In 2020, organizers have already identified another central theme: “sustainable gardens.”


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