Gardening trends: Planting to solve problems
Gardening may be a time-tested; classic hobby that has been popular for generations, but that doesn’t mean it stays the same from year to year. With new plant cultivars greater awareness of environmentally –friendly practices, innovations in tools, and technology, changing dietary needs and different taste preference, what gardening trends are taking root in 2018?
Big Garden in Small Spaces
These days, space is at a premium, but, designers are determined to make even the smallest garden useful and attractive. Large sprawling yards are less common in 2018, and more urban dwellers are faced with small spaces for their big gardening ambitions. Container gardening’s continue to grow ever more popular, and specialized balcony gardens and vertical gardens are additional ways to optimize small spaces this year. Layering plants and choosing miniature and dwarf varieties are great options to feed a big gardening urge in a smaller space.
Container gardening isn’t exactly new, but one feels confident that it’s about to get a whole lot trendier! With population set to rise only in cities over the next 30 years and homes already being built smaller, more and more people will choose to do their gardening in pots.
Two big populations- millennials and retirees-are more frequently living in smaller spaces.
Growers are keeping up with this trend by hybridizing favorite varieties into dwarfs, meaning that they’re saving everything you love, but breeding them to be much shorter. If there is a plant you love, chances are you can find a dwarf variety of it! Containers are a way for those living with small outdoor spaces (balconies included!) to create an oasis for pollinators in areas where they often need it most. It is also a fantastic way for home gardeners to grow their own food- there are plenty of new dwarf vegetable varieties to choose from, as well. Even those with larger gardens to tend to, containers are an increasingly popular way to dress up porches, patios, window sills and entryways; or to create a low- commitment color combination that can changed from year to year (or even from season to season).
One of the best ways to appreciate and explore combination is in a container. A plant may be exquisite on it’s own, but it’s assets can be magnified when placed in a context- with plants that compliment it’s color, structure, or textures. It will be exciting to see what unique and fun container gardens come to life in 2018.
Enjoying Outdoor Space- Alfresco dining is set to be bigger than ever. Outdoor entertaining is perfect for those of us who lack space in our dining rooms or homes so we can move entertaining friends and family outside. For years, outdoor dining spaces have been conveniently located right off the house, near the kitchen. However, one noticed designed dining spaces being pushed into the garden. Many people automatically design outdoor dining spaces right off the back of the house. But making an all- inclusive destination within the landscape immerses people in the ambience. It makes for a more luxurious experience and guests get to see more of your garden. Create the ultimate outdoor dedicated area for dining with in- ground and container plants for a lush feeling. Turn your dining area into a sanctuary with special flooring, comfy furniture and mood lighting. Include pre – and post- dinner entertainment such as sunken fire pit, BBQ, pizza oven or pool.
Privacy and Defensive Planting
With smaller yards and more people living in the same space (at close quarters) privacy is paramount in 2018. Instead of a basic fence or other blunt barriers, gardeners are opting for green walls, climbing vines and other natural barriers as part of the landscape. Living walls absorb sound and help ease temperatures. You use tall, vining plants, foliage- heavy varieties, and a sprinkling of your favorites flowers to block out annoying noises and eyesores. Defense plantings not only offer a sound buffer for those who crave peace and quite in their lives, but plants can also function as a ‘do not disturb’ sign of sorts. When you are not visible to your neighbor’s, they’re less likely to start an unwanted conversation. You can also strategically plant using thorny vines and bushes to provide heightened security for vulnerable entry points. This new style of enclosing gardens with lush planting that offer privacy, yet are attractive and welcoming.
Mowing the lawn is never a favorite gardening or landscaping chore and more gardeners are embracing attractive ground cover rather than grass. Maybe it is to save time, money, and resources by mowing and watering less, or maybe to remedy annoying landscape problems. ( eroision), but planting ground covers have become a low- maintenance and attractive solution to some of the problem gardeners have been facing. Ground covers can help prevent erosion in areas with heavy rainfall or prone to wind and can become an easy (and long- lasting) alternative to a demanding, high maintenance lawn. As we find ourselves busier than ever with less time to manage our landscapes, ground covers are becoming a gardener’s favorite way to spend less time maintaining their property..
Find a foliage and flower combo that you like, and let it spread under trees, down embankments. With different textures colors and shapes, ground covers add beauty and interest to tight or difficult spaces such as narrow side yards, terraces, or challenging soils. Hardy high-use ground covers are also a great option for pathways instead of harsh pavers or muddy patches.
Outdoor / indoors
A greater variety of house plants and container vegetables are being welcomed into different rooms, including bedrooms, bathrooms and offices. These plants clean the air (air purifiers) and promote a sense of peace even when gardening outdoor isn’t possible. With houseplants don’t limit yourself to the typical pothos or ficus in a corner. Instead, think of plants as intergral design elements in your private sanctuaries, fulfilling the same roles they do in the garden outside: leading the eye, creating focal points, providing repetition and contrast, framing views, and lending texture, and form. This is known as interiorscaping. Even miniature trees are finding new indoor homes, giving gardeners plenty of
opportunities to flex their green thumbs inside as well as out.
Art and Craftmanship
So many mass-produced products are around us, we often forget that people still make things by hand. In the garden handcrafted is still the best. Next time you want to add a structure or other important element to your property seek out an artisan. Enhance your landscape with art pieces and craftworks.
Foodscaping and Unusual Edibles
People are being drawn to the idea of “clean, sustainably sourced food from the backyard”,- a trend that has been gaining steam in the past few years. In addition to traditional basic home garden veggies, people are growing more herbs and unusual varieties, which reflects an interest in international cuisine. Gardens no longer mean simple, basic food staples or a few accessory herbs. We love the willingness to try new things. This year we predict continued experimentation with new plants. Following are how you can add some botanical variety to your garden or home.
Experimenting With What You Grow, Grow Unusual Edibles: There is a big, wide world of diversity available to gardeners through seed companies, seed swaps . With more seeds and seedling exchange and the ability to order rare varieties online and other ways to expand your garden’s diversity. So make your garden reflect this trend and try a few new-to-you crops. Food gardening continues to be popular with gardeners of all ages and for one a big part of the fun in food gardening is trying new edibles. Gardeners are going to plant outside their comfort zone and try new tastes and hybrid plants. This is a great way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into a healthy diet, discovering new favorites along the way. This interest seems to be an extension of the still popular “farm- to- table movement”
As one looks at the forecast for the 2018 garden trends, one can’t help but see a common trend with all of them: utility. Although a garden is by default a way to create an aesthetically pleasing outdoor space, more and more gardeners are starting to grow to help solve problems in their personal landscapes and greater communities. One sees this shift as just the start of how gardening will evolve in the future: people will grow more out of necessity and to help make the world around them the best that it can be.
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