What will we see in gardening trends for the coming years?
We as a society are becoming acutely aware of the necessity to tailor our gardens for water conservation, encouraging birds, bats and bees to stay in the gardens and providing environmentally safe and chemically free spaces for all to enjoy as well as considering our household budgets.
We want gardens that take less time to work in, cost less money and hold more interest in the changing seasons. The focus is turning to small space landscaping, vertical or roof top plantings in urban areas and low risk high value plants.
More and more people are living in smaller spaces than ever before increasing the need to make more informed decision on how and what to grow.
The use of dwarf conifers provide structure to a garden and don’t over take a space blocking whatever was planted beside or behind it. Drought tolerant plants are becoming more and more necessary as climates change. Once established dwarf conifers and drought-tolerant perennials need little water.
Gardeners also want low risk, high value plants. We want more bang for our buck. This can be achieved by purchasing plants with high disease resistance, long flowering periods with stable structure and foliage interest.
We are also looking for year round interest as up to eight months of the year can be spent indoors starring out at our gardens.
So, a stand of lofty prairie grass peaking out of the snow, colorful bark or clumps of red, white or orange berries from varied shrubs add much interest for the eyes and attract hungry wintering birds.
The uses of water features in a garden are changing as well. Slowly going out of style are the larger high maintenance ponds being replaced by vividly glazed urns with water bubbling out of the top, uniquely shaped boulders with holes drilled into them or a simple bird bath feature. All of these distinctively different styles will provide a tranquil and relaxing space.
Enhancing the front yard is becoming more popular as it gives an important first impression of the home owner. Generally front yards are smaller to work with thus less expensive to landscape. A landscaped front yard also lends to great curb appeal, and contributes to an increased value of a property.
Some sense of self sufficiency in growing your own fruits and vegetables has become very popular. Raised beds and container gardening can be done in small spaces and reap large rewards. The feeling of knowing where your food comes from gives the gardener a sense of pride and reassurance.
As can be seen garden trends are many and mixed. Ultimately we must go with something we are passionate about, whether going to well structured conifer beds, flashy perennial gardening or strictly filling pots with amazing annuals. We have to do what works for us. Gardening is a way to express how we feel and when our gardens work for us we feel great.
Betty Drover operates a local garden business and shares this space with business partner Patty Siddall every other Friday. Contact: 250-364-1005