This year see how these best gardening trends are directly related to the economy and weather factors. The United States is seeing one of the largest shifts in how people garden and how homeowners are landscaping their yards. With smaller yards, American gardeners are becoming more creative in the limited space that they call their own. While the rest of the world has gardened in small spaces for centuries, we are just learning some of their secrets to making small work.
Our best gardening trends to use in your garden this year are:
- Incorporating small fruiting plants into regular landscaping
- Homes will have less lawn areas
- Planting drought tolerant plant varieties
- Using small scale plants for the smaller sized yards
- More fragrant plants
- Plants with year round foliage and interest
- Efficient gardening
Incorporating small fruiting plants into regular landscaping:
I have written about and encouraged our customers and garden club members to incorporate small fruiting plants, such as blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, strawberry and grape, into their landscapes for the last 5 years. Europeans have grown small fruiting plants along side their flowering shrubs and cut flowers for centuries. With new homes in the U.S. now having limited garden spaces and landscape areas, the normal evolution of gardening would be to incorporate vegetable and fruit plants with regular gardening shrubs and flowers. With the world’s chaotic economy, this year we will find more and more people having a hand in their food selection by growing their own.
Homes will have less lawn areas:
Recent years weather changes have caused many municipalities to place water restrictions on use during the summer months. Where green lawns once existed, we now see mostly brown straw like blades of grass. Out of frustration, homeowners are turning to lawn substitutes such as ground covers, ornamental grasses, wildflowers and other low growing flowering perennials.
Planting drought tolerant plant varieties:
While planting drought tolerant plants often goes hand in hand with less lawn space, we continue to see more homeowners adding drought tolerant shrub and perennial garden plants into their regular landscape. Even homeowners, who are not in restricted water areas, will want to reduce their landscape’s need for water.
Using small-scale plants:
Regular sized trees and shrubs can easily overwhelm small yards. Never before have so many smaller sized plant versions of many of the long time favorite landscaping plant varieties been available. We will see more homeowners and apartment dwellers alike will seek out these smaller sized shrubs and trees for their limited growing areas.
Plant more fragrant plants:
Whether it’s nostalgia or just the sincere desire to stimulate the olfactory, old fashioned flowering shrubs and fragrant herbs are becoming quite popular. Homeowners are searching for old-fashioned fragrant shrubs such as hydrangeas, shrub roses, mock orange, lilac and viburnums.
Plants with year round foliage and interest:
Smaller wallets have forced consumers to weigh out their purchases. Buying plants is no longer an impulse situation. Thought and planning now goes into this purchase. Gardeners are looking for plants that will add life to their garden throughout the year. Brilliantly colored plants are popular, especially when they vary throughout the year. This spring we will be adding new gem colored plants such as the newest heuchera varieties that will create a parade of colors in any setting.
Efficient gardening will become stronger this year as more and more gardeners begin practicing techniques such as composting, mulching, filling in open spaces with additional plants, and recycling things from their gardens. These efforts will help to limit the need for fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and supplemental watering.
As with fashion and home building trends, they primarily begin in Europe, crossing the pond to the west coast to the east coast, gradually creeping into the rest of the country. Many of these trends began this way, but because of the sour economy and devastating weather, will be catching on much quicker out of necessity.