Like anything else, gardening is subject to design trends that change with the times. Victorians had their greenhouses filled with tropical plants, while mid-century Americans loved their clipped hedges and cement patios.
So what’s hot right now? Pinterest boards are full of ideas, most of which focus on whimsy and making your landscape a one-of-a-kind place for entertaining and kicking back with family. Here are five big gardening trends to keep an eye on this season.
1. Container Gardens
Container gardens are a great choice for anyone with a small space, of course, but they’re also lots of fun for patios and decks. You can combine trends and plant culinary herbs in containers near your kitchen door, or you can create decorative displays in large ceramic pots for a real showstopper. Choose combinations of trailing and upright plants for the most dramatic effects, and be sure to water daily, as the soil in pots tends to dry out quickly.
2. Edible Gardens
These days, there’s huge interest in local eating and organic produce, so it makes sense that more people are devoting some of their garden space to fruits and vegetables. Try implementing a raised bed and planting a salad garden with a cherry tomato plant, several lettuces, carrots and cucumbers for a nearly fool-proof start. Easy plants to start from seed include bush green beans, zucchini and okra. Culinary herbs like basil, rosemary, cilantro and thyme are also easy to tuck into an edible garden.
3. Painted Signs
Painted signs have been big on Etsy and Pinterest boards for some time now, but more are popping up outdoors than ever before. As long as your sign is hung in a protected area or is well-varnished, it should look good despite any rain and wind. You can make your own with old fence pickets or a piece of driftwood, or you can purchase one with the perfect saying to match your space. If you prefer something smaller, you can paint rocks to use as markers in your garden.
4. Succulent Artwork
Succulents are plants that don’t need much water to thrive, and the hottest trend is using them to create living wall art. To try this, you’ll need a shadow box filled with cactus potting mix and covered in hardware cloth. Plant your small succulents in the holes of the hardware cloth to create your design, and place in the shade, unwatered. Allow your frame to lay flat for two weeks until plants take root, and then water well. You can now prop or hang your artwork — just remember to water it once a month.
Part of making your garden unique is adding a few decorative touches. Traditional lawn ornaments and a gazing ball are nice, but thrifty gardeners and those concerned with keeping waste out of landfills are choosing to repurpose garden tools and other items as decor. Try using antique tea cups for miniature bird baths, mounting a tire rim for a decorative hose holder or painting an old bicycle a whimsical color and using its basket as a planter.
The beauty of these garden trends is that they’re easy to personalize. You can choose your favorite colors and textures to make each one your own, and you can combine trends for a wonderfully fresh look. Use these ideas for inspiration as you shop for plants at your local nursery, and you’re sure to come up with a wonderful new look for the season!