By Kate Karam, Monrovia
Photographs courtesy of Monrovia
Oh, these are interesting times to be a gardener! On the one hand, humble backyard edible gardens have never been so popular, but at the same time, there's an increased level of sophistication in landscape design and plant selection with an emphasis on rich, saturated color, function over form, and a sense of luxury. As we continue our love affair with easy care, "always-on" plants, we seem equally unable to resist the seduction of the ephemeral beauty of plants like peonies and camellias. Globally, floratourism is at an all-time high as travelers seek a respite in a stressful world; closer to home, issues of food security and climate change are impacting what and how we garden.
We forecast 9 key trends for 2017 (see full report here), but wanted to highlight three that we think will impact the home gardener as soon as this spring.
Gardeners are seeking more seasonal change in their landscape, even from plants previously prized for consistent year-round beauty. Conifers that morph from shades of summery green to a rainbow of otherworldly hues in winter are leading the charge, selling out of nurseries nationwide. Junipers that take on a purple cast, pines that glow in shades of gold or plum, arborvitae that morph into coppery-bronze foliage with orangey tips are proving to be immensely popular. Expect to see a revival in the use of fuss-free conifers in general, and a boost in those that color-up for unexpected winter interest. Here are six to watch.
Backyard gardening influenced by "no waste" food movement
Home gardeners have embraced backyard agriculture for lots of reasons—flavor, cost, bragging rights—but expect to see the "no waste" food movement added to that list. Why? Because you're likely to eat what you grow rather than throw, whether picture-perfect or not (and maybe Instagram it). With about 1 in 3 households now growing food, home gardeners, always on the leading edge of mindfulness, are poised to be a critical part of the solution to the urgent social and environmental issues of food waste, and the associated impacts on food security, food transport miles, wasted water, and depletion of arable land. On a global scale, look for increased interest in and facilitation of consuming, even glorifying, so-called "ugly food," whether homegrown or purchased.
New York's High Line is just the tip of the iceberg. Millennials may have grown up tethered to technology, but as a generation, they're reversing a decade-long trend and living up to their "biophilic generation" designation. They're filling national parks and camping grounds, turning an urban treehouse (and treehouses in general) into the top Airbnb wish list destination, and adding nature-inspired activity to routine travel. Look for more record-shattering attendance figures at national parks, botanical gardens and arboretums worldwide. While millennials have yet to translate this love of nature into gardening beyond growing food crops, data suggests it's just a matter of time.
We would love to hear your thoughts on these and the other trends in our report. And, what you think is going to be hot in 2018! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. For much more about gardening, plants, solutions, and ideas, visit our exciting new blog, Grow Beautifully. While you're there, be sure to sign up for our award-winning monthly newsletter, Plant Savvy.
All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.
While out this season planting bulbs such as tulips, daffodils and other spring-bloomers, put some aside and pot up a container or two. Gardeners who regularly pot up amaryllis or paperwhites for the holidays often don’t think to grow spring bulbs in pots that will bloom outdoors long after the indoor flowers are just a memory. It’s as quick and easy as potting up annuals.
Join fellow garden lovers, history buffs and music enthusiasts to discover the quaint towns and colorful gardens of Holland and Belgium in May of 2018.
This exciting journey will be hosted by nationally known host Eric Johnson, of Public Television's blockbuster show GardenSmart. Your river cruise begins in Amsterdam where you'll see works by Rembrandt and Van Gogh, Anne Frank's House, and see the city's most famous gardens. Then spend a full morning on the grounds of the most beautiful spring garden in the world-Keukenhof! Visit the picturesque Belgian towns of Bruges and Ghent as well as Kinderdijk, with the Netherlands' iconic collection of 19 authentic windmills that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, history buffs will experience a captivating tour of the WWI trenches of Flanders and WWII Arnhem Battlefield of A Bridge Too Far fame. You won't want to miss this extraordinary garden adventure to Holland and Belgium.
Book by November 15, 2017 and save up to $1200 dollars per person!
To register call:
Alki Tours at 800-895-2554
Click here to sign up for our monthly NEWSLETTER packed with great articles and helpful tips for your home, garden and pets!