Garden season is mostly over now and there is little work to keep a gardener busy in these short cold days of November. Thus my mind naturally turns to planning next year’s garden and I’ve been wondering what new and interesting ideas are stirring the minds of the gardening world and will bring new trends to us next spring. A perusal of the internet and magazines reveals the following.
1) More use of native plants and organic practises. Without a doubt, there has been a sea change in the attitude of gardeners over the past few years with regard to supporting wildlife and encouraging diversity in our local environments. Now even botanical and public display gardens are comfortable with chewed leaves, seedheads galore, and a bit of messiness in general, all in the name of supporting life around us and reconnecting us to the wonders of nature. More and more home gardeners are discovering an amazing world right in their own backyards. This trend will continue and will hopefully grow. It behooves us to put some thought into growing plants that support this world by purchasing and planting native plants, allowing areas of wildness where space allows, and making sure to avoid invasive species.
2) Secluded Spaces: The concept of creating garden rooms is certainly not a new one but will be put to greater use in home gardens in the future. The garden as a sanctuary for rest holds appeal in our busy wired world and more and more people are looking to the garden as a place to get away from it all instead of using the garden as a showpiece. Front yard display gardens will become simpler and more low maintenance while backyard secluded spaces will be where effort is put into the creation of a haven for wildlife to roam and people to rest and connect to nature.
3) Symmetrical Designs: Front yard design, while simpler, will also be more formal with the use of “twinning” i.e. placing two pots on either side of a door, or two matching shrubs around an entrance path. It may be that this trend will catch on but seems like a suburban idea and not applicable to more informal country settings.
4) Architectural Trees: Expect to see more tree planting in 2020. Also large shrubs. The benefits of trees to provide shelter and reduce heating and cooling costs, provide beauty and support wildlife, and reduce the carbon footprint will continue to make tree planting an important activity.
5) Exotic Plants: More people are using tropical plants to grace patios and decks and then overwintering them indoors. There is less hesitation to expend a chunk of money on expensive plants like agave, bamboo, non-hardy hibiscus etc. They certainly create a hot climate feeling in the dog days of summer, even if the illusion wears off quickly in October. If you have a sunroom or greenhouse, it certainly could be an investment worth considering.
These are a few of the ideas out there for next season, spring 2020. But of course, more important than following trends is to consider what you like best about your garden and then expand on that to create an oasis that stands the test of time and brings you the greatest enjoyment. Happy dreaming over the winter!