Predictions for Garden Trends 2012

I am so excited about this upcoming gardening year, can hardly wait till spring. In fact, after the hullabaloo of the holidays is over, there will be a great many days spent in the greenhouse seeding and planning, prepping and plotting. 

Here are some garden trends, as I see them, for 2012. Some are no-brainers, lol, as we see them happening in a big way already... As in - eating more of the flavourful and homegrown foods, whether from the local Farmer's Market or your own kitchen gardens.

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1. Hues - Black is going to continue to be huge this year... In annuals such as the stunning new petunias Phantom, Black Cat or Black Velvet, or the beautiful Blackie Sweet Potato Vines. There are several varieties of Coleus, Cannas, Callas and Dahlias that will add that sooty punch to your planter or garden.
- Perennials in the deep black or dusky tones - Violas, Irises, Ajugas, and Acteas make great contrast plants in the landscape or planter. I am personally a huge fan of perennials in planters, whether or not they reside there for longer than a season or two. They are then transferred into the garden to grow and shine as my fickle planter heart has moved on to either another colour scheme or a new season.
- Rich jewel tones to contrast with the blacks, especially Amber, will be huge this year. Heucheras such as Creme Brulee' and Amber Waves are used more than ever in pots and planters while grasses in lime and citron tones pop against the deep, dark tones.

2. Heirloom/ Heritage seeds -  The ultimate in organic growing! You will reap what you sow as the seeds remain true, the fruits of your labour will be so delicious and much more flavourful, and with oh-so-many varieties to choose from in pretty colours, stripes, and shapes, such diversity. I guess you can tell that I am pretty jazzed about his one :) 

3. Xeriscape/drought tolerant - this remains a huge trend not only due to the fact that we are  becoming more water conscious, yay! thus saving both water and money and also due to the ease of maintaining a no mow, no fertilise, little-to-no water garden in our busy lives. These gardens/landscapes will also look much lovelier than lawns with no doggy spot patchiness, browning in drought, or shagginess in times of plentiful rain. 

4. Low maintenance native plants - this planting works with your land and the natural resources available. Natives are drought tolerant and thrive in the local conditions without extra fuss. Native plantings used in rain gardens help to hold, retain, and filter storm water in a positive way, to preserve groundwater, streams and lakes from pollution.  

5. Vertical gardening - pallet gardens, pouch gardens, wall gardens, trellises, and vines add visual interest to the landscape and offer the ability to grow more in small spaces.

6. Grow Your Own - Kitchen/potager gardens, so good for so many reasons. Provide fresh flowers and food for your table (and freezer), are sustainable and green, no more worrying about pesticides,  waxes or other additives, and promote natural wild life to return to our yards ... homes and food for the butterflies, hummers, birds, lady bugs, frogs, bees and pollinators...

7. Kids and Fairy Gardens - involving and teaching the next generation by making it fun for kids to learn how to grow.

8. Farmer's Markets - Fresh, local fruits, vegetables, berries, and foods of all kinds. Flowers, bread, handi-crafts, bags, dresses, jewelry, one-of-a-kinds instead of mass produced. Eggs from happy little chickens with room to roam, meat from your neighbourhood farms, honey from bee keepers in your area (happy pollinators). Supporting the people in your local area instead of huge conglomerates from afar.

9. Urban Agriculture - Now I am not necessarily suggesting guerrilla gardening, that one plants up anywhere and everywhere, seed-bombing the world (although the idea appeals immensely ...) but more about community gardens, the using formerly abandoned or forgotten areas in resourceful and useful ways. There are two that just went up in my little city, Nanaimo, and over 70 of them in the city of Vancouver! Way to change the world
To see pictures of my predictions, click here

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