Monday, 26 December 2016

Garden Trends 2017

Health, happiness and wellness play an ever larger role in our home and gardening lives in 2017.

Are you on trend? Have you created a home haven for relaxing, clean eating, entertaining, and happy living?

1. Lawn Alternatives

After several years of drought with tough local watering restrictions, we're finally getting real about lawns and finding better looking, exciting alternatives.

Saying goodbye to yesterday's high maintenance, boring, manicured lawns and welcoming natural, more organic looking ground covers.

With so many to spectacular choices, is a wonder we ever grew lawns to begin with! From meadow lawns to prairie grass lawns, drought tolerant shrub and flower beds to ornamental grasses, or my favourite option, a blend of mosses and other low growing, flowering, groundcover plants.

Not quite ready to give up on the look of a traditional green lawn? Check out the new eco grasses or clover blends, which are both low maintenance and require little water to thrive. Fantastic new synthetic lawns give you the look of a perfectly manicured lawn without the work ... and maybe your own personal putting range, too ; )

2. Hyper-localism 

Wow, what a term, hey? Sounds fancy schmancy, but what does it mean? Simply put, it's all about sourcing local for both plants and yard products. So, not just native plants, which have been trending for many years, but regional gardening products, too.

Reducing carbon emissions by purchasing local steppers of sandstone or flagstone, compost from the neighbourhood recycling centre, re-using or revamping vintage products in new ways. Turn them into planters, greenhouses, potting sheds ...

It is also about growing a landscape that suits your climate and region. Gardens and plants that look good and work here in our wet west coast winters and dry summers, may not necessarily work on the prairies or the east coast.     

3. Space for Playing and Entertaining!

A super fun trend that is all about happiness and wellness. Folks want some down time at home, a place to play, hang out, and entertain.

Add a great fireplace or pizza oven to your yard, or an awesome fire pit for wienie roasts. Outdoor dining areas, doggie bathing areas, a putting range, or maybe a Bocce ball court. How about an area for badminton, horseshoes, or croquet? Old fashioned, outdoor games are back in a big way. A wee mini golf range seems to be calling my name ; )  

Grow your own clean food 

4. Organic, Fresh and Clean

Growing our own clean food and supporting local organic farmers is a trend that continues to grow.

We all want to know what is in and on our food crops, no chemical fertilisers, additives, or pesticides used on either the crops or the seeds. Growing our own groceries means we know what we eat, reduce our carbon footprint, and save money at the grocers, too. A predicted 40% hike on the cost of fresh fruits and veggies in 2017 here in BC, has us all more determined than ever to grow our own organic crops and buying more local produce. 

Micro-dwarf Honeycrisp apple tree 

5. Dwarf Plants for Smaller Yards

Houses are being built on smaller and smaller lots, making yards more compact with no room for regular sized trees, shrubs or plants. Luckily, dwarf plants come in pretty much every species now, so you can get the look you want without constant pruning to keep them in check.

Dwarf evergreens make it super easy to create a low maintenance, healthy garden with great curb appeal, as they come in every shape and shade of green you can imagine. No need to stop there, however, as you can also get compact hydrangeas, rhododendrons, weigelas, lilacs, all sorts of perennial flowers and shrubs to suit your personal style.

My gardening style is all about growing food, and luckily enough, most all fruit trees and shrubs can now be found in dwarf size! From apples and peaches to blueberries, figs, and grapes.   

'Keeping It Real 'gardening

6. Back To Nature 

Keeping it simple, keeping it real. Get rid of anything that you do not love, that does not make you happy. Create a natural looking, peaceful, and healthy landscape, that you actually want to spend more time in.

Remove any plants that are time consuming or that you simply don't like. Remove cluttering knick knacks and 'stuff' from the yard, simplify your life and your landscape. Let vines go and flow, plant veggies amongst flowers, flowers amongst veggies, go with low maintenance eco lawns and no more chemicals.

This trend likely has it's roots filtering down from the permaculture system of growing sustainable, self sufficient agricultural ecosystems, not overly pruned or chemically treated. As we use more companion planting instead of pesticides, and mulching instead of watering, we are starting to treat our planet in a more organic way and this is reflected in looser, more natural looking landscapes.

Cotton, wicker and wood says cosy and homey

7. Nostalgia

The au naturel landscaping look is being realised in our landscaping and decorating tastes, too. Seems we are using more organic and homey feeling materials, like wood and stone, furniture like lazy, swing back chairs and hammocks create a sense of peace and tranquillity.

An organic, sort of 'old-fashioned' look has come back into style, with swings hanging from trees and rockers on porches. Gives us that warm and fuzzy feeling of going home.

 Diversity in the garden draws in beneficial insects for natural bug control

8. Bye-bye Bugs - Natural Pest Control

Controlling bugs using nature instead of sprays ... economically, aesthetically, and environmentally wise.

Plant colourful and fragrant flowers throughout the veggie patch to attract beneficial insects that eat or destroy the bad bugs, plus birds, bats, and other wee little critters that eat mosquitoes and other nasties.

Herbs with strong scents, like lavender, thyme, chives, mint and sage, or citrus scented plants like citronella, lemon balm, lemongrass, and lemon verbena, emit oils and fragrances that repel mosquitoes and bugs.  

Encourage wildlife to your garden. Put out bat and bird houses, logs for frogs and snakes to hide under, cute little bug houses for mason bees, spiders, and ladybugs.

 #pantonegreenery from

9. Pantone Colour of the year

As always, last but certainly not least. Pantone's colour of the year for 2017 is called 'Greenery'. A bright and fun yellow-green that is refreshing and symbolic of spring and new beginnings.

So, how about it? Are you on trend? Making your life a bit more natural, a bit more organic, and fun, too?

Wishing you all much health, happiness, and wellness in 2017, as you simplify your garden life. 
Plant lots of Sunflowers to attract natural bug control and pollinators to your garden

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