New trends in gardening emerge every year. You might like to try some while others may not appeal to you. The industry authority on current gardening trends is the garden trends report, published each year by the Green Media Group. Published for the last 20 years, this report reflects the things people are doing with their landscapes nationwide. In recent years, it has focused on how social trends influence landscaping.
This year is no exception. The report notes that half the population lives in cities. That number is expected to rise to 70% by 2050. While we are seeing a return to city living in Rochester, it doesn’t reach the national numbers. Urban living has led to a dramatic interest in houseplants among apartment and condo residents. Young urbanites even call themselves “Plant Parents,” and there is a company by that name that offers plant care services when owners are away.
Full scale landscaping of city residential lots can be a creative and fun endeavor. We have some impressive, small space city landscapes here in Rochester but you have to know the owners in order to arrange a tour. If you are considering moving to a home on a small city lot, you should meet with one of our landscape designers during the winter. They have countless creative, small garden design ideas. If you’re looking for more ideas and want to see what’s possible, visit some of the garden shows and tours available throughout western New York. One of my favorite places to learn about these events is gardensbuffaloniagara.com. A visit to Buffalo the last weekend in July for Garden Walk Buffalo will introduce you to creative designs with plants that are appropriate for our hardiness zone. Hundreds of people open their private gardens for this free tour. A considerable number of the most spectacular landscapes are concentrated in several adjacent city neighborhoods. I recommend the cottage district tour, which is comprised almost entirely of small space landscapes.
Regardless of where you live, sustainability is expected to be an important consideration. Green walls, edible plants, native plants and good stewardship are being emphasized. The idea of the circular economy promoting repair, renew, reuse and recycle that began several years ago is starting to really take hold. Planned obsolescence and our throw away mindset are giving way to restoration and renewability.
Regenerative gardening is a new movement within organic gardening. Its objective is to preserve our precious topsoil and stop the land damaging practices that have already claimed a third of this growing medium. Regenerative practices include the use of compost, planting native plants to attract pollinators and beneficial insects, and regenerating habitat for frogs and other endangered amphibians, If we disregard all these warnings, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization warns that our topsoil could all be gone by 2050.
Last but not least, the report suggests that fungi may be the saviors of the world. Mushrooms have been found that can eat plastic and then be eaten by humans.
Oh yes. What will the color of the year be in 2020? The garden trends report says it will be indigo, so be sure to include plants with blue flowers in your landscape this spring.
Happy New Year!
As a landscape designer, my colleague down south has been starting trends for three decades. For just as long, I have been promoting old technology that works.