Purposeful gardens — habitat, edible and sustainable — have been on the rise and 2014 promises more of the same. When selecting materials for your garden or outdoor space, remember, one of the most important rules is “less is more.” Choose one or two hard landscaping materials, and make sure they suit the style of your garden, rather than simply following the latest trends.
Organic chemical-free gardens for birds, butterflies and bees remain high on the gardener's to-do list, and organically grown edibles play their own harvest-to-table role with health-conscious backyard gardeners.
Gardeners are also more cost conscious, turning discarded items like packing pallets into planters, planting from seed and composting kitchen scraps. There are many new attractive containers to pre-compost on the kitchen counter and you can purchase worm composters that do the job in a box in a closet or basement.
Integrating edibles into woody ornamental and perennial gardens — a cultural shift, not a trend; planting native species to benefit bees and other insects; recycling objects into creative plant containers; and using Pinterest to share ideas and inspire others to garden. You’ll be surprised what you’ll find on Pinterest to turn your discarded items into beautiful garden features that will be the envy of neighbors and friends.
In a recent article in the Monterey Herald, a list of ten 2014 garden trends were chosen by designers nationwide, below we picked out a few we thought were relevant and worth noting.
4 Gardening trends for 2014
· Edibles and more
Each year, more people are deciding that having their very own garden for fresh veggies is a far more satisfying way to help the environment, save some money, eat freshly picked produce while enjoying the outdoors. Using kitchen composted materials and organic leaf compost, which can be picked up or delivered from Patuxent Materials retail yard in Crofton, Maryland, can give your plants the healthy jolt they need all growing season long.
· Bees really do matter
Saving our pollinators is big and getting bigger. Organic farmers have been all about this for a while, but now that the public is becoming aware of the desperate state of affairs. Home gardeners really need to learn about: keeping blooms coming; easy and quick-growing cover crops that can fill a space to provide excellent habitat; and how to let go of chemicals, even certified organic pesticides can be harmful to bees. Whenever possible, plant native perennials, and tend to your plants often to deadhead blooms to keep your plants producing flowers longer.
· Perfect plants
Re-blooming and extended bloom plants are hot. Color is paramount. Dwarf and compact plants are in demand. Plants that are less likely to become maintenance nightmares are dominating the market, therefore "low maintenance" is less of a buzz word and more of a reality. Plants that can provide color or interest in multiple seasons enable customers to enjoy their landscape all year.
· Reuse and recycle
There's a continued focus on using recycled building materials, from reused pallets to make a vertical garden, to reusing wood crates for container gardening, there are many new ways to re-use items. Re-using old coffee grounds and filter is a great addition to your garden soil. Find out more on the benefits here.
· Adding textures to your garden and outdoor living areas with stone, pebbles and boulders.(Patuxent Materials, Inc. thought adding this one was a great trend, for an eco-friendly way to decorate your landscape)
Meandering Soft Pebble Path:
Retain a soft pebble pathway by using brick edging for support. Soft surfacing for garden paths consists of natural materials that include combinations of stone, wood and shell.
Create a checkerboard design using gravel, wood dividers and low-growing, compact Acaena and sedum.
Pea gravel is useful for walkways, work areas and social spaces. It also fits easily among plants and shrubs and will stay attractive for a long time. Combine pea gravel with ornamental grasses for a stunning design.
Photos and more information can be found at HGTV.com