There are trends in fashion, in home décor, how we shop, even what we eat and how we garden. In my research, I have found that the biggest trend in horticulture for 2019 is the theme of ‘letting nature nurture us’.  As many of us have busy and stressful lives, it is even more significant that the garden will be the refuge we all need even if it is a couple of steps away from an electronic overloaded day.

With the directive of ‘letting nature nurture us’, there is more interest in ‘woodland’ gardens. Woodland gardens do not have to be among large trees or intense shade, but in semi-shade with a mixture of ferns, hostas, mosses, heuchera (coral bells), maybe added anemones for a little flowering colour, and mulched for low maintenance. The garden can be as small or as large as your time and landscape will dictate. This naturalized area will create a special place of organic Zen in the garden. Letting nature nurture us is a welcomed break from the digital overload and hectic world.

Keeping with the ‘woodland’ theme, there is the return of all foliage or green gardens. Unique leaf structure and variations of the green hue of certain plants are the main component in the design.  Various hues of green will add texture and depth to these foliage gardens.

For years the meadow and cottage gardens have been popular, but the trend of landscape designers is to use sculptural plants that are formal, have intriguing shapes, textures and branching habits in their naturalistic gardens, a sort of ‘yin-yang’ effect.

With growing pressures of too little leisure time and/or too little space, plant breeders and garden nurseries are complying with the horticulture consumer’s wants and needs. There is a demand for plants with a long flowering duration or re-blooming capabilities. With new home lots getting smaller, homeowners are wanting ‘one & done’ plants, that will perform a double or triple duty in their yards. So, there is a big demand for plants that ‘flower + fruit + good fall colour + feed birds + provide privacy + waterwise etc’ As we demand more of plants, the plant breeders continue to push the limit on what and how plants perform. There are also more plants for us to choose from for our gardens that will thrive as our climate is changing.

More gardeners are increasing their practices to ‘Save the Earth’ philosophy. So, there is renewed interest in composting, growing plants for our pollinators, our honeybees and Monarch Butterflies. Ecological gardens are on the rise to cope with extreme weather conditions; we will see a trend in growing the right plants for the right weather conditions.  More gardeners, because of time restrain and finance, are less inclined to pamper plants with state-of-the-art irrigation systems. The move is to be environmentally responsible and to grow plants that are more self efficient in our gardens.  Gardeners will be growing more sustainable and low maintenance plants.

Whatever type of garden you create or plant this year, make you take the time to sit and enjoy it. The gardens we create should be our refuge of tranquil and nature’s glory in our busy stressful world.

~ Nancy Abra