Monday, February 11, 2019

Gardening Trends for 2019

Photo by Donna Duffy

February is a good time to start thinking seriously about your landscape and gardening wishes for the coming season.  Every year, top gardening trends are listed from a number of sources. Following are five that might be interesting for Jefferson County gardeners. Check out the linked resources for more information and ideas.

Agastache cana, Sonoran Sunset Hyssop, photo courtesy Plant Select

1. Keep it low maintenance. 
More mess equals more stress is a saying that is not limited to the indoors, which is why a disheveled garden can leave homeowners feeling overwhelmed. Considering the busy world we live in, gardeners will be looking for ways to simplify their gardens in 2019.
  • Include mostly perennial plants that will come back each year and group them together based on their watering needs. Check out Plant Select for regionally appropriate plants that have been hardiness vetted to thrive in our challenging growing conditions.
  • Consider removing messy trees or shrubs that don’t provide any ecological benefits. (For example, a tree that drops leaves into your pond or pool; a shrub that creeps into an oft-used pathway.)
  • Invest in an irrigation system that is designed to save time and water.
2. Create your “staycation” spot.
As designer Scott Shrader says, “Why go on vacation once a year when you can make your yard feel like you’re on vacation all year round?” Gardeners are finding more ways to enjoy a staycation in the comfort of their own backyard rather than waiting in airport lines and living out of a suitcase. Here’s some inspiration:
  • Set up a weatherproof speaker system to enjoy music while you’re outside.
  • Site destination spaces—for example, a fire feature or a comfy lounge chair—in a spot that will draw people outside but not so far that you forget to use it.
  • Invest in outdoor furniture that you actually want to sit in.
  • Include lighting to make your outdoor spaces easy to access when it gets dark out.
  • Install an outdoor kitchen if you love to cook and have the space.
3. Make your garden space wildlife and pollinator friendly.
Homeowners are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that their gardens have the potential to be much more than a plot of land that’s pretty to look at. There are many ways to give back with your garden—both to the earth and your community. Following are a few ideas.
  • Look into how you can make your garden a Certified Wildlife Habitat to benefit wildlife and inspire your neighbors to do the same.
  • Donate your overabundance of fresh produce to your local food bank or share with your neighbors to foster a sense of community.
  • Use natural ways to get rid of weeds and control garden pests.
  • Include a variety of native plants that attract native pollinators.
  • Design your garden with birds in mind. Check out the Audubon Rockies Habitat Hero program for ideas.
4. Build a living wall.
This may not be a new trend, but it’s worth exploring!  Wall-mount planters are ever  popular in cities, where industrious gardeners must make use of every inch of outdoor space. But their appeal stretches well beyond the urban jungle. A striking floral installation can brighten a big blank wall, take advantage of sunlight that never reaches the ground, and, best of all, keep you off your knees. Step-by-step instructions for building a living wall vertical garden are provided by the folks at This Old House. Their original design is a simple grid with lattice sections for climbing vines and horizontal rails that function as French cleats, making it easy to change the position of planter boxes or bring them indoors for winter.

5.  Reduce the use of plastics in the garden. Here are a few simple ideas to get you started:
  • Replace plastic plant labels with wood or old silverware.
  • Replace plastic pots with wood, ceramic or other natural material.
  • Look for cotton-based netting instead of polyethylene or polypropylene.
  • Look for recycled materials in durable products like garden hoses, row covers, compost bins.
For additional ideas, check out Garden Design, 2019 Trends in Garden Design. Maybe this year you'll start your own trend!