We asked the editors of Horticulture magazine to pick 10 budget-friendly landscaping trends this spring. Here’s what they came up with:
Growing plants native to your area makes good sense. We’re lucky here in Massachusetts to have a broad range of woodland natives to choose from, but that doesn’t mean we don’t covet the agaves of the Southwest or the prairie plants of the Midwest.
They come in all shapes and sizes, meaning there is a perfect grass for every garden. Most are slow to emerge in the spring, but they add shape, movement, and texture that persist into fall and winter.
Garden centers and nurseries are making it easy to create gorgeous compositions by presenting container “recipes” or kits. And containers allow you to try growing just about any plant, regardless of where you live. You can baby it along, and if it lags where you first place it, just pick up the pot and move it to a better location.
Shrubs are about to step up into the spotlight. New and exciting varieties are being introduced every year. All provide structure and color for a minimum of care. Look for types that have interesting foliage and bright berries, which will attract the eye — and birds.
This trend features bright colors and bold, luscious foliage. Most of these plants can be successfully kept indoors over the winter, so think Florida, no matter where you live.
For years, plants have been bred for bigger blooms, brighter colors, and better pest resistance — but fragrance has been lost. Gardeners who find that one of the greatest appeals of the hobby is the rich and varied fragrances of plants are bringing it back into the garden.
Edibles as ornamentals
Edibles are popping up everywhere in the garden. We love mixing unusual lettuces with violas, letting the fragrant colorful leaves of basil line a path, and allowing an asparagus or two to spread their ferny fronds in the perennial bed.
Water-conscious gardens. With unpredictable weather and less time, gardeners across the country are choosing water-smart plants that don’t require as much TLC. Check with local nurseries, public gardens, and county extension offices to find out the best water-thrifty plants for your area.
If you must have water in the garden, try a true water garden in a small space. More gardeners are finding satisfaction in this type of gardening, creating miniature eco-systems, complete with water lilies and goldfish in an 18-inch pot.
Gardeners should embrace their shade, as the range of cool woodland plants available has been growing exponentially. Among our favorites are ferns, barrenworts, lungworts, jacks-in-the-pulpits, and wild gingers.
Horticulture magazine has been a leading authority on gardening and landscaping for more than 100 years.