Gar­den trends for 2018

Call forth your in­ner artist in this sum­mer's gar­den

Alberta Gardener Magazine - - Contents -

Gar­den fash­ions change, and the longer we gar­den, the harder we look for some­thing new to stim­u­late our senses. Colour, new plants, gar­den de­sign fea­tures are all part of the pic­ture. There are some in­ter­est­ing trends for 2018.

Pol­li­na­tor gar­dens

Wild­flow­ers and herbs that at­tract bees, flower flies, but­ter­flies and other pol­li­na­tors are much in trend and so are the plants that at­tract these use­ful in­sects. Echi­nacea, monarda, veron­ica are all good pol­li­na­tor at­trac­tants. In early spring, wil­lows and cro­cus help feed the bum­ble­bees. Asters, gold­en­rod and gail­lar­dia bloom later in the sea­son and are very im­por­tant to mi­grat­ing birds and monarch but­ter­flies who need to store food for their long jour­neys. If you like a ti­dier gar­den, set aside a spe­cial plot for these rang­ier flow­ers. Try to have a wa­ter sup­ply nearby for the birds and the bees.

Games in the gar­den

Imag­ine sit­ting in the shade of a lovely sum­mer af­ter­noon hav­ing a long re­lax­ing game of chess – or even check­ers. You can get large sized chess sets on­line. Bocce ball doesn’t need a court, but you can add one if you have a very large lawn. Make a life size tic-tac-toe site out of paving stones and sub­sti­tute the Xs and Os with gar­den or­na­ments.

De­sign­ing with rocks and stones

Develop a gar­den fea­ture with your favourite rocks and stones col­lected when you go to the cot­tage or on that fam­ily road trip. They make a fab­u­lous fea­ture and add mem­o­ries to your gar­den. Re­mem­ber to soften these hard fea­tures with plants or flow­ers.

Fire pits

Fire pits never go out of fash­ion, but how you use them makes all the dif­fer­ence to their en­joy­ment. Make yours in­ti­mate with sur­round­ing green­ery. The pit it­self can be as sim­ple as sur­round­ing a space with curved paving stones. Avoid the fixed seat­ing so that you can move around to avoid smoke that de­pends on which way the wind is blow­ing.

The colour pur­ple

Ac­tu­ally, the colour this year is ul­tra vi­o­let. Or­na­ments and pots in this colour will give your gar­den a fresh look. Add an ul­tra vi­o­let cush­ion or

two or paint that old gar­den bench this fab­u­lous new colour.

Front yard fea­tures

Create an in­ti­mate front yard fea­ture to al­low you to use more of your gar­den. We of­ten se­clude our­selves be­hind the back­yard fence and miss the ac­tiv­ity at the front of the house. Is there a shady spot that will of­fer you a cool haven in the heat of the af­ter­noon? Plant some flow­ers and a shrub or two for pri­vacy. Add a bench or some other seat­ing. Make it yours.

Art in the gar­den

The gar­den gives art lovers scope for dis­play­ing their favourites sculp­ture. Art in the gar­den can be as sim­ple as adding cre­ative el­e­ments or beau­ti­ful crafts­man­ship to set off the green­ery.

Mak­ing the most of small gar­dens

Small gar­dens of­ten come with small houses so it is all the more im­por­tant to make the out­door space an ex­ten­sion of the in­doors and as use­able as pos­si­ble. Trends in­clude adding run­ning wa­ter fea­tures in troughs, raised fire/cook­ing /bar­be­cue pits and con­vert­ible seat­ing ar­eas. Eat­ing places are of­ten sit­u­ated away from the house.

Se­cluded cor­ners

Create quiet cor­ners in your gar­den where you can get away from it all. Shade is im­por­tant. Make the seat­ing ro­man­tic.

Ground cov­ers

Ground cov­ers such as woolly or creep­ing thyme, lysi­machia, ajuga (es­pe­cially the dark coloured ‘Cho­co­late Chips’), Scotch or Ir­ish moss and creep­ing phlox are just a few sug­ges­tions for won­der­ful ground­cov­ers. Com­bine them for con­trast. Grow them in cracks and cran­nies. They look best set off by hard fea­tures such as be­side a path­way or tum­bling over a rock gar­den.

Suc­cu­lent gar­dens.

Suc­cu­lents are still in vogue, es­pe­cially in cre­ative con­tain­ers. Peo­ple are us­ing pot­ted cac­tus as de­sign el­e­ments in­side their homes. Out­side in the gar­den you can plant the ten­der ones out for the sum­mer or make a state­ment with un­usual pots.

Plants for pol­li­na­tors.

Plant sur­rounded fire pits.

Your pri­vate rock col­lec­tion.

Ground­cov­ers are on trend.

Suc­cu­lents gar­dens are very much in vogue.

Art in the gar­den can be sim­ple cre­ativ­ity.

Ul­tra vi­o­let is the colour of the year.

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