10 Hot Landscaping Trends
September 21st, 2013
1. Small-scale Gardening
With block sizes shrinking and more of us living in apartments, small-scale gardening is a no-brainer and it’s an area that is really taking off. Just because an area is small doesn’t mean it cannot be special and enjoyed. Raised garden beds, vegetable containers and refashioned wooden crates can transform your terrace, balcony or patio. Integrate comfortable seating into the equation to ensure that you get to spend time in your creation.
2. Edible Landscapes
Becoming self-sufficient and going organic isn’t just for hippies! Growing an edible kitchen garden means greening your space and putting food on your table. Be ambitious and don’t limit yourself to just herbs. Experiment with potted fruit trees and more substantial veg like eggplant, tomatoes and peas. Mixed planting also allows you to integrate your edibles with more traditional perennials and shrubs for a garden that looks and tastes great. Don’t forget to plant what you eat – otherwise there isn’t much point.
3. The Lay of the Land
Whatever your preference - terracotta tiles, bricks, concrete or reconstituted limestone - paving can transform outdoor living areas and pathways. Besides enabling you to enjoy these spaces year-round, paving is also cost-effective, doesn’t crack and can be easily replaced if repairs are required. So why not revamp your patio, veranda, courtyard, pool area or outdoor entertainment areas with this versatile option?
4. Going Vertical
Vertical gardens are the ultimate in gardening for space or light-constrained homes and for covering unsightly brickwork or concrete. Opt for dedicated planting walls or grow walls for total convenience. These modular systems typically boast complex hydroponics and watering systems which can take all the fuss out of care and maintenance. Alternatively if you are looking for something simpler, don’t rule out creepers and hanging baskets for a similar effect.
5. Socialise with a Fire Pit
Make a fire pit the social centrepiece of your outdoor room or area – a place to gather with friends, family and Mother Nature. This is definitely a low cost option that can be as simple or elaborate as you require – with stone, brick and metal the most popular materials to work with. Integrate a fire pit into your hardscaping or go for a portable custom steel version for maximum flexibility. Spend nights roasting marshmallows, sharing a dream or simply gazing at the stars.
6. How Green is My Eco-Garden
Going green is barely a trend anymore, but it is worth emphasising just how important this movement is. Limiting the use of chemical fertilisers, choosing organic products, planting waterwise species, cutting back on irrigation and composting are just some of the small-scale initiatives you can take. Besides enabling you to sleep that little sounder these measures are likely to attract more local wildlife (think insects, birds and larger critters) to your backyard. Other ways of being more sustainable include using renewable materials, installing a rainwater tank and recycling.
7. Theme-tastic Garden
Take inspiration from your recent exotic holiday and recreate that rainforest, formal Japanese garden or slice of desert right in your own backyard. This will not only give you hours of pleasure, it also reflects your personality and interests. Modern nurseries and their online cousins offer an infinite variety of plants to satisfy practically any ideas you may have in this sphere. Other popular themes include rock, wildflower, water and kitchen gardens – or take inspiration from each element.
8. Go Native with Endemics
Native or endemic plant species are an attractive and durable addition to any garden, especially when planted alongside more traditional varieties. Besides being naturally waterwise and drought tolerant, native plants offer an attractive home for native wildlife and enable you to track the seasons. Before you dash down to your nursery find out your soil type. This will help you choose the right plants and ensure they remain healthy and disease-free.
9. Lawns Are History
There is a definite move away from water-hungry lawns to alternative forms of hardscaping. Even though lawn is easy on the eye it is time consuming to maintain, requires large amounts of water to sustain and is of low habitat value. Instead look to decking, gravel, pavers and synthetic grass as alternatives for your outdoor areas.
10. Hire a Landscape Designer
This may seem like stating the obvious, but rather than trying to go it alone why not get a landscaping professional in? Besides having formal training in the field, a qualified professional will have a fresh perspective and an eye for what will work with your budget and backyard.
(source: Home Improvement Pages)