Freshen up your landscape this year with the latest gardening trends.
Want to know what's hot in gardening for 2013? Our editors predict an even bigger boom in home food gardens; taking pleasure in the details, such as hanging baskets and bulbs; and innovative ways to grow vertically. Discover more here!
It's a natural reaction to smell a flower, but unfortunatley, not every bloom is blessed with a blissful scent. A fragrant garden is going from nice-to-have to must-have. Plants that offer pleasant-scented leaves and blooms are skyrocketing in popularity.
While gorgeous blooms come and go, variegated foliage lasts all season long and can be just as much of a showstopper. Hot new annuals such as Glamouflage Grape petunia are the perfect container plant combing beautiful flowers with stunning foliage.
Photo courtesy of Hort Couture.
Planting bulbs is the easiest way to add that first-of-spring bloom in a variety of colors and styles. From the frilly petals of the Black Parrot tulip to the old-fashioned smell of hyacinth -- all it takes is a trowel and a bag of bulbs to create a gorgeous display.
Last year was all about relishing in the joy of wandering to your garden to cut flowers for a fresh bouquet. This year, add clippings of fresh vegetables to your floral arrangements. Don't be afraid to get creative -- try radishes, carrots, flowering kale, squash blooms, chard, eggplant or even wax bean -- as long as you're willing to part with some of your harvest.
Look for more trendy ways to use veggies in an upcoming issue of Country Gardens magazine.
"Homesteading" has different meanings for different people, but the bottom line: People are still strongly interested in being more self-sufficient and growing more in less space while trying to use less water. This year, take it up a notch. If you learned how to make fresh pasta sauce from your garden -- now is the time to learn how to can your sauce to enjoy throughout the year.
The abundant craving for people to grow their own food, whether they have the space or not, has prompted several community gardens to develop and flourish. Mentoring role models are also flourishing in these spaces where, regardless of age, people are learning from each other, building relationships, and strengthening their communities.
Along with a movement towards more self-sustaining gardening, many are finding enjoyment in a new hobby: saving seeds of yesterday. While new plant varieties are still eagerly awaited every year, salvaging our favorite heirloom beauties has become just as intriguing.
We often look back and take comfort in the nostalgic. That's why plants such as hydrangeas, lavender, Russian sage, moonflower, impatiens, and celosia are blooming in popularity. We'll continue to see a strong interest in heirloom varieties, and gardening companies, such as Burpee Home Gardens, are making heirlooms easier than ever with offerings such as their grafted heirloom tomatoes.
We love looking at beautiful yards, more and more of our readers are finding something especially satisfying about making their landscapes friendly for birds, bees, butterflies, and other natural critters. There's more interest than ever among our readers for providing accommodations for nature's pets.
If you've been searching for the perfect combination of tasteful pavers that also serve to manage water -- there's a product for that. Permeable pavers allow the movement of storm water to percolate through their surface to reduce runoff and leaching of any contaminants. And they look good doing it, too!
Photo courtesy of Unilock.
Riding alongside the desire to grow vegetables, cooking with fresh herbs -- straight from the garden -- has become equally as important. As long as people get enough sun to grow them, windowsill garden planters -- full of rosemary, basil, and parsley -- are popping up all over the country.
Growing chickens on urban farms is a trend that continues to grow in popularity this year. It's so popular, even the kids have forgotten about a pet dog, their hearts are set on a little peeper instead!
Consider smaller breeds of chickens with big flair such as a Bantam.
We're continuing to see our readers -- especially younger readers -- embrace the concept of edible landscaping. Happily, plant breeders are jumping on board, too: From the Urban Columnar series of apples to the new dwarf thornless raspberry and dwarf blueberry bred to look fantastic in pots, it's easier and more popular than ever to have a good-looking yard you can eat from.
Pictured: thornless raspberry "BrazelBerry"
It's always been important to get children in the garden to learn the wonders of plant cycles and how fluttering butterflies and buzzing bees help the process. It's just as important to create, within the same space, opportunities for children with disabilities to explore. Use plants that play on the senses, such as fuzzy lamb's-ear, textural succulents, or fragrant lavender.
Raise your hand if you'd love to never mow the lawn again! You aren't alone; several folks are turning over their grass patches for drought-tolerant flowers in an attempt to minimize water and eliminate fertilizing. Oh! -- and, of course, to create a gorgeous, neighbor-envying garden, too!