The sun’s out and the barbecue is calling – summer cookouts, Sundays with the family and suntanning on the lawn all await, but if you’re anything like us, your yard might still look a bit worse for the wear. Now that the snow’s finally melted, and last year’s dead leaves raked up, our yards are looking more and more like blank canvasses. This year, we’ve noticed a couple of new trends we can’t wait to try out.
1. Herb Gardens
Herb gardens have always been an easy go-to for gardeners, whether in a windowbox or a sprawling garden. Cocktails with fresh herbs are trendier than ever, so if you’re the type to mix a bowl of punch, mojitos or margaritas, you might want to plant heavier on some than other. Lavender, mint, green basil, and dill are all great choices that grow abundantly – just make sure you grow the mint separately, as it’ll strangle other plants. A few muddled herbs at the bottom of a fresh cocktail will make your BBQs the best on the block.
2. Black-Stained Wood Touches
Many gardeners prefer natural wood finishes, like pine or bamboo, in hardscaping and fencing. There’s nothing wrong with a classic, but for those wanting to add a moody touch, black stained touches look fresh and urban. The dark colour makes anything planted around it pop, so greenscapes, creeping vines and vibrant flowers are all pushed front and centre. We think the dark touches make a garden a bit more intimate and interesting, so try it in a fencing, deck or raised bed.
3. Container Gardening
It used to be that container gardening was reserved for fussy flowerpots in driveways, or those sad plastic hanging baskets in abundance at your local garden center. Well, the tide has turned and container gardening has never been so creative. Use different sizes and styles of pots to add depth to a garden or deck – especially for aggressive plants like the aforementioned mint, this method is both beautiful and functional – and easy to drag inside in an unexpected frost.
4. Edible Gardens
Home-grown food has never been trendier, and as a result there’s never been more resources for the first-time grower. Growing food might seem intimidating, but if you choose the right plants it can be both simple and rewarding. Beginners would do well to start with low-maintenance tomatoes, cabbage, zucchini, lettuces, cucumber, eggplant or even corn. Those with less dedication could give micro-greens a whirl – with only two weeks from being planted to being harvested, they’re a great (and tasty!) way to dip a toe into edible growing.
In recent years, gardens have become symphonies of colour, with plants being bred to be more vibrant and colourful. We’re all for colour, but neutral tones like amber, brown and green, are making a huge comeback this year. Try layering textures – a soft, brown tall grass with shiny, moody greens, for instance – to add depth and interest to a neutral palette.