Man…when we signed off at Christmas…saying that we’ll reconnect in the New Year, I had no idea that it would be over 3 weeks before we did. Sorry about that…but thanks. Our time away has been very good..and I hope yours was too.
We had some great time together as a family…which was really nice and much needed. We also spent a good bit of time looking back and looking ahead. And not only are we excited about what we have planned for RYGblog in 2015…we are also pretty excited about some potential news we have to share with you in the next few weeks. Stay tuned for that.
Sooo…now that the holidays are behind us, we can start looking forward to what’s in front of us. (I can officially say that now that I’ve finally dumped the Christmas tree that was sitting outside our back door for weeks!) And if you’re anything like me…thinking about what you’re going to do in your yard when the weather starts to cooperate is where your mind wanders most. So inspired by a post by fellow blogger friend Lisa Orgler, I thought I’d share some garden trends that might just inspire you to get outside more in 2015.
Living More Outside
Fortunately the McMansion era has ebbed…where families were cooped up inside, ironically separated by more square feet of “living” space than they knew what to do with. Today more and more people are enjoying smaller houses…making the most of the space they have inside their walls…while making more of the space they have outside. They are effectively extending the walls of their home outdoors. According to a recent survey by Casual Living and Apartment Therapy, nearly 3/4 of people have or are in the process of building an outdoor room. Given that millennials want to spend more time outside entertaining friends and family than past generations, this trend will only get stronger.
Having Spaces with a Soul
Fueled by a growing population who values individuality and who wants to be connected more to each other and to a greater purpose…more people are wanting outdoor spaces that have a soul…spaces that truly reflect the way they want to live. Gone is the assumption that one yard fits all – as long as you have grass, the ubiquitous crepe myrtle, and the Grecian ring of evergreen shrubs…you’re good. This is no longer true. What brings life…has a soul…to one person or family, may not the next. So as a result, design and product considerations will be more intentional and varied. As a landscape designer I really like where this trend is going. It may make things a bit more challenging…but so much more fun and interesting.
Making Old Things New
One way to create a sense of history and purpose (i.e., a soul) is to use products and materials that were once used somewhere else. Whether you call it repurpose, recycle or up-cycle…it doesn’t matter. Using old things in a new space and in a new way, not only creates greater texture, it also tells a story and gives a space extra meaning. With easy access to how-to information…Pinterest, YouTube and other forms of social media have broadened the scope of who considers themselves do-it-yourselfers. And using pallet wood, bottles, and other salvage store finds are favorite go-to’s for this group of crafty DIYers when decorating their outdoor spaces.
Edible Gardening Playing Double-Duty
Fueled by economic, environmental, and healthy-living trends, it’s well documented that more people are growing food at home. In fact, the National Gardening Association estimates that 1 in 3 households are now doing just that. And not only are fruits and veggies being grown more in the traditional vegetable garden, but edible plants are increasingly leaving their raised beds and the occasional pot…and into the typical landscape planting beds. People are realizing that fruits and veggies don’t have to be segregated to the far corner of their property. But rather, they can play double-duty when mixed in with the rest of their plants…providing both aesthetic and functional value.
Backyard Chickens Are Still On the Move
It wasn’t too long ago that the only place you could see a live chicken was at the county fair or at grandma’s farm. But today it’s not all that unusual to find these feathered friends living in urban and suburban homes…and even in some of the poshest of neighborhoods. So it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to hear that MyPetChicken.com (a website devoted to all things chicken for the typical home owner) was on Inc.’s list of 5,000 fastest growing private companies in 2012 (#963 actually)…and that Williams-Sonoma has launched its Agrarian brand, complete with a line of chicken coops and accessories.
I anticipate that this trend will continue as HOAs and local ordinances catch up with cultural trends and residents’ demands…with education, experience, and responsible chicken ownership further paving the way for more chickens moving into town from the farm. I have 7 chickens of my own…and can confidently say that not only do they provide delicious eggs every day, they make great pets too.
Whether you have a large estate with land as far as the eye can see or live in an apartment with a small balcony, odds are you’re short on time. And there’s no easier way to add life to an outdoor space than with a container garden. As Helen Weis said in one of her previous posts on RYGblog…
Containers are so versatile…you can put them anywhere, for any occasion and easily change them with the seasons. Whether they are big or whether they are small, the sentiment and joy is always the same. They are just so easy, movable, and doable that it’s a great way to bring people together.
Container gardens are the perfect addition to all those outdoor living spaces being created by people who don’t have much time to devote to gardening, but want to add a bit of personal flair to their outdoor spaces. With the broader selection of pots and other containers being offered now more than ever before, container gardening will only become more popular over time.
So there you have it…some garden trends I see for 2015? What are your thoughts? What trends are you going to jump on this year? Please let us know…we’d love to share them with your fellow ground redeemers.