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Many people, perhaps even most, tend to make a backyard plan and stick to it year after year. But, just as you would update a kitchen or bathroom, yards need a refresh every now and then. Unless the home is an historically accurate structure, no one wants a yard that looks like it was decorated decades ago. So, while you are waiting for the last of the winter to melt way, consider some of these 2023 trends:
Matrix Gardening (aka Meadowscaping) – This gardening style is the inevitable answer to an increased awareness of sustainability and climate change. Matrix gardening was developed in Germany as a way to revive urban landscapes after World War II and the concept has changed little since then. The idea is to populate areas (large or small) with plants that thrive synergistically to form a cohesive ecosystem that conserves water, naturally discourages weeds, and requires minimal upkeep. In a backyard garden, instead of filling your planters and flower beds with annuals from the big box store, you’d choose plants and flowers that are native or at least compatible to your area. This concept can create a beautiful garden year-round. And since you’d be free from the limited supply at your local store, you’d be free to experiment with a wide variety of new-to-you plants.
Pollinator-Friendly and Allergen-Free Planting – As an extension of the above ideas, planting with intention beyond the eco-friendly is gaining popularity. Many people want to consider bees and other pollinators when planning a garden, while others want to reduce seasonal allergy suffering by not growing plants that create allergens. A word of caution before deciding on plants: Sometimes the plants you may think are the problem allergies-wise are the same plants that pollinators love. Always research your area to make the proper decisions before planting or removing plants. Here is an interactive pollen map of the U.S. that can help. For additional information on pollinator-planting, here’s a blog I wrote on the subject. By the way, Martha Stewart recommends this bee-friendly plant.
Vertical Gardening – In our increasingly cramped and expensive world, this is a trend that’s here to stay. Vertical gardening is a way for small-space dwellers to stretch their gardening space upwards to grow pretty much anything they want. For others, this is an exceptional way to delineate spaces in a garden or to jazz up an otherwise-boring privacy fence. Some vertical gardens are so beautiful and elaborate that they’re works of art, but the simple and not-fancy versions are just as cool and can be surprisingly easy – check these out. This type of growing can also make gardening accessible to many disabled people.
Garden Paths – Once you know what plants you want in your yard, don’t forget the path. No matter what it’s made of, there are few things more inviting than a garden path. Paths can lead to intriguing or relaxing nooks and crannies, or they can make a big circle. They can be intentionally directive or deceptively rustic and you get extra points if you can make a path that goes from indoors all the way out into the yard. This creates an illusion of a larger space, is eye-appealing and is very much on trend .
White Picket Fences – It seems the more forward-thinking and tech-y our world becomes, the more nostalgic people become. The “good old days” may not have been as good as people think, but there are some vintage garden elements that have undeniable appeal. Case in point: the white picket fence. Replacing your current fence with a new one may not be feasible, but these types of fences make excellent accent pieces and look great with vining flowers all over them. Add a few feet somewhere and feel the hominess of it all.
Antique Pots – This is another old-timey thing that has come back to be on trend. Instead of using regular plastic or terracotta pots, you could rummage around in antique and thrift stores and look for something that your grandmother or great mother would have had in her yard. If that’s not your thing, there are lots of pots to be had that are faux antique. Here’s a quick google search to give you an idea of the virtually endless options.
Statues, Arbors & Fountains – These design elements have never gone out of style and this year they’re especially hot. In the midst of your meadowscape, add eye-catching piece, or set a pair of statues at an entrance point. An arbor is almost-irresistible invitation to enter, and what a delight it would be to find a fountain at the end of that garden path.
Whatever you choose to do with your outside space, try to keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to simply enjoy it. Spend less money and effort fixing it up and more time just sitting in it.
Pam Couture is the Lead Content Writer at ARBICO Organics. She lives in Tucson, Arizona, where she is surrounded by family, friends, and nature. ARBICO Organics can be contacted at 800.827.2847 and you can visit their website at ARBICO-Organics.com.