You say trends. I say top gardening movements for 2011.
In my view, gardening trends are often seen as short-lived, much like the roll-out seed carpet, upside-down tomatoes or the Fruit Cocktail tree.
Fads and gadgets come and go in the gardening world, but I would suggest worthwhile changes usually take place over time and are better characterized as movements rather than trends. Here are my 11 picks for the coming year that will continue to gain momentum.
New plant introductions
Black petunias, early-blooming day lilies and a march of shrubs sporting new colours and more compact dimensions are all coming to the marketplace. Some will prove themselves over time and others will fall by the wayside. But, whatever their ultimate benefit, yearly introductions are here to stay.
Plants, like ornamental grasses, succulents and other coddle-free offerings, (think no dead-heading, cutting back, heavy fertilizing or replacing) are now becoming the first choice for planters.
No-lawn front gardens
Not the high maintenance cottagey gardens of the past, but nevertheless, homeowners continue to look for alternate ways to cover the ground in their front gardens. The lawn continues to shrink.
Aging gardener-friendly gardens
As we get older, the dream of spending our retirement lavishing attention on our gardens has been replaced with creaky knees and lazy afternoon naps. The search for easy-care perennials, polite shrubs and trouble-free container plantings has begun in earnest. For tips, take a look at longtime gardener and writer Sydney Eddison's newest book entitled Gardening for a Lifetime: How to Garden Wiser as You Grow Older, available in paperback this spring.