Turn over a new leaf by introducing these hot new trends for 2018 into your garden.
Much like clothing and décor, fashions in the garden also come and go, often in response to contemporary events and concerns. While some of the greater trends seem to kick off on an international level, many translate very specifically to a South African environment and highlight the fact that we’re by no means behind the times. Here are a few not to miss.
Globally, people are gardening in a changing climate, and more and more this points towards nature in the most sensible way possible. 2018 will see a significant increase in the use of trees and other vegetation to reduce heat in urban environments and replenish oxygen levels (living walls on the sides of buildings are getting bigger and better). Gardeners are also being increasingly encouraged to choose endemic plants which suit the climate of their particular area, and to adhere to water-wise gardening principles. In local initiatives, neighbourhood groups are encouraging residents to plant indigenous trees in their gardens, on verges, in parks and in other public spaces to help cool and shelter from a warming world.
Not a new trend in South Africa, rewilding has eventually gained international recognition. This trend is centered on working with nature to create a “social network” for plants, re-planting with appropriate flora and fauna to promote symbiotic relationships and encourage natural eco-systems to redevelop. Out goes the beautifully manicured lawn, and in come indigenous grasses, flowers and plants proving food and shelter to pollinating insects. Similarly we can expect further growth in environmentally friendly gardening products.
Grow your own
The “flexitarian” lifestyle has gained huge traction with many prioritizing veggie-rich dishes over meat. With this comes the trend towards mini food and micro gardening, whether outdoors or indoors, where spaces are intensively farmed to maximize edible plant production through highly productive, sustainable, affordable and healthy techniques. Micro-greens like baby spinach, chard, lettuce extra dwarf bok choy, baby carrots, eggplants, cucumbers and tomatoes are often micro-garden staples. Keep an eye out for increasingly available micro-garden “grow kits”.
While the indoor pot plant is no newcomer, house plants are making a big comeback, not only because they can look great, but their health benefits are getting air too. It’s often felt that gardening is relaxing, rewarding and can help counter depression and this teamed with the air purifying benefits of a number of house plants is becoming a biggie. In support of this wall planting systems, including the self-watering type, have got better looking and trendier, and macramé is back in the swing. Driven by people giving themselves spaces to renew, this trend embraces the importance of disconnecting and relaxing.
With pictures of life being shared at a moment’s notice, gardens too are needing to be camera ready at any time. And how one’s outdoor space will shine up on social media suddenly matters. Frames for garden settings are becoming increasingly popular, as are cameo garden scenes, and weatherproof, waterproof, instagrammable garden screening is big.