Here at Memphis Landscape, we know the trends for 2018 will emphasize finding pleasure in one’s own garden— from sharing a meal with loved ones in a relaxing place you’ve created, growing new and exciting foods you’ve never attempted, or having an area that wildlife can seek refuge in.
Embrace the small garden
While the small garden itself is not a new concept, there has been substantial progress in how they’re designed. Even the smallest of gardens can prove useful and attractive. The more popular ways to make the most of a small garden are:
Everything in a small garden should have multiple uses. Take for example a concrete fire feature. It works as a bold statement that runs through the space, as a curb for the edge of the deck, as a planter, as a collector of water from downspouts, as a seat wall, and at the end of the day it turns into a fire feature.
Containers are some of the best ways to explore and appreciate combinations. Plants are exquisite on their own, but their assets are magnified when placed in a context that complements texture, color, and structure.
For many years it seems the outdoor dining space was located near the kitchen or just off the house. These days people are willing to carry their plates just a little further, as dining spaces are being pushed deeper into the garden. Having an all-inclusive destination within the landscape immerses people in the ambience. It allows guests to see more of your garden and makes for a more luxurious experience.
A few tips for creating the ultimate outdoor dining destination:
- Include your before and after dinner spaces nearby, such as a pool or fire pit.
- Use special flooring, furniture, and lighting to turn your dining area into a sanctuary.
- Use in ground and container plants to surround the dining area and give it a lush feeling.
Place a priority on craftsmanship
It’s easy to forget that people still make things by hand while we’re surrounded by mass produced products. Next time you add a structure or other element to your property, we hope you’ll seek out an artisan. Having an artisanal arbor in your garden can add much needed intimacy. Or a handcrafted playhouse will add whimsy and enchantment, turning your garden into a magical escape.
Helping to restore habitat at home
Habitat loss is responsible for not only the decline of bees and butterflies, but also for that of turtle, frogs, and even birds. Expanding cities and sprawling suburbs were designed for convenience and aesthetics, with little thought to the needs of wildlife which resulted in dwindling habitats. The many needs of our animal neighbors can be met with convenient, beautiful landscapes— and Memphis Landscape is here to help!
Adjusting plant selections and redesigning gardens can better support local wildlife. Here are a few takeaways for creating a habitat garden:
- The replacement of some or all of your lawn.
- Restrict, or better yet stop using pesticides and insecticides all together.
- Make sure to grow both the berry-bearing and seed-producing plants.
Experiment with what you grow
Gardeners love to try new things. We predict continued experimentation with new plants, and the way that they are showcased. Here are a few ways to add some botanical variety to your garden or home:
Grow Unusual Edibles: Make your veggie garden reflect this trend and try a few new-to-you crops by acquiring seeds from community gardens, seed companies, and seed swaps. For example, try some cucamelons, which are about the size of grapes, but with a flavor similar to cucumbers and a hint of sourness. They are a favorite here at Memphis Landscape.
Get Creative with Houseplants: Besides just a pothos or ficus in a corner, think of houseplants as integral design elements in your private sanctuaries, fulfilling the same roles they do in the garden outside. They lead the eye, create focal points, provide repetition and contrast, frame views, and lend texture, color, and form.
Cultivate a Succulent Collection: The gardening public often thought of succulents as cactus or jade, and dismissed the entire category as too spiny or common. Today, people everywhere cultivate all kinds of succulents. The plants like fresh air, sunlight, warmth, and dryness. These exotic plants are available at your local nursery or via mail order.
Creating a sense of enclosure
A fence is the most common method for enclosing a garden. Fences have practical purposes, to contain pets or prevent trespassing, but they aren’t always the most attractive solution. The new style to enclose gardens are with lush plantings that are attractive and welcoming, yet offer privacy— and Memphis Landscape is available to help you with any enclosure you’d like.
Pushing seasonal boundaries
There’s a lot more thought being put into winter landscapes. An empty space is a dreary landscape, no matter how much someone loves snow. Dazzling colors and sophisticated textures can enliven gardens during the dormant season. Consider the views from a window where you spend a fair amount of time. Select plant combinations that marry color, texture, and toughness. The contrast of dark branches, bright green conifers, and fiery red osier is an obvious and excellent strategy. Look for the following in plants for winter:
- Late winter flowers that are provided by early bloomers.
- Evergreens that in winter change color.
- Colorful or peeling bark from deciduous trees and shrubs.
Seek inspiration in person
Visit world renowned gardens for inspiration. There are specific trips and incredible local tours planned just for gardening enthusiasts. Tours are available of both private and grand public gardens. You can tour villas and palaces with like-minded travelers who share your passion for garden design and nature. Consider the essential garden destinations in England, Ireland, France, Italy, South Africa & New Zealand. There are also nature trips to biodiversity hotspots like Belize and Costa Rica.
You can experience the transformative power of gardens much closer to home if traveling abroad isn’t in the cards for you. The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program opens the gates to over 300 private gardens in 18 states. You will see your own garden with new eyes when you return home.