Spring Gardening Trends by Niki Jabbour
We’re excited for our client appreciation gardening event coming up in May! In anticipation of our annual event, we’ve asked gardening expert, Niki Jabbour, to share some of the biggest gardening trends! Follow us on Facebook for more gardening tips!
Spring has finally arrived and it’s time to start thinking about the garden and landscape. To help you plan your best garden ever, I’ve gathered four of the biggest gardening trends for 2018.
1 – Containers with Style
Container gardening continues to be a HUGE trend for 2018, but gardeners are adding a modern twist to this age-old technique with up-cycled containers, vertical gardens, and boldly coloured pots and planters. Add style to your garden by planting re-purposed items like bird cages, wheelbarrows, tea pots and kettles, colanders, and baskets with an assortment of foliage and flowering plants.
If you’re in the market for new containers, you’ll notice that gone are the days when garden centres only stocked terra cotta or green plastic pots. Today, you’ll find a rainbow of hues — the brighter the better! Gardeners are planting succulents in turquoise clay pots, vegetables in charcoal grey resin planters, and flowers in bright red metal planters. As well, vertical gardening systems — from DIY pallet gardens to purchased wall pots — brighten up walls and fences, and allow you to grow food or flowers in these under-used areas.
2 – A Homegrown Harvest
Growing your own vegetables, herbs, fruits, and berries is easier than you think — even if you live in an apartment or condo. Most food plants can be grown in containers like large planters, window-boxes, and hanging baskets if there is no in-ground garden space available, but they will need sunshine. Ideally, a site that provides 8 to 10 hours of sun is best. In less light, you can still grow leafy vegetables like lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, kale, and parsley.
If you’re new to food gardening, stick to easy-to-grow crops like lettuce, cherry tomatoes, bush beans, bush cucumbers, peas, and herbs like parsley, basil, thyme, and oregano. If you have the space, don’t be afraid to experiment with some new-to-you crops like cucamelons and ground cherries. These unique veggies are not hard to grow and produce a heavy harvest from mid-summer through frost.
3 – Wildlife-friendly Gardening
Planting a garden to entice birds, butterflies, and bees is a fun way to connect with nature and enjoy your outdoor spaces. To attract birds, include bird houses and plants that produce berries or seeds. Serviceberry, viburnum, high-bush blueberries, and holly are particular favourites and provide berries as well as dense growth that offers habitat and protection from neighbourhood predators like cats.
It’s also important to support pollinators like native bees and butterflies by including annuals, perennials, trees, and shrubs that produce nectar and pollen. Even in a small space, choose a range of plants that bloom from early spring to late autumn so that there is a constant supply of food for pollinators. My top pollinator plants include long-blooming hardy perennials and shrubs like coneflowers, bee balm, catmint, milkweed, lilacs, and weigela.
4 – Low-Maintenance Succulents
For those who want to add plants to their decks and balconies, but don’t want to spend the summer watering, fertilizing, and caring for high-maintenance containers should consider planting succulents. Succulents are super trendy plants with fleshy leaves arranged in stunning shapes and forms. They’re low-maintenance, drought tolerant, and insect and pest resistant. They grow best when placed in full sun in containers with well-drained soil. In fact, when planting succulents, I typically buy cactus mix potting soil to ensure excellent drainage.
Don’t be shy about combining different types of succulents in a single container. Play with the range of colours that includes shades of greens, blue-green, gold, orange, and even red. Mix taller growing succulents with short and cascading succulents with upright, having fun with the different leaf textures and colours.
For more gardening tips, join me for our annual Spring Gardening Spectacular hosted by Assante Hydrostone.