In 2013 we’re looking for bliss.
We want to be happy.
We are looking for bright colors, nature inspired products and tactile experiences. Gardens are softer, like all other home trends.
We’re fed up with fear and the complexities of modern life and we’re searching for things to make the ordinary extraordinary – now – in the moment. We are also looking for spirituality to counteract all the buzz in our daily lives. Not necessarily religion, but an alignment with nature. We’re also looking for healthy living. clean air, good food, home is a sanctuary, healing.
What better place to find these qualities than in an outdoor space made to measure. Be it a window, balcony, courtyard, small garden or country estate, we are looking to create a happy, simple space with links to nature and a healthy lifestyle in our outdoors.
So, how does this fit into garden trends for the next couple of years.
Here’s my take. Forgive me if you find some of these trends feed in and out of each other. This post just looks at the broad things. I’ll look at some details in the next post. They are delicious…
1. Big, small or none at all – gardens are essential for your well-being – just make them yours
Most of us live in cities, in apartments and small homes with limited or no space outside. This is the reality of modern living and modern small gardens. Whatever the size of your garden (a window sill?) there will be something in these trends for you, we’re thinking about introducing plants to our lives.
If you have no outdoor space and really want the feel of a garden, remember, interior gardens ( interiorscapes) may be the way for you to go.
Remember though, trends are trends. Whatever the size of your garden, only embrace what you love and what suits you. This is yours.
So embrace the ideas and pick up those you love.
2. Bring nature into urban spaces
Absolutely a force behind most trends this year is nature – indoors and outdoors.
Working with nature is the foundation of almost every trend. It is associated with the sustainable living, spirituality and calm, clean and healthy living that marks the beginning of this century.
This whole trend is really about looking after nature. Different people will adopt this trend in many different ways. Different areas will focus on different issues. Different values will govern the way people take on each idea. for some of you this move will mean embracing ecological principles with native gardens. Others will embrace the idea of adding exotic plants to the mix and for others it simply means introducing indoor plants to help freshen the air in your apartment. However you decide to add nature to your mix, enjoy the benefits.
Many of you will be looking into managing water use better. Water conservation and managing drought and flood is really important in many parts of the world. Here in South East Queensland, at the beginning of the cyclone season, we have just dealt with months of below average rainfall so gardens are stressed and dry. But a cyclone has hit the tropics to the north and torrential rain is on its way down the coast, flooding towns and cutting off main roads. Our gardens have to deal with too much water as well.
Others will be thinking of making sure the quality of water leaving your garden is not going to hurt the environment.
Many of you will of you will also be thinking about bringing animals back into urban areas. Using local native plants to attract bees and birds will become more and more important.
You will hear the following terms more and more.
Design with nature
Building sustainable gardens
Bring back wildlife
Use of nativars (any plant that is somewhat closely related to a local native plant but not quite it – usually garden cultivators or hybrids of native plants, including non-local genotypes of native species. Difficult for some but not for others.)
Use of permeable pavers
Replace lawns with drought tolerant wildlife attracting beautiful gardens
The debate about how far this movement should go will continue for a while. Some of us will want to be pure naturalists and others will compromise on some issues. There’s room for people too.
3. Bring the feel of nature indoors
Indoor plants are growing in popularity. After many years of disinterest by the design community because they were thought to be clutter, indoor plants are coming back – in new ways.
Use your imagination. If you get the plants right, indoor plants can be used in modern and innovative ways.
Probably the most difficult indoor plant options, interiorscapes, are not just pots but are complete gardens created inside. These will become more and more popular in apartments.
4. Understand what plants can do for you – they will be considered necessities in modern life
Plants are wonderful. They give us so much.
Plants clean the air by removing carbon dioxide and and volatile organic compounds associated with modern living. In exchange they emit oxygen so freshening spaces and making our lives happier.
They provide us food. Many think home grown vegetables and fruit taste better, are better quality, offer better nutrition and are cheaper.
Some food plants even have particular health qualities.
Berries, broccoli are considered super-foods, many herbs have simple medicinal qualities.
Most food plants are easy to grow, some are even good on a small balcony or patio in containers.
By understanding the benefits of plants in our home environments, we can introduce them into our lives in the best way possible.
5. Make your gardens look and feel great the 2013 way
Just because you want the garden to take on a practical function, it doesn’t mean it should look just practical. A garden is for people too and it needs to make you happy. Great garden design is really at the bottom of being able to combine practical function and beauty.
Plant vegetables but mix them with colorful and fragrant flower and plants with great foliage to give the garden all season structure.
Whether your style is old fashioned flowers and heirloom veggies or slick contemporary plantings, mixing food plants into gardens is a great way to go.
Add things to make the garden comfortable for people. Seating, entertainment areas, outdoor grills, firepits and fireplaces, to make the area more comfortable for longer, covered areas to give shade, trees, fragrant flowers, texture and color to add a personal touch.
Like the Landform Garden at Hampton Court. From the Royal Horticultural Society.
The list goes on.
6. Keep it simple
We are all busy. No time to do anything.
The idea of plants and a garden is to add bliss, serenity and happiness to our lives. So keep it simple.
Work out how much time you want to spend each week, month or year and design your blissful garden to meet those requirements.
I love this flower filled cottage garden which will keep its owner occupied for many hours each week.
But I’m more likely in this busy age to have a low maintenance pool and outdoor entertaining area like this beautiful patio.
A high maintenance cottage garden full of weeds and dead flowers because you don’t have the time to spend on it is not blissful or serene. But if you love to spend time in the garden pottering around removing weeds and dead flowers, that very cottage garden may provide all the happiness you are looking for.
7. Color in 2013
It’s bright, happy and full of fun.
Purple is the new neutral, cerulean bright blue, deep and bright pink, lemon yellow and emerald green all add a pop. Metallics are still important.
The look is great in this contemporary garden in Melbourne, Australia.
8. Become more self sufficient
Homesteading is out there this year and the garden is at the heart of this movement.
Mini homesteads are popping up everywhere.
Gardens are organic, natural and as productive as they can be. This is a healthy way to live.
You don’t need a garden to join this movement. A balcony with vertical gardens or plant containers will give lots of salads and vegetables each year.
9. Bring games into the garden
We want to be happy. And there is a move to bring people together. Lawn bowls, croquet, badminton, anything which will bring people together and make them leave computers and mobile phones behind will become more and more popular.