The garden trends for 2017 have been revealed, and all of the experts agree, the definition of “garden” is definitely changing! The big lawn with perennial beds are officially behind us and homeowners are demanding more from their outdoor spaces. Here are the new and unusual trends to watch for in the year ahead.
When it comes to planting in your garden, you’ve probably already heard to plant in groups of three. I’ve always been told that odd numbers seem to look more natural, which is kind of surprising when I always seem to see pairs in the animal kingdom. I guess it’s different for plants.
There are a few other rules of three that you probably haven’t heard of which, if incorporated into you garden, will make your space look even better.
For my 100th article, I wanted to share what motivates me as a designer. Every time I visit a new city, I make sure to visit the local park to see the way local flora is used in combination with art and structures.
My recent trip to Halifax included a stroll through the public gardens to see the bulbs in bloom. I encourage everyone to do the same.
When it comes to planning your own outdoor spaces, take cues for inspiration on how to blend the function with a beautiful aesthetic from a master gardener.
While I realize that most of our backyards aren’t as spacious as a park, the design principles are the same.
Has the joy of gardening really returned? Is it possible after such a long drought that homeowners really want to garden just because they enjoy it? Thankfully, all signs point to ‘yes.’
I’ve been back and forth across the country over the last two months speaking at home shows and gardening events. In every city, I am seeing homeowners excited about creating outdoor spaces that make them happy. More than just functional, front and backyards should also be about enjoying the outdoors.
We are seeing campaigns to save the bees, the birds and the monarch butterflies that are increasing the focus on flowers. Apparently, with the flowers comes the fun stuff!
Here are some easy ways to add a little joy into your gardens this year.
So far we’ve covered line and light for your outdoor space (make sure you check www.thechronicleherald.ca/Homes to catch up); now let’s have some fun and talk about texture.
For me, putting texture into the garden is my favourite part of the design because texture creates a lot of emotional responses. I love to watch my guest’s expressions when they see a combination that was unexpected. Texture naturally invites you to touch with lots of visual and tactile cues.
With man-made objects, I love using patio stones, pea gravel or even heavily grained woods in combinations so that the different shapes play off each other. This combination of textures makes the space more visually appealing. Plants are even easier to create opposing textures by mixing wide and thin leaves.
As a design student, I gravitated toward the design principle that ‘form follows function.’ This concept was the reason I started in landscape deign. I felt that the definition of the Canadian garden didn’t fit with what I envisioned for my own backyard. Instead of installing the traditional perennials and shrubs flowerbeds, I wanted a space that was lifestyle appropriate and in my case, that was a backyard designed for living in instead of a collection of blooms.
At the time, no one was talking about these types of renovations and that became the start of the ‘low-maintenance’ era of gardening. Enough homeowners agreed with my vision and this launched into my first television series ‘Room to Grow,’ and the start of my media career. This idea that our gardens change because our lifestyles evolve still speaks loudly to me.
Last week I spoke about the value of line in your outdoor space and how to use horizontal, vertical, curved and straight lines to your advantage when creating your own space. (If you missed it, make sure you check online).
This week is all about the value of light in a space.
When we think about light in a backyard, most of us picture early morning sunlight peaking through the branches. For some, it’s all about the starlight because that is when they are in their spaces, after work and in the evenings. Light — and how we use it in the garden — is definitely dependent on the time we spend outside. Designing around the morning for a family that doesn’t get outside much before noon makes no sense. Instead, think about when you are in the garden the most. This will help you understand what type of light you want to maximize.
Homeowners always want to know how to envision a backyard space of their own. I always tell them that creating an outdoor escape is really about three components. The first is education. I went to school for design and had excellent teachers that I still quote to this day.
The second is a knack for understanding flow. Some people are just good at spacial awareness and seeing the potential of the world around them. While this probably doesn’t sound helpful to someone who is struggling with his or her own garden, learning how to manipulate space can be learned if you know what to look for.
Finally, you need a lot of perseverance. There are too many gardens in my past that I wish I could do over again. I just keep trying to learn from my mistakes.
So for 2015, my gift to you is a little insight with your own space. For the next several articles, I’m going to help you look at your backyard and see its potential and hopefully help you get a little closer to creating it.
Q) Hi Carson. I really enjoy watching you on Cityline and I just redid my backyard and now I need suggestions and ideas on what I should plant in terms of trees, shrubs or flowers.
A) Talk about a loaded question! Homeowners always want a simple set of directions to help them get the right plant in the right spot. Unfortunately, there are so many different variables to every single home that there is no way for me to personally help. That said … here is my foolproof method to get you on the right path to having your own successful garden.