Demand for organic and locally sourced foods has gardeners trading in ornamentals for edibles. “Without sacrificing a bit of beauty, you can fill your yard with lush veggies, fruits, edible flowers and herbs,” says LuAnn Brandsen, whose "Eat the Garden" article appears in our January/February 2017 issue. If space permits, build a raised garden bed to grow your favorite vegetables. Limited square footage is great for container gardens with herbs and leaf lettuce.
Families are continuously looking for ways to take a break from digital devices. Outdoor entertainment and game spaces are rising on many landscape designers’ request lists. From cornhole and bocce courts to fireplaces and hammocks, establishing an outdoor living space is a great way to personalize your family’s needs. Get an idea of all the creative outdoor game options at Yard Games, an online retailer based out of Maple Grove, Minnesota.
Leave it to hobbyists to turn gardening into a craft. With indigo-pigmented prints filling homes in 2016, plant dye is in high demand. Creatives are stocking their gardens with marigolds, Russian sage, black-eyed Susans and other pigment-heavy plants to extract their natural dyes for coloring textiles like fabric and yarn.
Gardening without a lawn? Yes, it’s possible. Hanging pots easily attach to a balcony, patio, garage wall or fence, and the vertical alignment means lower maintenance (so long, weeds!) and a smaller footprint. Try a fast-growing vine like Dutchman’s Pipe or potted succulents and edibles.
Farm to Vase
Locaflorism, which values locally sourced, seasonally grown flowers, is changing the floriculture industry. Take the mother-daughter duo behind Buckeye Blooms, for example, who transformed their fourth-generation family farm into a flower farm sourcing western Ohio. They're one of many homegrown-certified florists budding across the U.S. to promote domestic and sustainable operations in an industry largely relied on foreign imports.
Urban dwellers and downsizers aren’t letting a small (or non-existent) yard fade their green thumbs. “Everyone should be connected with nature, says Tara Heibel, co-owner of Chicago’s home and garden shop Sprout Home. “Bringing plants indoors lets you get your [nature] fix 24-7.” The potted fiddle-leaf fig and hanging pothos plant are popular varieties for 2017.