What’s hot in gardening this year, plus cool tools to help you make the trends bloom in your yard.
What garden trends have sprung up this year? When it comes to outdoor spaces, it’s all about ease, function and simplicity. Whether that’s one-color annuals turning your yard into a soothing, monochromatic work of art or brightly painted sheds enhancing the look of your garden, these are the hot gardening trends for 2016.
1. One-color gardens
This trend is about simplicity and elegance. Instead of an explosion of colors when your flowers bloom in the spring and summer, consider planting annuals in one color, or slight variations of that color, for a monochromatic look. Tip: With annuals, you can always change the color next year.
Forget fussy formal gardens that need a lot of TLC. The trend is now moving toward long-flowering plants, hearty native plants and grasses, and sustainable, locally sourced plants that don’t need much handholding. You’ll have more time to enjoy your garden — without all of the work.
3. Container gardens inside the house
Why have a simple houseplant when you can grow little bouquets of teardrop-shaped tomatoes? Container gardens are great for small vegetables that look as pretty as a blooming houseplant but are edible — frilly basil, pea shoots, radish tops. They supply both beauty and function at the same time.
4. Water elements
Whether it’s a DIY pond to catch rainwater that you can then use to keep your plants satisfied or a soothing electric bubbler, water features will continue to make a splash in garden design this year.
5. Ergonomic gardening tools
As any gardener knows, there’s a lot of kneeling and bending and stooping — it can mess with your knees and back. And traditional tools can add to the strain. Brands like Craftsman have come to the rescue with ergonomic tools that have been redesigned to ease back, knee and even wrist strain, making gardening more pleasant than ever. Look for loppers with extendable handles and ergonomic garden hoes, scissors, weeders and transplanters.
6. Mowing patterns
Hop on your riding mower and turn your grass into a mosaic with interesting mowing patterns. Tip: Changing up mowing patterns is not only pleasing to look at, but it’s good for your yard, too. Mowing the same way all the time can mat down your grass.
7. Don’t forget the fence. Or the garage.
That dreary gray fence is so last year. Make the fence, shed, garage or any structure adjacent to the garden part of your garden’s color scheme. A coat of paint makes all the difference. Giving your garden a colorful backdrop is one way of extending and enhancing its overall look. You can even repaint to change the hue as your brightly colored plants and flowers of spring and summer yield to fall’s more muted palette.