Sometimes “gardening” isn’t just about which annuals you’re planting this year, but rather the entire theme of your landscape. Not everyone with a green thumb is a natural veggie lover or flower fanatic. In fact, the biggest trends in summer landscaping hearken back to simpler times—both by choice and by necessity. In some parts of the country you get “rationed water” (such as in Nevada and California), which means an ultra green yard simply isn’t possible. In other parts of the country, water conservation is a big concern, which means embracing rock gardens and plants requiring less water.
Conservation overall is a major trend in 2014 landscaping. However, one of the biggest trends is edible gardens, which takes garden to table to home cooking. Why just have a beautiful garden when you can have one that’s delicious, too? You don’t need much space to plant some of your favorites. In fact, an herb garden can even thrive via container gardening in kitchen windows. Plant 80 percent herbs, veggies and fruits you know you love and 20 percent new (to you) produce to mix things up.
The Frugal Trendsetter
Gardening trends aren’t like fashion trends (thank goodness). In fact, with trends leaning towards conservation, that often means conserving the contents of your wallet, too. When you grow and prepare your own foods, you’re naturally going to save money. “Outdoor living,” or bringing the indoors out, is also a big 2014 trend as people want to make the most of their entire property. This means cozy outdoor seating including patio sets, benches and fire pits. You can easily spend thousands on outdoor furniture, or you can thrift or garage sale shop for finds. A stump, driftwood from your favorite beach or other natural finds can double as landscaping and furniture.
When to Skip a Trend
Consider trends inspiration—not rules. If you read about the best summer perennials and fall in love with a certain blossom that grows well in your region, you may have just found a new favorite flower. However, if a list of 2014 summer tree and shrub trends doesn’t strike your fancy because you dislike plums or cherries, skip it. Summer gardening trends will always ebb and flow, but they’re reflective of what the general population likes at the moment. Gardens are all about embracing your unique personality and tastes. You don’t want a garden like everyone else’s, but maybe a pinch here and there of something new can help liven things up.