Garden Trends 5 and on

winter 2011

Winter has come properly decked out finally and I’m continuing to be fascinated by thinking about where our gardens are going in the next year or so.

5. An emphasis on trees. More conferences, more concern about their condition especially for native trees. Finally we are getting seriously worried about our canopies. Not just the urban canopy but canopies everywhere. Our trees have been assaulted by pollution, lumbering, invasions by exotic aliens.  The latter is being taken extremely seriously by those who want our native forests to survive and thrive.  Trees can’t go very far with global climate change and those that can’t adjust quickly are going to croak.  They give us so much we all have to become stewards of the forest. Forget that epithet tree-hugger, become one.

6. Sustainability has become a confusing term, but we’re going to have it slammed at us in almost everything that has to do with nature (which takes in everything not just gardening). We all need to get up to speed on what it really means and how it affects our gardening, lives, homes and what we can do about it.

Helleborus 'Pink Frost'

7. Hellebores are my personal Plant of the Year:  a never-fail (though it may be slow to get a grip in some gardens), evergreen, glorious, magnificent plant. You can use it as a houseplant;  fill up a container if it’s out of its zone; or have a collection that will bloom pretty much year round. Here’s a wonder Helleborus ‘Pink Frost’ which landed in nurseries last year and should be in everyone’s garden.

8. Self-seeding plants. The whole trend toward having looser, more casual gardens means we’ll be using more and more self-seeding plants without being terrified of them (rampant, and invasive). Learn about a few of them that work well in your area. Start with a palette and then move into the plants that will work with what  you’ve got.  I’m going to write more on this so please sign up for the newsletter.

And here’s  what I’d really like to be doing now:2011 in Tuscany MH glugging down a lovely glass of Italian wine and watching the sun set over an Italian villa. Join me, have a look at our Italian trip for this year.