Although our return to “normal” has been slower than we hoped, many of us return to the office a few days a week, school activities resume, and our weekends are once again filled with events. It will certainly cause most of us to rethink our lush pandemic gardens that have thrived over the past year and a half (and it’s not over yet), and we asked outdoor living experts about the concepts that they expect to be important to gardeners in 2022 who want to preserve their landscapes while making it a bit easier to maintain our busier schedules.
Blythe Yost, CEO of Tilly, an online landscaping company, and Angelo Randaci, a master gardener and horticultural expert offer five key trends we can expect to see all over the New Year. Whether you are looking for ways to increase your garden’s environmental impact or maximize your year-round outdoor living space, these trends are sure to inspire your next big landscaping or design project.
Maximize garden space
Whether you live in an apartment in New York or in an area in the Midwest, Randaci says people will be looking for simple ways to maximize grow space without subtracting valuable square footage over the coming year. As many of us return to the office or anticipate a return in early 2022, growing small, smart gardens in prime areas will be an important landscape trend over the coming year to continue gardening an act of self-help. care instead of something else. to check out our growing to-do lists.
“Homeowners want to use the patio space they have and container gardens and vertical gardens are popular choices,” says Randaci. “Using a container or raised bed is a great way to add plants without permanently altering the property. Many beds and containers are movable and give you control over the floor. “
These low maintenance and highly versatile creations are also ideal for entertainment enthusiasts. Sleek, portable containers and vertical gardens can help the accomplished hostess create lush and colorful scenes that create the perfect atmosphere for a garden party or an elegant cocktail party.
Continued interest in vegetable gardens
While many of us have started to use our extra time (or at least more flexible hours) to create lush gardens. Some found their self-reliance by creating vegetable gardens inspired by the victory gardens of WWII, while others rejoiced in the strategic planting that would attract pollinators like butterflies and birds. While the upkeep was manageable while we were working from home full time, this is no longer the case as we have started to explore what our own personal “new normal” looks like. Yost says that because of these contrasting desires to both spend more time away from home and enjoy the many benefits of gardening, herbs and other food gardens will be in the foreground in 2022.
“As life gets busier, we anticipate homeowners will downsize and focus on herb gardens that require less maintenance, require less space and can be used frequently for cooking or for a drink, ”says Yost. “These gardens can be as simple as having herbs in planters by your kitchen door or on your balcony for easy access from the kitchen.”
Randaci says homeowners will be researching organic seeds for their herb gardens and will also be interested in other forms of innovative home gardens like pizzerias and tea gardens. He says finding a type of garden that’s exciting for kids will continue to make gardening a family activity everyone can look forward to in the New Year. And herbs like basil, mint, and thyme are tough, making them a great choice for simplifying your landscaping plans.
In search of more environmentally friendly practices
The pandemic has led many homeowners to reassess the air quality, health and environmental impact of their own homes. Our landscaping experts predict that this will extend to our outdoor living spaces in 2022 with concepts that go far beyond buying organic seeds.
Yost anticipates a shift from focus on native plants to a deeper understanding of the importance and damage that invasive species can cause. She defines an invasive species as “a native species whose introduction into an area is not natural and which therefore disrupts the ecosystem and causes damage to everything from the insect population to native plant life. , even to agriculture, soil and waterways ”. While we may not be able to transform the ecosystem of our neighborhoods or cities, we can start with our own green spaces and encourage our communities to do the same. Yost also advises the same when it comes to using landscapes with low water consumption.
“With droughts, extreme heat waves and water shortages, xeriscape landscaping will continue to gain popularity in the United States and particularly in the West and Southwest,” she says. “Xeriscape creates a landscape that requires little or no irrigation to be maintained. A well-designed low-water plan, combined with the owner’s investment in smart irrigation systems, will drastically reduce water bills, eliminate the use of pesticides and fertilizers, and focus the design on them. native plants that are more likely to thrive in the surrounding environment. Designers have become savvy in making this pragmatic landscape look chic, sophisticated, natural and comfortable. “
Other trending environmental concepts include stormwater mitigation to help eradicate drainage and flooding issues that are major sources of pollution in our waterways, which includes installing drainage solutions, creating rain gardens designed to collect runoff from roofs and walkways, and incorporating permeable pavers into their landscaping plans. But one of the best ways to practice eco-friendly gardening is to use safe, non-toxic products that support the health of your plants, pets, and household.
“The demand for safe and effective gardening products continues to grow,” says Randaci. “When homeowners add plants to patios and outdoor spaces, they inevitably face pests, like insects and disease. Consumers want formulas without harsh chemicals in these high traffic spaces, and products like Earth’s Ally are safe and effective for use around children and pets. Earth’s Ally is a preferred choice for refreshing our garden sheds with responsible and efficient products, as the brand’s range is chemical-free, bee-safe and made from natural ingredients.
A 2020 Statista survey found that 70% of Americans reported spending more time with their pets during the pandemic and 10% added a new pet to their household. Yost believes this will have an impact on how we plan and strategize for our outdoor living plans by 2022.
“Lots of people brought dogs home during the pandemic, and we expect owners to start making design decisions to support their furry friends and create beautiful dog friendly areas,” Yost said. . “Dogs often create dead spots in the lawn, but adding synthetic turf and teaching them to use the turf as a bathroom can help save your lawn because it will just need a wash every now and then. Owners will also invest in fencing to keep their puppies safe, and we will see an increase in dog pens where it is acceptable for the dog to tear the grass and scoff. “
Additional investment in outdoor entertainment spaces
While we all appreciate the opportunity to host indoor vacation gatherings again and not have to rely on heaters to host this winter, our outdoor living spaces will always be a priority to invest. during this coming year. Yost says outdoor kitchens will continue to be a desired use of the main patio space, moving from a grill and mini-fridge to a fully-equipped cooking space with storage and counter space. She also expects these outdoor kitchen spaces to be geared towards setting up an idyllic outdoor bar.
“As people continue to push the entertainment outside, we anticipate you’ll see more elaborate setups, especially with ‘bar areas’,” says Yost. “A bar-style counter with stools so that friends and family can relax and converse at will will be the coveted new watering hole among friends.”
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