Special Section on Outdoor Living: Into the garden, go - The Buffalo News
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Special Section on Outdoor Living: Into the garden, go

What’s a growing trend for 2014? Restoring and sowing “balance” in life – and the garden, according to the Garden Media Group.

While to some that may mean practicing yoga near the euonymus, to many it also means making more thoughtful choices for this year and beyond.

Homeowners still want their outdoor spaces to look beautiful – lush plants, inviting furniture, chic accessories – but they also want to invest their time and money into high-quality, eco-friendly products with a smaller carbon footprint, the group reports.

And they want that outdoor space to do double duty – a place for solitude but also for socializing. Balance, remember?

Among the gardening trends highlighted by the group:

• Composting: Recycling food scraps to create compost is the new recycling.

• Growing fruit: There’s much interest in planting things like raspberries and blueberries for crafting cocktails and smoothies, hops for home-brewing and grapes for homemade wine.

• Bee-friendly gardening: Environmentally aware consumers are interested in planting native, pollen-rich flowers, trees and vegetables to provide safe shelters.

• “Fingertip” gardening: Gardens are going high-tech with mobile apps and technology. Suntory Flowers’ Virtual Container Designer app is one example.

Locally, Jeffrey Salmon noted another interesting trend in landscaping: Homeowners are requesting smaller flowering trees – patio-size trees – rather than big shade trees.

“People want to keep the sun in the yard,” said Salmon, president of Arbordale Nurseries & Landscaping, 480 Dodge Road, Getzville.

Other landscape trends: Planting edibles into the landscape – using blueberries as a landscape foundation plant, for example. Salmon also noted a decline in plastic edging. It’s being replaced by natural products – perhaps local stones from places such as Medina. People want local, natural products, he said. Plants, stones, mulch.

“I think Buffalo people have accepted that we don’t need to truck the mulch from five states over. We can use the stuff here,” Salmon said.

Miniature fairy gardens continue to be hugely popular. And water gardens are evolving and maturing – with homeowners putting more thought into their placement and maintenance.

“People want them to be easier to care for,” Salmon said.

As for flowers, “I think tropicals are going to be a big deal again this year. Mandevilla seems to be one of the hot plants; it has been the last couple years, and it is again this year,” said Mark Yadon of Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 S. Forest Road, Williamsville.

Container gardening also remains a popular option – including ready-made.

“You will see a lot of multiple types of plants – maybe three different plants – in one container, which makes it easy. You can just take that combination and pop two or three of them into a window box and instantly be done. Or put it into a basket or container of your own, and you have it already mixed for you,” Yadon said.

“We’re finding that more people want stuff done for them. We’re selling a lot more mixed containers that are ready to go out the door rather than people buying their own components and making the container themselves,” Yadon said.

“It’s big. It’s instant. It’s now,” he said.

email: smartin@buffnews.com

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