Spring is a time of renewal, and once the weather starts to warm, gardeners across the country get the itch to makeover their backyards with new colors, textures, and the latest in landscaping trends. You don’t, however, have to do something as dramatic as rip out all your plantings and start over so that you end up spending all of spring and summer working and not having any time to enjoy yourself! By incorporating a few of the hot gardening trends for 2012, you can get a whole new look for not a lot of labor or money. Check out these quick backyard makeover ideas for some easy-on-the-eyes landscape fixes that offer plenty of punch for not so much elbow grease.
Containers are a backyard makeover-artist’s best friend, whether you live on a thousand acres or a postage stamp-sized city lot. Great for greening up a patio, adding structure to a bed, or delineating garden entrances and pathways, the versatility of these gardening staples is timeless, but 2012’s landscape trends put these babies in a whole new light. The hot material this season is well-worn and weathered metal, or at least materials that look like metal. Filling them with colorful annuals is a great way to add a little life to a tired landscape, and this season’s hot colors are vibrant orange, warm amber, and deep black. A trend towards small-space gardening means you’ll see a plethora of dwarf varieties of shrubs that are normally too large to handle in tight areas, meaning you also have a lot more options for long-term container plants than just annuals.
If your beds are looking a bit tired and you’ve run out of flowering options to rejuvenate them, consider turning to ornamental edibles to add some unexpected interest. Heirloom varieties of vegetables are getting easier and easier to find and offer stunning colors and patterns, but you can also look beyond the usual suspects to give your landscape a lift. Columnar apple trees that don’t have branches can add height and sweetness to your landscape without adding shade, or try putting some shrubs that produce edible fruit at the back of a bed. Blueberries are a perennial favorite, or try other less known types such as Oregon Grape or serviceberry.
Tired of watering all summer long to keep your garden green? More than just a decorative makeover, swapping out drought-tolerant plantings for more water-hungry ones will not only give your garden a new look, it’ll also benefit the planet, your water bill, and free up your summertime schedule as well. Succulent plants ask for little in terms of water and offer a lot in return in terms of variety of plant material and texture, another of this season’s hot landscaping trends.
Up, Not Out
Keeping with the trend of small-space gardening, taking advantage of vertical spaces is a great way to get a new look in your landscape. Vines add lushness and texture to a bare wall or fence, or they can be used to hide a view that’s less than attractive. Perennial vines like climbing hydrangea or ivy don’t need much help to get vertical, or you can throw together something using bamboo stakes or fishing line to give clematis, wisteria, or annuals like sweet peas and morning glories a boost. Don’t worry about making it perfect; it’ll be covered with lush leaves and beautiful flowers in no time and will make a great focal point.