Three Garden Trends for 2011

Earlier this week, I had a chance to attend the Northern Green Expo, the annual educational event for members of the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association. It’s a great event for hearing about new products and garden trends.  National trend-watchers have spotted some larger trends, including a greater sense of purpose about gardening and a move toward mixing edible plants in ornamental gardens — a great idea, though I haven’t seen much beyond Swiss chard in these gardens.

The folks at the Green Expo offered a few other trends to look for at garden-centers this year.

1. Succulents everywhere. Drought-tolerant and sculptural, succulent plants are showing up in container gardens, either as an accent or as the main focus of the container. You’ll see a wide assortment of succulents in small pots at nurseries this spring.

2. Blooms that pop. More and more of the newer flowers, especially the petunias and calibrachoas, have two-toned or multicolored blooms. Streaked, with center eyes, or fading from light to dark at the center, these plants look striking in containers, hanging baskets or window boxes.

3. Pre-made gardens. One nurseryman — a real plant expert — told me more and more of his customers want a set of containers rather than a flower bed around their patios and other outdoor living spaces. Gardens are too much work, they figure. I would dispute that contention: Containers require more water and more care than any garden I have. But, there you have it. It’s what folks think, so expect to see more finished mixed pots, too.

One Reply to “Three Garden Trends for 2011”

  1. Mary,
    thank you for your update.
    I love succulents. Below our large ash trees with full sun exposure I have started a collection of succulents (sempervivum) in an array of containers!
    For the spring a wreath made with succulents is on “my list to do” as well.
    – Cheers from Canada,
    Gisela

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