SUSTAINED AND SUSPENDED: Vertical gardening – also known as living walls, bio walls, or green walls – can even filter clean air into the building onto which they growing
Article: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - 6501
Going wild in 2011
WHILE we are in the business of interior design, we are also keen gardeners and so we thought we would take some time out to look at trends that will affect garden landscaping and design.
In the design business we often say ‘if there are three, it’s a trend’. Well, here are a fewtrendsfor the 2011 gardening season.
Firstly our green zones are no longer just areas of beauty, but are also taking on a much broader function. Intentional gardening is a major trend that will gain a foothold this year, whether it's creating ‘green’ sanctuaries, growing fruit and vegetables, or promoting gardening projects in schools and township areas.
The creation of edible gardens is a fast-growing tendency and this year’s gardening mantra is ‘eat what you've grown’. And so you are likely to see broccoli and lettuce growing side by side with roses and pelargoniums.
Secondly, organic is becoming passé -not going away, but evolving into something more meaningful. Sustainable gardening is how organic has been re-branded. In many cases ‘sustainable’ is not totally organic, but leaves a smaller total footprint from raw ingredient to finished product.
Other major trends in garden design and layout include:
* Water-conscious landscaping options, rain gardening, and rain tanks. A rain garden is a planted depression that allows rainwater runoff from impervious surfaces like roofs and driveways to be absorbed. It uses rain runoff by allowing it to soak into the ground (as opposed to flowing into storm water drains and surface waters, which can cause erosion, water pollution, diminished groundwater and even flooding).
Rain gardens improve water quality in nearby bodies of water and it is estimated that they can cut down on the amount of pollution reaching rivers by up to 30%.
* Xeri-scaping is about reducing the water and fertiliser your garden and lawn require. You want to find the appropriate plants for your area - what would normally and naturally be able to take the conditions you have without supplemental water or fertiliser. Also, plant plants in their right sun and moisture location to reduce blights, moulds and insects.
If you want moisture-loving plants, add a rain garden in the low end of your yard, rather than watering more. Undulating grasses, especially shaggy lawns, are named as the year's top trend by gardening gurus. They are easy to maintain and offer shelter to wildlife.
* A connected trend is eco-scaping, which comes out of the increased sensitivity of gardeners to conservation issues and the need to use indigenous plants and build gardens that are more wildlife-friendly. Gardeners today are also much more aware of conservation issues and that is translating into a greater use of indigenous plants. Biodiversity is a key word.
Eco-scaping integrates the disciplines of landscape architecture and spatial planning with environmental science providing an innovative approach in creating a sustainable and nature-friendly design. Every piece of land is unique and offers different materials and micro-environments, and ecoscaping aims to design in harmony with the land and create an environmentally-healthy and sustainable landscape.
* In terms of gardening trends for the future, vertical gardening is hot. This trend is fast gaining recognition and popularity internationally but is yet to establish itself in South Africa. Vertical gardens - also known as living walls, bio walls, or green walls - can be quite spectacular and can even filter clean air into the building onto which they are growing!
There are two main categories of green walls: green façades and living walls. Green façades are made up of climbing plants either growing directly on a wall or, more recently, specially designed supporting containers.
Out of these major trends come a variety of smaller more easily implemented ideas such as:
* Edible ornamentals -plant berries and tomatoes in the perennial garden, herbs and lettuces among the border annuals.
* Install specialised outdoor lighting, and continue to make the outdoors another ‘room’.
* Create mixed veggie and herb containers.
* Succulents - dry gardening is taking hold as large areas of the country battle drought.
* Worm farms are no longer merely a craze and people are increasingly making their own compost rather than disposing of garden waste on the rubbish dump.
* This year is also the time to bid goodbye to neat and tidy lawns - wild gardens are yet another trend that will excite those with green fingers. This style of gardening involves planting indigenous grasses and veld plants in a natural yet artistic way, in order to create an untouched appearance.
The message is clear: 2011 is the year to walk on the wild side!
Á bientôt! Allan and Ruth – 044 533 6765
Author: Allan and Ruth - Designed Solutions