From edible gardens to moving grasses Inn by the Sea’s head gardener Derrick Daly digs out the hottest garden trends
Playing in the dirt is good for you according to an International Journal of Environmental Health Research 2006 study. Gardening burns calories, helps lower blood pressure- and because we’re surrounded by nature- elevates mood more than a gym work out. So, while cultivating the garden within let’s also update our yards, plots or decks with these 5 current garden trends.
Gardens in Motion-
Ornamental grasses have been growing in popularity adding movement with feathery structures that weave and wave in the wind, have four season interest and can be very low maintenance. We use Calamagrostis, Karl Foerster, an early spring blooming grass, with wheat like plumes that give the garden motion year round and provides shelter for birds.
Garden to Table-
No matter the size of your garden, growing edibles is not only trendy but a fun resource for fresh vegetables. Add containers to your deck or patio with tomatoes, strawberries or raspberries, corn or lettuce and have farm to fork dining at arm’s length. Use the largest container your patio can handle, and plan to feed and water often. Hanging baskets are great for small plants such as herbs or cherry tomatoes. Pole beans, corn , cucumbers and tomatoes have done well at the Inn, however they do require daily maintenance but the delicious produce is well worth it.
Restoring habitat with bee friendly flowers, milkweed for butterflies or berry and seed producing plants is easily done and the pay back is three fold. Gardens will be beautiful, the environmental impact is good and the addition of butterflies, pollinators and birds to your garden is pure magic. Echinacea or purple Cone Flower is a great choice. It’s hardy with long lasting blooms, provides nectar and pollen for butterflies and bees and the seed head provides winter food for birds.
Stripes, swirls & slashes-
Patterned colored foliage is all the rage and often hardier than flowers, fills containers and gardens with long lasting color and interesting designs. Dots, slashes, and stripes are trending to fill empty spots, shady areas and complement your florals. Container planting is also trending and perfect for a bright spot of color where needed.
With long lasting blooms, a range of colors and new varieties with smaller heads more tolerant to wind and heat, hydrangeas are popping up everywhere. We‘ve used both Hydrangea Paniculata “ Limelight” and “Invicibelle Spirit” with success. Their season is long and they re-bloom late in the summer extending their life into the fall.
Join head gardener Derrick Daly for complimentary garden tours at Inn by the Sea, 40 Bowery Beach Road, Cape Elizabeth, ME every Thursday, June through October, at 10AM.