Avant Garden

If Avant-garde is the act of new and unusual or experimental ideas, then the months of winter are “Avant-garden” or “Avant-yard” as we all anxiously dream and await the arrival of spring.

There is always "bloom" for improvement in our landscapes
There is always “bloom” for improvement in our landscapes

After the cold of winter we look forward to getting active outdoors again and getting our hands in the dirt. Home and Garden shows whet our appetite for what is new and interesting for our outdoor living space this year. A season of promise and renewal awaits our foray into the landscape of great potential.
As we dream you may find you can relate to some of the garden trends for 2016. Among these trends are “Dogscaping”. That’s right you’ll be barking up the right tree with this trend because it is estimated 65% of households have some kind of pet! Toxin free spaces for pets to roam and explore are in demand as pet owners invest in their pets.

Dog days of summer
Dog days of summer….Friendly landscapes for your pet is a gardening trend.

The wellness connection and health benefits of a landscape and vegetation is well noted and a continuing trend. Within the trend is a group of people called “Makers”. This group of “entremanures” goes beyond the fresh air and exercise benefits and harvests everything from hops to tomatoes to berries. They are interested in plants that go beyond aesthetic benefits and provide healing benefits.

Preserving and rebuilding healthy soils is a continuing trend with real interest tied into healthy eating. Not only does good soil have anti-depressant qualities, it is understood that soil is the “skin” of the earth. I read someone say that depletion of that “skin” has led to the collapse of civilizations! Well that is dramatic however you can make a difference in your own backyard. A healthy soil produces healthy plants and healthy produce.

Healthy soils, healthy plants and healthy you
Healthy soils, healthy plants and healthy you

Succulent mania continues where even outside the parched landscapes of California, people have cultivated an appreciation for the diverse and interesting collage of succulent plants.

Succulent mania
Succulent mania

Easy to grow and arrange, if you don’t over water them your green thumb will flourish.

Community planting of trees is also a continuing trend. Neighbors not waiting on municipalities to fund or plant trees, but rather taking it on themselves to plant trees in the community.
LED lights, outdoor sound systems, furniture and cooking areas are creating multi sensory opportunities in the landscape beyond what the typical yard has encompassed.
There is also a trend to go back….a trend for nostalgia to invoke pleasant childhood memories. Maybe a plant Grandma had in the garden, Mom’s vegetable garden or summer holiday memories of lounge chairs and grilling. I believe that as a child, if you take a deep breath of an aroma, it is locked in your memory for life. Maybe it was the bouquet of lilac blooms in a glass of water on your Grandma’s kitchen table that take you back.

An aroma from your childhood is locked in your brain's memory for life....like the blooming lilacs in Grandma's garden
An aroma from your childhood is locked in your brain’s memory for life….like the blooming lilacs in Grandma’s garden

Hardy gardens are a definite trend, especially in areas of the country where water is scarce. Also known as “legacy” gardens the plant material is intended not just for our benefit, but also for future generations. Small space or container gardens continue as a trend for both aesthetic as well as edible plants. Small space gardens can brighten our little corner of the world and yet are easy to control or maintain within our busy lifestyles.
Dare to dream during the winter months and plan for something simply “Avant-garden” this year.

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