Here’s what everyone will be planting this spring.
Spring is practically here, which means it’s almost time to go outside and revive your garden, backyard, or whatever outdoor space you might have. If your lawn is looking a little overgrown, a little sparse, or perhaps your plants didn’t quite grow the way you anticipated—you might want to consider a different landscaping plan this year. Whether you are looking to make your garden more eco-friendly, easier to maintain, or just more colorful, get inspired by these top gardening trends of 2023.
Alternatives to Traditional Grass Lawns
While grass laws can be beautiful, they require a great deal of maintenance, which can be costly if you’re hiring someone to help you. Traditional grass laws also require a lot of water, which can be problematic if there is a drought or local water restrictions are suddenly put in place.
This is exactly why professional landscape contractor and national spokesperson for STIHL Inc, Sara Bendrick, recommends choosing low-growing plants such as dymondia, elfin thyme, carpet of stars, and ruschia. “These are great tight-knit plants that give you the green coverage lawn might give you without the mowing and saving on watering costs”.
Just keep in mind that these plants are more sensitive to foot traffic than grass is. “If you have rowdy kids or dogs, they might tear up the yard on a regular basis.”
Living a more climate-conscious lifestyle has become more prevalent in recent years and homeowners know that lawns and gardens can put a strain on the water supply. Bendrick tells me, “My favorite way to replace a lawn is with low ground covers and put a flagstone stepper to break it up and offer a path that can handle a lot of through traffic. Plus, flagstone just adds a charming feel to any outdoor space.”
With large spans of ground cover, she likes to use low-growing perennials, including basket flower, gazania, arctotis, and ceanothus which grow four to ten inches tall.
Then she recommends adding a few flowering perennials dotted in that can grow from 18 inches to three feet tall and wide. “So, you get scale, color, and diversity to beautify [your] garden space that is lower water than a traditional lawn.”
Courtney Sixx, co-founder of Bouquet Box, is very much on board with the cottage-style garden trend. “I love the idea of cottage gardens because you can include your favorite blooms with colors, textures, scents and that you wouldn’t necessarily put together in an arrangement or a planned garden space. This is because cottage gardens don’t need to be as carefully groomed as their manicured counterparts.”
She tells me this type of garden should include a mix of bulbs, annuals, perennials, flowering shrubs, and more. “You can combine stalky flowers like foxgloves and larkspur to add height and lower stems like poppy and violets as ground cover with garden boxes too. Cover your grass, encourage growth over paths, or even on trellises and other garden structures.”
Another thing to love about cottage-style gardens is that many of the flowers in typical cottage gardens are self-seeding. Sixx explains, “You don’t have to plan it too succinctly—and that’s part of the beauty!”
Natural Wildlife Habitats
Incorporating natural wildlife habitats into a garden is another garden trend we will see in 2023, according to Amy Hovis of Eden Garden Design and Barton Springs Nursery. “Not only is it the right thing to do for our environment, but it also provides so much enjoyment in watching nature do its thing. You’ll be surprised by how many birds and beneficial insects you’ll start to see in your garden,” she explains. “By removing lawns that provide absolutely zero benefits, you can turn a boring lawn into a real garden. By planting a variety of flowering perennials, native grasses, and understory trees, you’ll be inviting nature back in to share your garden with you. You achieve this by using a mix of perennials and native grasses for sunny areas, or sedges and shade salvias for shady areas.”