TRENDS IN BACKYARD LANDSCAPING #5 - NEW PLANT VARIETIES
The benefits of hiring a pro to achieve the ideal outdoor living space
If you pick up any nursery catalogue you will see many plants with qualifiers attached to their names, or descriptions like ‘dwarf,’ ‘columnar,’ ‘dense,’ ‘slower growing,’ and ‘compact,’ which speaks again to the smaller garden spaces being created today.
You will also see in the descriptions ‘drought tolerant’ or ‘native’ in response to the trend toward using less supplemental watering. ‘Long blooming’ and ‘repeat blooming’ plant traits have been bred to suit smaller spaces, as well as to provide gardeners the most bang for their buck. The term ‘hardy’ also frequently appears which means the plant will survive the winter.
Ornamental grasses are also popular as they tend to be pest and disease-resistant as well as provide a long season of interest. This type of plant appeals to the easy garden concept where certain plants are appreciated and desired, but staking, deadheading, and pest control are not.
With climate change and the general warming trend we can grow more varieties of plants, while at the same time, pests and diseases are not as likely to be killed off in the winter, thus expanding their range and impact. This is changing how plant materials are selected for gardens.
WHY HIRE A PRO?
Staying on top of the latest plant offerings and how climate change is affecting them is what landscape professionals do. A good landscape design will ensure appropriate plants for your needs, especially if developing a new or significantly renovated garden. For smaller changes to your garden, a visit to a knowledgeable nursery or garden centre will provide the direction you need to take advantage of some of the latest plants available.
These types of plants may be a little more expensive than their more common cousins. Dwarf trees, especially evergreens, cost more to get decent sized specimens, but this is reasonable because they grow slowly and have been in the care of the nursery for a longer period of time. Newer plant varieties may also carry a premium cost due to their limited supply. Specialized nurseries may also charge a small premium for some of their stock to offset the more difficult propagation methods required or other growing
Originally published in Pools, Spas & Patios - 2017 Annual Issue.
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