March 2016

What’s Trending in Lowcountry Gardening in 2016

Author: Special to CH2

Between technology, social media and the presidential campaign, things are constantly changing in our day and age. But one thing is for sure: Gardening is not going out of style. It is a pastime that is both good for the environment and good for the soul.

In 2016, keep your eye out for these trends in your neighborhood and hopefully in your own landscape.

Outdoor garden design
One trend that is sure to continue this year is the popularity of dwarf plants, said Gary Moews, small garden design and installation expert at The Greenery. Dwarf plants have a more petite growth habit that makes them the perfect choice for small gardens. Moews recommends smaller, well-maintained plants for use in courtyards, as opposed to large, overgrown plants. Podocarpus “Pringles Dwarf” is a very flexible choice for most settings.

Looking to spruce up your entryway this spring? Moews prefers entryways that are lush and welcoming and recommends using plants that are green year-round. It’s also important to use plants that are not affected by the cold. Boxwood, Ligustrum, Anise and Yaupon Holly all provide a good foundation to anchor your entryway with year-round color.

When it comes to planning your garden design for 2016, Moews says one of the most important things to consider is whether a plant will flourish in the Lowcountry. Gardeners in our area not only have the challenge of defending their gardens from deer, they also have to be creative when it comes to handling the dappled sun. Some popular plants to use in shady spots this year are Philodendron and Variegated Ginger that happen to also be deer resistant. If you can keep the deer away in semi-shady areas that want color, the Lowcountry staples continue to be Hydrangeas, Azaleas, and Camellias.

Greening-up the indoors
When you think of gardening, you don’t have to picture hard work, toiling in the sun. Gardening inside or “interiorscaping” can be lots of fun too (without the sunscreen).

Some great indoor plants to add to your house this year include Dracaena, Bird’s Nest Fern and Neanthe Bella Palm. By utilizing different sized containers, these easy-care plants can help bring a touch of the outdoors to any room.

If you are concerned about the dark space in either your interior or exterior garden, consider planting the popular Aspidistra—a very hardy and low maintenance plant, also called Cast Iron Plant. Also for the indoors, another option is the Mother-in-Law tongue or Sansevieria. It’s a strikingly beautiful plant with sharp pointed leaves that resemble a tongue.

Tropics, tropics everywhere
After the large amount of rainfall in 2015, many Lowcountry gardens suffered the effects of too much water. This year, many people will be looking to breathe new life into their water-logged beds.

As you prepare your yard for the year ahead, focus on using hardier tropical perennials says Christina Hodge, the Floral Manager at The Greenery. These attractive, easy care plants provide a lot of color and stand up to the conditions.

A popular plant to consider this year is the Canna Lily. This perennial has tropical-like foliage and lovely large flowers. Canna Lilies are low maintenance and add a splash of color to any landscape with their red, orange or yellow flowers. To offer a dramatic effect in your yard, use them in mixed borders or group plantings.
Another big gardening trend for 2016 is combining textures within your yard. For instance, using tropical plants with bold textures alongside more delicate annual plants.

For tropical plants Hodge recommends planting Cordyline in your yard this year. These durable plants with large leaves range in color from pale pink and greens to purple or red and are a perfect choice for adding texture.

For some ideas for annuals, Hodge suggests Euphorbia Diamond Frost, specifically for its delicate texture. Crossandra, Pentas and Begonias add color the whole season long.

You may also want to consider using Ligustrum “Sunshine” in your yard this year as hedges, foundation plants, patio trees or in shrub borders. These small shrubs tolerate a wide range of conditions and thrive in full sun or partial shade.

Taste and see In 2016, herb gardens continue to be popular in our area, with many resorts and plantations providing them in community grill areas for use as guests prepare meals. Typical herb garden staples for summer are mint, basil, oregano and thyme. In the winter, look for dill, fennel and parsley.

Whether you want your landscape to be modern or classic, these growing gardening trends have ideas that even the gardening novice can implement to improve the look and feel of his landscape in 2016. 

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