By Holly Van Keuren
It is very interesting what becomes trendy or popular, and why. I am excited to work within an industry that has so much to offer to so many, and I truly feel that we humans benefit from our interactions with plants. Looking ahead at the upcoming gardening season, I begin to wonder some if I will ever even get outside again, as winter drags on here in Ohio. But as for trends, I have plenty of time to wonder about them from inside…what will this season bring?
As far as I can see it, if spring ever comes at last, I will be happy to be out planting again in my garden. And as for those trends, there are a few that I am happy to be part of. One is the choice of gardeners to include plants for pollinators. I am totally on board with this one, oh yes I do want honey bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects visiting my garden. So please, please offer me Butterfly weed, Swamp milkweed, and all those others that will bring these gentle visitors to my piece of paradise. I am, like so many others, wanting to attract hummingbirds and so I plant with reds and trumpet shaped offerings, just hoping that it works. This is why I always seem to gravitate towards Pineapple Sage, Crocosima, and red Petunias. And yes I do love those annuals, with that summer show-stopping color that never seems to quit. I am such a sucker for the bright colors of Marigolds, Lantanas, and Gazanias, even blue Lobelia never ceases to loose its charm.
As for the last trend I feel so much a part of, (there are so many others I find interesting but not enough time), one trend strikes home with me. This is the landscaping with edibles idea. Wow love this, already been doing this for years, and now it’s finally catching on. Of course I want my garden to not only look good, but to benefit me, and one of the best benefits in my opinion is fresh food from the garden to the table. No one can argue with the taste difference, and I feel my life is so much richer with those little touches. Fresh herbs in my pasta Alfredo sauce, Mint for my tea, Lavender for my relaxation, and so much more. This one definitely makes sense to me, and it benefits the pollinators too, yes!
So know for sure, this growing season I will be out there planting my heirloom tomatoes, for the flavor and the bumble bee’s sake. I will be trying new Heuchera sp. or Coral Bells to fill in my shady areas with bright pops of foliage color, and attract the hummingbirds too. And I will still be planting Hens ‘n Chicks, not just because they were so popular in my great-grandmother’s day, but also because they rock.