Gardening With A Purpose

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Spring is synonomous with garden. When we hear spring is coming , our minds picture flowers, vegetables and a bursts of color. The winter has been long, cold and dreary. Now we get excited about getting our gardens ready for planting. From an article from SeedBank.us here’s a glimpse of what Susan McCoy, garden trend spotter, and others see for 2011.

.Nine out of 10 households want to manage their lawns and gardens in an environmentally friendly way, according to the National Gardening Association. “Gardens continue to reflect awareness of how our landscapes enhance and improve the environment around us,” Patricia St. John, president of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers,said of this trend.

Since healthy plants start with healthy soil, people are looking for sustainable and organic soils. “People are trying to do things organically by reducing pesticide use to control weeds and bugs and growing stuff organically,” Pleggenkuhle said.


The move to de-lawn large tracks of turf and transform lawns into sustainable landscapes is achievable with the right plants  that use less water and pesticides. Beautiful native plants are low-maintenance plants that attract wildlife and beneficial pollinators like butterflies, bees and

Sustainable containers

For small space gardens, growing food in containers makes sense. I see more people going with container type gardens as opposed
to getting out into the yard and going that route,” Brown said. “It’s definitely a lot easier and has instant gratification. A lot
of people don’t have tons of time to spend out in the garden, but people want color and pizzazz.” Blended containers with herbs and veggies provide a one-two combo for freshness and convenience.  And, containers blooming with natives, re-bloomers and ornamental grasses beautify spaces and benefit the environment.


Dry gardening using less water is bubbling across the nation. Attractive and low-maintenance succulents have showy flowers and thick, fleshy foliage that stores water like a camel’s hump. Drought-tolerant and able to thrive in a variety of conditions, succulents look great in small gardens and large landscapes. Get ideas from Costa Farms on varieties that you can mix with perennials, containers and standalone or in roof gardens.

Outdoor gardening

From “steampunk” Victorian hipster decor rocking among young urbanites to upscale suburban homes, decorating with houseplants
like orchids, ferns and palms is hot. Chic and easy to grow, orchids add a lavish touch to any room. Plus these hard-working beauties clean indoor air of volatile organic compounds and provide oxygen and if you want something a bit more unique we’d suggest adding an outdoor garden fountain, which will give a special tough to your space. 

Phalaenopsis (moth) orchids as well as other varieties are perfect choices for affordable, colorful plants that look as comfortable in 21st century homes as they did in Victorian days. To learn more about the health benefits of indoor houseplants, check out www. O2forYou.org.

Growing up with vertical gardening

“Vertical gardens are becoming increasingly popular and will grow far beyond anything we can envision,” said Joe Zazzera, with
Plant Solutions Inc. and Green Plants for Green Buildings (GPGB.org). “Businesses are seeing the productivity, environmental
quality and return on investment that indoor plantings and vertical  living walls are bringing to their projects.” From containers with climbing vines, flowers and veggies to vertical walls blooming with edibles, plants are growing up.

Urban farming and CSAs

In step with the move to reinvigorate communities, urban farming and Community Supported Agriculture farms (CSAs) are springing up
nationwide. Urban farming “micro-farms” are converting small spaces  in blighted areas into thriving farms that grow fresh produce for
inner city communities. CSAs offer fresh produce and provide the chance to learn about varieties, maintaining plants and sharing experiences.

New Urbanism

Sustainable urban communities that offer spots to enjoy an outdoor lifestyle are on the rise.Planting water-wise plants, collecting rainwater, building walkable streets and fostering diversity of shops, homes and apartments with less turf and more plants encourages better
stewardship of the earth, and reconnects everyone as fellow stewards of resources and communities.

“We had trouble wrapping our heads around saving the rain forests,” said McCoy. “But we clearly can wrap our arms around saving our own backyards. Digging and planting gardens brings awareness that we’re all earth’s caretakers.”

— Globe Gazette reporter Laura Bird contributed to this report.

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