Fresh Design Ideas 2018
As spring ever so slowly creeps into the Chicago-land area, I am dreaming of warmer days and bountiful gardens. Spring brings promise, rejuvenation, and change. Change in the landscape is inevitable as plants grow, spread, age, and pass on. Landscape design and style is always evolving as well. As we approach a new year on the ‘landscape calendar’ here are some items to focus on in landscape design.
Going Vertical: Space is often limited on many landscape projects. City courtyards, condo balconies, and small suburban lots create design challenges. Creating vertical gardens is an efficient way of maximizing garden space while not stealing away precious square footage. Vertical gardens can be as simple as hanging baskets of annuals arranged on a balcony for added color, or a trellis that serves as the base for a climbing vine to find its way up a wall. More sophisticated wall planter systems allow for customizable vertical gardens that can be installed in almost any size and layout. Most vertical wall planting systems are also fully irrigated so plants are routinely watered automatically.
Bedhead Gardens: The meticulously manicured landscape is losing its luster. The desire for lower maintenance landscapes has given birth to gardens planted with mostly native, low care plants that spread and grow at their natural pace. Native plant species also have tremendous benefits. They are more adapted to survive and thrive in our local climate. This adaptability means that you will have longer living gardens with fewer pest problems and lower maintenance costs. Native plants also provide more for the environment than non-native varieties. Butterflies and other beneficial insects have evolved over time by feeding on these local plant sources. By planting native plant varieties, you are not only benefiting from the beauty of that plant in your garden, but also creating a food source for countless insects who need that plant for survival.
Nature Can Heal: Forest bathing is a modern term for an old-fashioned method of relaxing. This simple act of taking a walk in the woods or otherwise surrounding yourself with nature can reduce stress and allow your mind a chance to rest. Creating garden spaces for meditation and reflection is becoming more popular and important as our lives become increasingly busy. If space is limited, adding a few indoor plants to your kitchen or work-space will help reduce stress and bring peace of mind.
When planning your garden for 2018 focus on ways to maximize space, reduce the need for meticulous maintenance, and create a sanctuary for yourself.
Nathan Robinson’s background in landscape design and project management allows him to see opportunity in any project. He partners with his clients to create spaces that fit the needs of their families, while also creating stunning visual impact. Nate is an Illinois native and proud graduate of the University of Illinois’ Landscape Architecture program. In his time away from the office, he enjoys hiking, landscape photography and spending time along the lakefront with his two Australian Shepherds.