Easy gardening trends that beat the heat while feeding your eyes, heart and tummy

Sometimes you need to step outside, get some air, and remind yourself of who you are and who you want to be.

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It feels like garden design in the Caribbean is becoming more important than ever. With food scarcity, a greater focus on the environment, and the growing trend of houseplant mania, people are becoming more conscious of their immediate environment. They’re investing more in their outdoor living spaces to extend their homes and connect with nature.

We’ve identified some of the hottest trends in international landscape and garden design for 2019, which will be shaping our gardens for the year ahead. From outdoor pergolas to more eco-friendly spaces, there’s one common element:

people are craving outdoor spaces that bring them happiness, health and overall wellbeing.

Trend #1

Pergolas

Pergolas are a being used to connect a home’s indoor areas to the outside. They provide a flexible way to squeeze in additional living space while allowing you to have a protected space to enjoy your garden. There has been an increase in demand for this item, especially from younger homeowners who put them to good use in creating areas for entertaining and relaxation. While modern materials such as aluminium or steel are being used in construction, this is offset by brightly coloured furniture, cushions and outdoor accessories. Lighting such as string lights and chandeliers can add an extra whimsical feeling, allowing entertaining late into the night. Potted plants with herbs, roses and vines can be used within the pergola, thus creating greater integration between the indoor and outdoor areas of the space.

A small open wooden gazebo or pavilion in a garden

Trend #2

Foodscaping

Growing your own The integration of edibles into the garden is not a new trend, but it’s one that’s becoming increasingly popular. People aren’t only looking to increase the edibles they grow for food, but want to know how best to integrate edibles within their landscapes. This can be done by planting shorter plants like herbs and vegetables at the base of trees to create an ornamental border according to their shapes and textures. You don’t need a large amount of space to grow edibles, especially if you utilize containers, hanging planters and vertical gardens. The use of edible flowers is also part of this trend, with hibiscus, roses and lavender being some of the post popular edible flowers that can be grown in the Caribbean. The easiest picks for the first-time grower of edible gardens are herbs, fruit trees, aubergines, and green and hot peppers.

Vegetable garden with raised beds, focus on foreground

Trend #3

Low-maintenance Gardens

Garden consumer trends show that while persons want beautiful gardens and plants, they often don’t have the time to ‘garden’. Additionally,

consumers are always looking for ways to save time and money.
This is where the choice of low-maintenance plants and landscape designs are key. It’s relatively easy to achieve, especially in a tropical environment. Lowmaintenance shrubs such as plumbagos, jasmines and lantanas will thrive in our environment, and they also provide flowers profusely with minimal care. Our flora also includes tropical plants which are inherently low-maintenance and provide beautiful lush foliage such as bird of paradise, Heliconia and Alocasia. The use of groundcovers or bedding plants are a great alternative to traditional lawns as they require considerably less maintenance. Investing in an irrigation system substantially reduces the time spent in the garden on watering. The choice of trees, such as neem, black pearl, mini black olive, and bottle brush, which do not drop leaves over pools or paved areas is another way to save time.

Tropical Botanical Garden with a small lagoon

Trend #4

Houseplant Mania

Bringing the outdoors in Owing houseplants is now a huge trend! Millennials are setting the pace with this trend by buying the most Instagram-worthy plants and becoming ‘plant parents’. Some of the most popular houseplants are fiddle-leaf figs, Pilea, Sansevaria or mother-in-law’s tongue, and philodendrons. Low-maintenance plants like air plants, succulents and cacti are an easy way to connect with nature and beautify your home. Consumers are significantly more knowledgeable and are requesting plants that remove toxins or are air-cleaning plants for their homes and offices. Examples of some easy-to-care-for aircleaning plants are Pothos, peace plants, Boston ferns and spider plants.

interior design for living area or reception with , rattan armchair,plants,cabinet on wood floor and concrete background / 3d illustration,3d rendering

Trend# 5

Sustainable and Climate smart Gardens

Underpinning all these trends is a focus on eco-friendly and climate-smart gardens. This trend goes beyond giving back, but is also highly functional, to cope with the extreme temperatures being experienced. The low availability of water in the dry season is a major concern when designing a garden. One way to minimize water use is to use a drip irrigation system. Droughtresistant and low-maintenance plants such as agaves, bromeliads and crotons also assist with water consumption. A planting plan is key to ensuring that the choice of plants is optimised for factors such as the sun and shade experienced in the planting location. The use of more permeable paving spaces like grasscrete pavers, pea gravel and mulch help reduce the runoff and potential waterlogging of the soil. To improve the ecosystem in your garden, choose plants that attract pollinators such as butterflies and birds. Some of these plants include lantana, buddleia or butterfly bush, dill and fennel. Implementing some of these measures will ensure that you plant for the changing climate and maximise the investment in your garden.

With renewed enthusiasm and consciousness of the environment, homeowners and developers are embracing landscapes bring them and their clients’ overall wellbeing. While interior design tends to be the focus of a home,

Curb appeal is one of the first things people notice.
You can come away with a bad impression of a home without curb appeal, even if the interiors are stunning. Coping with the extreme weather conditions we are now experiencing in the Caribbean will be key in the design of a garden and should be a major consideration. Landscape designers and professionals can help you understand the pros and cons of your space and work within your budget, to help create your dream garden. ———–

Nesha Beharry-Borg is a Director at Centrascape and can be contacted at nesha.borg@centrascape.com. Centrascape is a Trinidadian company with over 25 years’ experience in creating landscape and garden designs for commercial and residential clients. We work closely with our clients to ensure that our work reflects a clear understanding of their needs. We are committed to providing the most professional and cost-effective solutions.

For more information check us out on www.centrascape.com, Instagram, and Facebook. Insert photos of the gardens designed and landscaped by Centrascape in the following pages.

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