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GARDENING: The green trends for 2019

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Unpredictable weather patterns are reflected in the changing approach to modern planning, and a need to restore damaged habitats

What are the latest international garden trends?

Internationally, the trends emphasise reconnecting and strengthening our bond with the natural world. As guardians of the earth, it is a gardener’s responsibility to cherish, maintain, save and restore your patch of earth.

Environmental author Michael McCarthy, in his book Moth Snowstorm, warns of the “thinning of the insect world”, and the urgent need to garden to save bees, butterflies and all beneficial insects.

We must ensure our gardens are eco-friendly by restoring and creating habitats for wildlife and by growing regionally suitable flowers, shrubs and trees. Gardening in layers provides shelter and food for birds, small creatures, insects; a pond will bring frogs and dragonflies; an insect hotel, compost heap, mulch and stacked logs a place for insects and small creatures and a pantry for birds.

Bird feeders provide additional food for seed-eating birds. Picture: Lukas Otto

Ecological restoration

Cape Town will be the international focus of ecological restoration in September when 1 000 members of the Society for Ecological Restoration
(SER) arrive for the eighth World Conference on Ecological Restoration (September 24-28) at Century City Convention Centre.

With members in 70 countries, SER is an international non-governmental organisation that promotes ecological restoration to sustain biodiversity, improving the earth’s resilience in a changing climate, and re-establishing an ecologically healthy relationship between nature and culture through the restoration of damaged and degraded eco-systems.


Urban forests

This year the urban reforestation trend will gather momentum.

Planting suitable trees in inner cities and suburbs to give shade, lower temperatures and improve air quality will create conflict with developers.

Green spaces will become increasingly important for city workers.

This trend is also reflected in the “urban vertical forest” building concept.

Living walls are already a popular way of integrating green elements into urban architecture.

The integration of green living walls, both indoors and out, is a popular trend in cities across the globe. Picture: Life Landscapes/SALI

The power of pots

Pot plants are an integral design element in 2019 in the garden and indoors.

Pot plants add colour, texture and form on patios and formal terraces, in a courtyard, at an entrance, in a herb garden, on a windowsill, on a flight of steps, or a balcony, turning them into green oases.

A greener environment indoors connects the interior to the outdoors and promotes wellbeing.

People respond positively to indoor plants for their beauty and ability to reduce air pollution, improve air quality and lower cooling and heating costs. They are a must.

Keep an eye out for these styles

Throughout the summer the striking Cape honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis) blooms attract bees and birds to the garden. Picture: Supplied

Technology 2019

Voltaire, in his story of Candide (1759), wrote that tending one’s own garden resulted in “a productive and peaceful life”.

Candide, a community gardening app, has drawn inspiration from that philosophy that is location based to help reconnect with your garden, to interact and share gardening knowledge, with access to a plant data base and tips and advice. Candide is free for download in Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store and follow on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Colour 2019

The Pantone Color Institute, an international forecasting colour authority, has chosen Living Coral as the “Colour of the Year”, inspired by the natural world.

Dulux has chosen Spiced Honey, a warming and stimulating colour, for 2019 to reflect positivity and optimism.

Local gardening 2019

Gardening on a shoestring budget: In many instances, gardeners are facing budget restraints and rising food prices as well as the need to garden economically. This can be done by growing plants from seed, and by growing your own vegetables. Even the smallest garden or balcony can find space for pots, hanging baskets or windowboxes for vegetables.

Waterwise gardening: As drought conditions continue, the need to reduce water use is vital. Rainwater tanks under roof down-spouts are now part of the urban landscape and grey water systems are being installed by responsible homeowners.

Resilient landscaping: Swales (boggy patches) to harvest rain run-off, grasses to filter heavy rain and wetland zones to slow and direct the flow of water to low-lying areas of a garden will become mainstream in 2019.


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