Trend reports are kind of trivial in the grand scheme of things—we can all agree on that. But they can also be interesting, entertaining, or both. Or maybe they just reinforce things we’d like to see happen, regardless if they really do or not. For example, I like to declare that animal prints in home design are on the way out whenever I can. Sadly, this is not really true, but I’m an editor, so I can use my bully pulpit (to no avail, in this case).
There is all the usual stuff about outdoor rooms, containers, sustainability, and so on, but two of the trends mesh with stuff that is really happening, or should really happen. Like these:
Rebel-hoods: Neighborhood residents are rebelling against and campaigning for the reversal of ordinances. They will work to transform the neighborhood to the agri-hood.
This is real, at least judging by what’s happening in Buffalo. We enacted a chicken ordinance a few years back and went through an urban farm battle at about the same time. Now we have urban farms (including an aquaponic complex) throughout the city and a prolific accumulation of community gardens has been in progress for much longer. Yet, many of the older ordinances still in place are far too vague and people with perennial or (rarer) vegetable gardens in front of their houses often get harassed by neighbors who call the city complaint line about “weeds.” There has been progress, but not enough.
Bed Head Style: Purposefully un-styled outdoor spaces are the result of intentionally working within the natural landscape. This casual landscape style expresses an effortless personality with an “anything goes” attitude.
In my view, this is the way gardens naturally want to be. If you aspire to the highly manicured spaces beloved of modernist designers, you better be out there with the micropruners and tweezers every single day. Though I don’t know what they mean by “natural landscape,” I do know what purposefully un-styled means, and that’s often the best way to go, especially when your area is inflicted by boring, cookie cutter professional “landscaping,” as so many regions are. (Of course, you can’t have boring, cookie-cutter landscaping without clients who say that’s what they want.) When people I know ask me whom they should call to “fix” their garden, I rarely have a recommendation to give. Because it just doesn’t work that way. I don’t think I have the slightest clue about what my natural landscape should be, but I do enjoy planting things I love and watching them grow. So that’s what I tell other people to do. There’s my trend.