Garden trends for 2013: Influences of nature

Feb 27, 2013
Photo by: Pam Roy Your garden can become a place for reflection, reading or napping.

For centuries, gardens have played important roles in our lives. Historical gardens such as those found at The Alhambra in Spain, the gardens of Sissinghurst in England, and Monet’s garden in France continue to draw visitors and inspire people from many cultures.

Despite their different styles, each of these gardens offer a place to appreciate the beauty of nature and a chance to connect with that beauty in a personal way.

As we enter 2013, The Garden Trend Media Group has identified connecting with nature as major force in determining garden trends for this year. In our increasingly urbanized and hectic world, with development replacing forests, meadows and open space, our gardens become a primary place where we can connect with nature.

Spending time in nature can have many proven benefits, such as stress reduction, lowered blood pressure and heart rate, relaxation, increased happiness, better physical health and even a greater sense of personal autonomy.

The opportunity to spend time in a garden with natural beauty and sharing that with family or friends also promotes feelings of harmony and generosity, according to a study by the University of Rochester.

For many of us, our gardens become the primary place for us to experience a connection with nature. This desire to connect with nature and to enjoy the benefits of this connection is influencing garden trends for 2013 in a number of areas:

Health and wellness

Who doesn’t want to experience more health and wellness in their life? TrendWatching, a consumer research group reports that health and wellness are the No. 1 reasons people choose the products they buy.

What could be healthier than a salad of fresh greens seasoned with tasty herbs harvested from your own garden? Edible gardening continues to hold interest and can be a fun and productive way to connect with nature regardless of the size of your yard. Edibles can be grown in containers and set on decks or patios for those without garden space.

For relaxation, the garden can be a place for reflection, reading or napping in a hammock or a variety of opportunities to spend time in nature.

Sustainable practices

As people become more aware of the interconnectedness of all life on our planet, we choose practices and products that protect, preserve or restore the natural environment.

Using native plants, drought tolerant plants and non-toxic means of caring for them are becoming important decision making factors when planning new gardens.

Landscapes designed with natural elements, such as stone walls, boulders, the presence of water, natural contours and plants that provide year round color and interest affirm a commitment to following sustainable practices and help to insure that there will be places to connect with nature.

More trends for 2013: This is the year to use bright, cheerful colors in the garden and build healthy soil when developing a garden. Appreciate what your garden has to offer and share some of that with those you love.

Pam Roy, owner of Planscapes, has been a landscape designer and horticulturist for 30 years in the Northwest. Contact her at 425-252-9469 or go to

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