It’s a Trend!

A super nice guy named Jim called me out of the blue a few weeks ago. He has an innovative web site called LandscapingNetwork,com, where you can locate top landscape architects, or other landscaping services and products almost anywhere in the country. The web site also is loaded with great design ideas, articles and photos. Cool idea, huh! Jim had stumbled upon my blog, and apparently liked what he saw, and asked me to write up a little piece about some of the trends I had seen in recent months as a guest blogger. Sounded fun to me. (Okay, I was totally flattered!)

None of it is earth-shattering news, but here’s my article in case you find it of interest:

Current Landscape Trends

Guest blogger, Janine Robinson shares five emerging ideas for gardens and yards

By Janine Robinson, Laguna Dirt blogger and garden enthusiast
Since I started my blog, Laguna Dirt, last fall, I’ve been on the prowl for gardening and landscaping ideas. In my explorations both on land and through cyberspace, I’ve noticed some trends that I found inspiring, and in many cases, worth joining.
The Lawn-Free RevolutionThe idea of ripping out your lush green lawn is no longer limited to fanatical water conservationists or idealistic hippies. Just look around. Homeowners are finally getting it: Lawns are water hogs, require a ton of maintenance and suck up nasty chemicals. Not to mention they are boring. When I see someone who has ripped out some or all of their grass, and replaced it with an interesting mix of succulents, cacti, grasses, rocks, pathways, or other features, I know it has taken a certain amount of courage. Forget all that talk about “going green” and “sustainability.” These are people who are just doing something that makes a lot of sense.
Water hog lawns

Water hog lawns are becoming a thing of the past.
Replacing a lawn

Replacing a lawn with an interesting mix of native plants and natural elements requires a certain amount of courage.
The Birds and the BeesWith all the push toward bringing the outdoors in, or indoors out, you can’t help but notice the critters that go along with it. Instead of fending them off, the smart people are welcoming them. Whether it’s the family who built a backyard chicken coop so they can gather fresh eggs, or the woman who stuck to native plants to attract butterflies and birds, or the couple who built their garden to withstand their four dogs, the trend is to embrace our fellow creatures. There’s something really healthy about that.
Backyard chicken coops

Backyard chicken coops are one of the ways people are embracing animals in the garden.
insects are more welcome in today's gardens

No longer reviled, insects are more welcome in today’s gardens.
Contributors to the garden

Contributors to the garden, these chicks will soon be providing fresh eggs alongside the tomatoes and other edibles in the garden.
Artful GardeningLandscaping is an art form, based on composition, textures, color, focal points, and other classic components. So it’s a total mystery why most garden d├ęcor has remained doggedly tacky and tasteless. I can’t tell if people truly like those pastel-colored banners, or shiny pinwheels, or giant rusty flowers, or whether they don’t have better options. Some folks, however, have caught onto the fact that a single sculptural piece can elevate any garden, whether it’s a simple trellis powder-coated in Chinese orange, or a giant iron orb or a stack of stainless steel circles. Now if they can just make them more affordable, we could really get somewhere!
art has its place in landscape design

It’s no question that art has its place in landscape design.

Sculptures such as this one from artist Wyatt Ellison can elevate any garden.
Veggies AnywhereAgain, it’s so simple, but I went on a tour in Laguna Beach that showed how homeowners were incorporating their vegetables-organic, of course-into their landscaping. Front yards, containers, wherever you have some sun and dirt. And these plantings actually enhanced the overall landscaping! An artichoke mixed with sweet peas, or tomatoes tucked in with some roses, can be literally delicious.
front yard

This front yard is enhanced by its display of vegetable and flower beds.

Edibles can be incorporated in any area of the garden adding delicious flavor and beauty to the space.

These blueberries are a sweet surprise in the front yard of this Laguna Beach, Calif. home.
Wabi-SabiWhen wandering among the funky homes on a home tour in Venice, California, I loved how the irreverent homeowners-many of them artists and designers–created gardens with so much soul. Sometimes all it took was an old Eames chair painted cobalt blue set on an uneven stone patio, or the legs of a mannequin dangling off a front porch, or a gilded, cracked mirror hanging in a tree. These playful accents reminded me of the Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi, which means finding beauty in the imperfect. Time-worn, flawed pieces somehow create a sense of humor and welcoming warmth. What better way to say, “Relax, and hang out with us!”
Front Porch

The front porch of this Venice Beach, Calif. home surprises passersby with funky and fun mannequin legs on display.
A Hanging Fireplace

A hanging fireplace is just one of many creative ideas that transform the unusual to amusing and artful.
rusty chair

Rusty chairs are prized possessions in a garden embracing Wabi-Sabi.

4 thoughts on “It’s a Trend!

  1. you're almost famous! will you remember us when you're a huge celeb? congrats on the article!

  2. Janine, I really think you nailed the big trends. Take a bow! (And I mailed your DVD back today. Thank you so much!)

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