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Cutting-edge lawns


Lawns take their trend cues from everything from Mother Nature to architectural elements.

Among 2017’s lawn and garden trends were using natural materials and creating a more do-it-yourself look with elements like railroad ties, free-form decks and swing seating.

The locally grown/locally sourced movement evolved into hyper-localism in the lawn, through planting not only native plants but also endemic plants, as well as incorporating existing rock and other features into the landscape design. Grass mixes that don’t require mowing and taller, prairie-type mixes were also appealing.

On tap for 2018 is a trend toward the mixing of styles—old and new, modern and vintage.

“I think the 2017 trends will hold and I think you will see more mixing of styles,” says Amy Aldenderfer, extension agent for horticulture and Master Gardener Program coordinator at the Hardin County Cooperative Extension Service. “Garden trends change slower than fashion trends and gardeners are more discerning about which trends they follow.”

“The one trend that is translating well across the country is the push for growers to come up with dwarf varieties of plant materials to satisfy those asking for ‘low or no maintenance’ or ‘ground- hugging’ plants,” adds David Staley, operations manager at Ecolandcare Landscape Management, based in Georgetown and Lexington.

Some favorite dwarf varieties include Suffruticosa boxwood and Everlow yew in the evergreens category. In the flowering category, Pocomoke crepe myrtle, Wine & Roses weigela and Firepower nandina are among the attention-getters.

“The most abundant selections of dwarf flowering varieties are the new introductions of hydrangeas,” notes Staley. “That includes the hardy Bobo hydrangea, Little Quick Fire, Mini Penny, Sikes Dwarf and Little Lime.”



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