by: Michelle Laurie
Three Summer Garden Trends For Families
So much of what we do at Mahoney Architects revolves around family and integrating our homes and outdoor spaces into family-friendly areas accessible to the whole family. Now that we find ourselves in the height of summer, we all like to be outside to entertain, but also to teach our children about nature. Even the smallest spaces can be used innovatively – here are our top trends from around the web of innovative use of space for backyard learning, entertaining and living.
1. Native Plants
Here in California we’re all about drought tolerant plants to suit the current shortage of water. But using native plants doesn’t just mean being compatible with climate – it means being true to the spirit of your region, and using plants that you know will flourish in your particular climate. Using native plants also cuts down on the unnecessary transport of plants across long distances and changing the soil constitution to suit plants that wouldn’t be there otherwise. We love this beautiful Denver garden, by Designscapes Colorado for its use of native plants and flowers.
A wall garden is the perfect solution if you’ve got limited outside space or want to add a real talking point to your design look. This one from Debora Carl is the perfect solution if you’ve got limited outside space, or want to add a real talking point to your design look. Succulents are popular with wall gardens – not only do they not require a lot of water, but they come in amazing shapes and sizes and require very little care.
Here’s an example of how you can create a vertical fern garden using Florafelt, a synthetic growing material made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. According to Chris Bribach, founder of Plants on Walls and the inventor of Florafelt, it is food-safe and long-lasting.
3. Herb Gardens
Herb gardens never go out of style and it’s no secret why – food is a trend that never loses interest. With the the Bay Area being a haven for foodies, getting our kids involved in growing food they can eat is essential for helping them understand where food comes from, how to cook it and better still, how to eat it. Pick easy growing herbs such as mint and parsley and show your children how to make mint tea, dry parsley for seasoning or grow sweet smelling lavender and make sachets to put into your closets and drawers. Whatever you grow in your outdoor space, make sure it’s family friendly and creates a generation of green-loving kids who benefit from planting, growing, eating and playing in your garden. Here’s a practical herb garden in raised beds from Aloe Designs.