Friday, August 1, 2008

ECO-FRIENDLY AVANT GARDENING

Similar to fashion, cuisine and interior decorating, the art of gardening is multi-dimensional. It is not composed simply of foliage and flowers, but rather definitive color schemes, textures, well thought out design and the use of quality products. From urban rooftop gardens to chic water atriums, a garden is yet another way to emphasize the beauty and ambiance of any luxury residence. With eco-friendly options becoming more luxurious and accessible, trends in the gardening world are changing for novice hobbyists and garden design experts alike.

THE LATEST TRENDS IN LUXURY GARDENING
Gardens can be created in virtually any environment. From the deserts of Dubai to mountainous regions of Colorado, these are a few of the latest trends moving up on the list of luxury garden design.

Container Gardens - Popping up everywhere in Manhattan brownstones and Los Angeles lofts, these gardens continue to gain popularity. Space can present a challenge, but creating a classic garden in a metropolitan area is possible. Tips: Grow plants up versus out. Honeysuckle, jasmine, ivy and herbs work perfectly. Terracotta pots are a great option for container gardens, as the clay absorbs water and keeps the soil damp longer, which means less watering. Even if you have plenty of space, you can use container gardens to highlight entertaining areas or line stairways or walkways.

The Foliage Craze - Colorful, variegated, bold and lacy are just a few words to describe this garden forward trend: foliage. With no concerns of a blooming season, foliage is growing in popularity. Gorgeous shades of bronze, plum, claret and brightly tinged yellows and greens allow you to create the perfect look. Formerly used as a garden accent, foliage can now be used as the sole "ingredient" in your garden.

EARTH FLOW

Water Gardens - Does the idea of converting your swimming pool into a natural swimmable pond - complete with aqua foliage - sound odd? It is currently one of the country's hottest garden trends. Incorporating plant life and d├ęcor to mimic those of natural water areas in our ecosystem, these ponds are self-cleaning and offer a lake-like swimming experience, involving no harsh chemicals.
Designers like Larry Santoyo - for Earth Flow Design Works - combine artistry and ecology, and can help you create functional garden design.

Edible Landscapes: New Rage in Haute Cuisine
Edible gardens and landscapes are creating quite a stir as luxury home owners around the country are creating interactive, edible gardens. Besides enjoying the visual beauty, these gardens entice all five senses and allow you to prepare elegant meals with freshly harvested ingredients. The mixed greens salad with truffle oil dressing allows you to combine elements from your own garden and an undeniably lavish ingredient that continues to gain popularity: truffle oil.

LUXURIOUS AND "GREEN" PRODUCTS AND SOLUTIONS
MosquitoNix is an environmentally sound solution for protecting your garden. A misting system is installed around the perimeter of your garden - a variety of custom and unique techniques are available. Mist is released 3-4 times a day, 45 seconds each time. Rosemary, cinnamon and lemon grass oils repel pesticides that can cause harm to your garden. Eco-friendly and 100% safe around children, pets, furniture and food - this solution is a great alternative to hazardous pesticides.
Baume Du Jardinier (Gardener's Hand Healer) - If your hands have endured elements of water, wind, sun and dirt while gardening, this shea butter cream is the answer. Its light lemon scent and combination of chamomile, rosemary, mimosa and lemon balm aid in its healing power and protects hands.

Garden Art - Incorporate your decorating style into your garden with these en vogue pieces: A stunning, copper column fountain designed by Hugo McCloud - who was featured at the Sundance Film Festival and San Francisco Garden Show Design Competition. His garden pieces are comprised of elegant details and eco-friendly materials. As evidenced by a growing celebrity interest garden gongs and bells are another en vogue option. Designed by Tom Torrens, these bronze and steel pieces add distinct flair to avant-gardens and are made with all natural components. Available at Water + Stone Gallery.

Simple Tips to Keep Your Garden "Green"
• Water in early morning and late afternoon. This allows water to soak in and not
evaporate as quickly.
• Work with flowers that are indigenous to your region. They require less water
and maintenance. Smith & Hawken offer insightful tips on selection process.
• Use drip systems, soaker hoses or sprinklers that have multiple settings, so the water isn't wasted on non-garden areas.
• Select flowers that attract bumblebees, hummingbirds or butterflies. These "friendly" creatures naturally help pollinate and propagate gardens.
• Select perennials to serve as your garden's "framework." Throughout the seasons, implement annuals for new color and fresh variety. This technique will help provide easy maintenance and the ability to incorporate new hues and styles.

This article supplied by LUXETRENDS by Windermere:
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