More popular styles to look for in 2005

Published: Saturday, January 22, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 21, 2005 at 11:03 p.m.
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Vines and vertical gardening is a good choice for people with small spaces. This is a red passion vine.

Special to The Sun
Gardening is an ever-changing avocation. Colors come in, then go out. Styles come in, and then go out. Yes, there are enduring themes, but it's fun to see what the industry plans to feature.
Here are some more styles that are predicted to be popular this gardening year:
  • Specialty annuals: New varieties and the easy maintenance continue to make annuals the choice of both beginner and expert gardeners. There are sun coleus that turn into shrubs in a season, and double impatiens that look like miniature roses.
    While perennials and evergreens should form the "bones" of a garden, annuals are that fun punch of color and whimsy.
    Just be sure to plant the annuals during their "right" season for long lasting color. Petunias, dianthus and snapdragons may be colorful right now, but by May, they will be goners.
  • Big purchases: While manufacturers of high-end garden ornaments - fountains and sculptures and the such - hope this is a trend, it really is becoming more common for regular gardeners to invest in fancy containers, yard art and enhancements.
    A sculpture may seem like a luxury, but think of the years of enjoyment you will receive. Same goes for teak benches and nice patio furniture. You're going to use it more if it's comfortable and long-lasting.
  • Vertical: People are gardening in smaller spaces - decks, patios and balconies. Look for more vining or trailing plants. Plant them in window boxes to hang, or lattice to clamber up. You can create "rooms" in the garden using these.
  • Romance: Instead of clear bold colors, many gardens are going for the softer, feminine colors. It's less harsh in the bright summer sun. White flowers are more visible in the evening; pinks and apricots romantic in the early morning mist.
  • Classics: While new plants can be the rage, some industry professionals are predicting many people will retreat to the tried-and-true. Amaryllis, daylilies, begonias, ferns - all hardy, all virtually maintenance free - can provide steady greenery and color while you decorate with flashier colors elsewhere.
  • Environmentally sensitive: With more and more chemicals being taken off the market, gardeners are having to cope with disease, damage and weeds. Well, new products are coming in to replace them, which are environmentally safe, such as aerated compost tea form SoilSoup ( and Messenger ( harpin protei. Environmental products sales are up 200 percent in the last five years.
  • Houseplants are back in: Can it be? Well, sure. Our homes are becoming less cluttered, more airy and sunny. Time to bring back the ferns, snake plants and palms, all low-light plants.
    Marina Blomberg can be reached at
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