GARDENING REVIEW FOR 2018
Dr. Leonard Perry, Horticulture Professor Emeritus
University of Vermont
As you reflect on this past year and plan for next year’s gardens and landscaping, make notes (before they become distant memories) of this past year’s successes and failures. A review of a few topics from our Green Mountain Gardener articles during 2018 (perrysperennials.info) may give you some new ideas for this coming season on new plants-- from perennials and annuals, to food crops and indoor plants; lawns; health; garden trends; and more.
Did you embrace one or more of the garden trends for 2018, as pegged
by the Garden Media Group (www.gardenmediagroup.com)? These were based
on the relation of nature to wellness—both of mind and body. The seven
trends included gardening practices to better deal with a changing
climate, thinking of plant relationships (“social networks” for plants),
repurposing old or antique objects in the garden, using more “clean
air” plants indoors, incorporating soothing water features into gardens,
growing more plant-based proteins in gardens, and using shades of
purple in the garden—ultraviolet being the Pantone Color of the Year for
How about new All-America Selections of Flowers and Vegetables in
2018—did you start or plant any of these? Flower winners in this
national program (all-americaselections.org) included a zinnia,
ornamental pepper, marigold, gypsophila (annual baby’s breath), canna,
and a cuphea (Mexican heather). Vegetable winners for 2018 included a
corn, pak choi, three peppers, and three tomatoes.
Other plants featured in articles from 2018 included oak trees—both
red and white oak groups, various types of lilacs, the annual flowers
nasturtium and calibrachoa, and several perennials—geum, barrenwort,
coreopsis, the spring bulb fritillary, and milkweeds. Of course the
latter are essential to help support monarch butterflies which, with
their low numbers relative to the past, need all the help we can provide
for them in our gardens. Swedish ivy, peperomia, rubber plant, and
pothos were indoor plants covered in articles.
If you grow vegetables, you may want to review articles on beets,
beneficial insects, early summer tips for the vegetable garden, common
vegetable diseases, harvesting summer vegetables, storing fruits and
vegetables, and effective deer fences. A trend, covered in an article
although not an official trend as noted above, is the methods for
growing vegetables vertically—fun and something different, and rather
essential if your space for gardening is limited.
If you’re one of the many homeowners with lawn, review the articles
on helping lawns deal with droughts, compost, and moles and similar
pests that play havoc in lawns and gardens.
Going along with the trend on wellness, staying healthy with
gardening was covered in topics on avoiding lyme disease from ticks, and
the benefits of using plants indoors. Whether you garden or not, if you
enjoy birds and want to help them survive our brutal winters, check out
the articles on landscaping to help birds, and feeding birds with the
proper seeds, feeders, and their placement. Not all birds are attracted
to the same type feeders, or same types of food, although black oil
sunflower seeds are a favorite of virtually all.
Return to Perry's Perennial Pages: Green Mountain Gardener Articles-- your reliable source of gardening information for over 50 years.