US: Landscaping trends sparked by Philadelphia Flower Show

Landscape designers got to strut their stuff at the Philadelphia Flower Show like never before. Because the historic Philadelphia Flower Show was moved from a March indoors floral extravaganza to an outside venue in June at FDR Park, this opened up an opportunity for more space and garden focus for these designers along with floral artists. 

The crowd-pleasing reimagined show, which runs until June 13th, featured the most designers, gardens, and floral displays in the show’s 193-year history with over 75 installations stretching 15 acres that is 45% larger than the previous space indoors at the Philadelphia Convention Center. As a result, landscaping trends that will shape homeowners buying choices around the United States as well as abroad were introduced with great fanfare and creativity. 

Here are some of the trends you are likely to hear about and see in the near future. 

Wild plantings vs. controlled English garden styles
Tightly composed boxwood hedges inspired by English design are no longer as in vogue and now being replaced by a more earthy natural style. 

“People are wanting a wild natural ambiance,” says medal-winner Iftikhar Ahmed, the owner and head designer of Treeline Designz which has projects in 15 different countries. Known for designing gardens that cooperate with nature and wildlife, the oh-so-talented Ahmed says that grasses are being revisited with peaked interest for design. 

“Many plants flower and mixing materials – especially green plants – with different textures and forms of leaves create surprises.” Ahmed is a master of finding different greenery and collecting them to create compositions that literally dance along with summer breezes. 

In his prize-winning garden, traditional flowers such as iris beds and hydrangeas were not the focal point but still entertained with strategic pops of color and brightness  What’s a favorite new plant to incorporate into gardens that consumers should buy? “Ligularia,” he says, noting how the yellow or orange spiked colors add intrigue and delights to a shade garden. Another trend is the increasing popularity of planting native plants in home regions.

Sculptures and art inside the garden
Who says that art should be inside? Several landscape artists used sculptures inside the garden to create a fashion statement. Dorothy Gillespie’s tall ribbony structures in blue and green were surrounded by purple nepeta and other simple flowers. Nepeta and salvia in different shades of purple are also finding popularity. 

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