The Wicked Yard

Celebrating the “Beauty of Balance” at the Boston Flower and Garden Show

Posted by Amanda Pittsley on Mar 6, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Front yard curb appeal -- project by Ahronian Landscaping

Attendees and exhibitors from across the Northeast will be attending the Boston Flower and Garden Show, one of the largest horticultural events in New England, from March 13-17, 2019 at Boston’s Seaport World Trade Center.

The show will feature brilliant indoor garden displays and vibrant floral designs from dozens of the region’s leading nurseries, landscapers, and florists.

2018 Boston Flower and Garden Show

Packed with fun activities and horticultural events, the Boston Flower and Garden Show aims to inspire and educate gardeners of all backgrounds. Homeowners and landscape professionals alike can discover new trends and design inspiration, connect with industry leaders, and learn about new plants and materials.

Achieving the “Beauty of Balance” through Hardscape and Softscape

The “Beauty of Balance” is the theme for this year’s Boston Flower and Garden Show. It celebrates the harmony of elements in a garden, as well as the balance of hardscape and softscape in landscape design.

“‘Balance’ seemed like a great concept to work with this year due to the public’s interest in things like meditation and concern for work/life balance,” said Carolyn Weston, Director of the Boston Flower Show. “Whether gardening is your preferred form of exercise, a chance to get your kids outdoors or a way to put healthy food on your table, gardening has diverse benefits to offer everyone.”

Balance in functionality and available space should also be taken into consideration when designing an outdoor area.

“You want to make sure that you balance what you value most—outdoor entertaining, a space to lounge, a vegetable garden, a place for the kids to play—and make sure that it’s represented in your design,” said David Ahronian, MCH, Vice President of Marketing Communication and Designer at Ahronian Landscaping and Design. Ahronian will have a booth showcasing photos of their work and plants at this year’s Boston Flower and Garden Show.

Striking a balance between hardscape and softscape elements is critical, as well. When properly designed, softscape elements (such as flowers and shrubs) and hardscape elements (granite and bluestone, for example) can complement one another beautifully.

Woodbury Gray granite steps and granite cobblestones --project by Ahronian Landscaping

The balance of hardscape and seasonal softscape complement the entrance of a home. Woodbury Gray granite steps and granite cobblestones are featured here. Project by Ahronian Landscaping.

In addition to beautifully balanced garden design, the Boston Flower and Garden Show will showcase the top landscaping and gardening trends of 2019, from small space gardens to edibles-as-ornamentals. Landscape designers anticipate several emerging gardening and landscaping trends to be highlighted at this year’s event.

Sustainable Gardening

Over the past few years, the sustainability trend has been growing significantly in almost every industry, and this year, it is sweeping the gardening and landscaping world as well.

Seasons and climate should be major considerations when designing a garden sustainably. Climate can determine the balance between hardscape and softscape elements—for example, in regions with a short growing season, more hardscape features should be used, while in lush areas, more plants can be utilized.

Homeowners can design and plant their gardens in a way that conserves water. For example, plants that require less water, such as succulents, are more environmentally friendly. In terms of hardscapes, “using natural materials like stone is more sustainable than man-made products. As far as longevity, you can’t really beat granite,” explained Ahronian.

“Swenson Granite Works steps are what I recommend the most out of any other product because the granite is going to last longer, and it will have the least amount of problems,” he added. While materials like concrete tend to degrade and settle quickly, granite provides a beautiful appearance, low maintenance and excellent longevity.

Woodbury Gray granite steps and weathered fieldstone -- project by Ahronian Landscaping
Spring flowers and plants complement Swenson’s Woodbury Gray granite steps and weathered fieldstone. Project by Ahronian Landscaping.

Low-Maintenance Landscapes

Busy homeowners are embracing faster and easier maintenance routines for their outdoor spaces, making low-maintenance softscape and hardscape elements a growing trend for 2019.

While typical plants like rhododendrons can become overgrown and require frequent maintenance and removal, dwarf varieties of these plants can bring color and texture to gardens without becoming overgrown.

“People are also incorporating plants that they don’t need to take care of,” said Ahronian. “They still want color, but would prefer if they didn’t have to put so much work into the garden.” Homeowners can consult with a landscape professional to find the best low-maintenance, colorful plants for their home.

Perennials are another excellent option, as they come back each year without needing to be replanted. Landscapers also recommend grouping plants together based on water requirements to make watering simple.

When selecting hardscape materials, homeowners can avoid the time and cost of frequent replacement by using high-quality, durable stones like granite that can withstand years of use without needing repair or replacement.

Secluded Outdoor Spaces

Private, secluded spaces are in the spotlight this year, as a growing number of homeowners are creating quiet, sheltered areas for relaxation in their backyards.

Adding ornamental elements such as a granite bench, fire pit, fountain, and sundial, along with lush greenery, can transform a small space into a quaint hideaway. Creating a sense of privacy and seclusion is key; this can be achieved by creating barriers with details like a wall of plants or line of shrubs.

Read more about how granite ornamental garden elements can add the finishing touch to any outdoor space.

Migonis Home Swenson DIY fire pit

The Migonis family of Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, built a secluded outdoor nook around their granite fire pit, which they installed themselves.

Migonis Home Swenson DIY fire pit

Relaxing and Entertaining Outdoor Spaces

Creating an at-home oasis for outdoor relaxation and entertaining is another top landscaping trend for 2019.

Function and comfort are key in creating areas that encourage people to relax together outside. Features like comfortable outdoor furniture, weatherproof speakers, and lighting can transform a space from a basic patio to a welcoming outdoor gathering place.

An outdoor kitchen is one of the best ways to create a relaxing and functional outdoor area. A well-designed and fully functional outdoor kitchen built with granite and natural stone from Swenson Granite Works guarantees a memorable outdoor dining experience and increases your home’s value. A grill, ample seating and dining space, and comfortable chairs complete the space.

Read more about how to create the ultimate outdoor kitchen with natural stone veneer and countertops.

Outdoor kitchen with natural stone -- project by Seoane Landscape Design
Outdoor kitchen with natural stone -- project by Seoane Landscape Design

The walls and kitchen in this dreamy New Hampshire home are crafted with Boston Blend Ledgestone thin veneer alongside walls caps and countertop in Woodbury Gray granite with rock face edges. The patio pavers are full color bluestone. Project by Seoane Landscape Design.

Home-Grown Gardens

“(One of) the biggest trends we’re seeing right now (is) to incorporate edibles into the landscape so you can create one cohesive landscape instead of one part that’s for ‘grow’ and one that’s for ‘show’,” said the Boston Flower Show’s Carolyn Weston.

From ornamental cabbages to peppers, vegetables and herbs can create a beautiful visual effect with bold textures and colors, while also keeping homeowners’ kitchens stocked with fresh produce.

For homeowners who want to plant herb gardens in areas with limited space, placing planters on your patio or hanging planters above your porch can help maximize the space available. Vertical planters are another great option for those who want to grow plants on a wall.

“What we see growing as a trend are outdoor entertaining and outdoor cooking,” said Ahronian. “This is probably the largest trend that people are incorporating into their yard design. People are trying to extend the use of their yard and find reasons to get out there more.”

Herb garden with Swenson Granite Works’ granite garden edging
An herb garden with Swenson Granite Works’ granite garden edging makes an excellent addition for home chefs and gardeners alike.

Smart, Well-Designed Lighting

According to House Beautiful, “there’s nothing better for setting the mood in your garden than lighting.” Smart, well-designed lighting is a growing trend this year, and it can make an evening landscape just as beautiful as a daytime one.

While a warm light can create a cozy effect, a bright white light can create an energetic atmosphere. Positioning lights up against elements of a garden or outdoor area, such as water features and trees, can emphasize specific areas of the space.

A granite lamp post can provide a beautiful accent to the landscape during both night and day, and creates a clean, beautiful foundation for any fixture.

Woodbury Gray granite lamp post

A Woodbury Gray granite lamp post.

Woodbury Gray lamp post complements a natural stone retaining wall -- project by Ahronian Landscaping

A Woodbury Gray lamp post complements a natural stone retaining wall. Project by Ahronian Landscaping.

Woodbury Gray granite lamp posts light a fountain and walkway

Woodbury Gray granite lamp posts light the fountain and walkway behind an assisted living facility.

Spending More on Landscapes and Gardens

In 2018, homeowners spent more on plants and gardens than ever before, and the trend is expected to continue into 2019.

According to Penn Live, “Americans set a record by spending $47.8 billion on lawn and garden products and services (in 2018)… That breaks down to an average of $503 per household, up nearly $100 from 2017”.

For many homeowners, creating a relaxing outdoor oasis or a welcoming space for family gatherings is well worth the initial investment.

2018 Boston Flower and Garden Show

Events and Activities at the Boston Flower and Garden Show

This year’s Boston Flower and Garden Show will feature more than just stunning floral and garden displays—it will also offer a multitude of activities and events to teach homeowners how to elevate their outdoor spaces.

Events include the Fine Gardening Seminar Series by Fine Gardening Magazine, as well as special workshops featuring gardening experts: “Design Tips for Small Scale Gardens that Provide BIG Results!”, a workshop with Kerry Ann Mendez, on Saturday, March 16 from 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM, and “Designing Your Outdoor Room with Dean & Derek” on Saturday, March 16, from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM.

The show will also feature an Ask The Experts Pavilion hosted by the Massachusetts Master Gardeners Association, where visitors can meet with gardening professionals directly to ask questions, identify plants, and learn more information about gardening.

Feeling inspired by the Boston Flower and Garden Show? Learn more about the show here, or learn how you can use Swenson Granite Works’ products in your next landscaping project by visiting your local Swenson store.

Find more inspiration for your landscape with a tour through some of New England’s most beautiful backyard spaces. Download our inspiration guide here.

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Topics: New England, garden, Massachusetts, Hardscape, Softscape

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