The Most Important Landscape, Urban Farming and Gardening Trends

gov island farm

Had a great time on Governor’s Island last weekend with my friend Jon D. from LA who is quite the gardener it turns out. I’ve biked Gov Island before but I had never checked out the Teaching Garden.  Highly recommend!! There are chickens and goats and they’re growing everything from herbs, to lettuces, strawberries, spinach, and snow peas.

This 21,000 square foot urban farm is intended to get kids excited about urban farming but based on our observations, it is really the adults that are gaga over this gorgeous, ramshackle garden with over 20 vegetable beds, an outdoor kitchen, a large solar oven from Finland (looks like a mirrored art installation), a high tunnel greenhouse, fruit trees, a gourd tunnel, several rainwater harvesting systems, a rain garden, and much much more. If you are in NY or planning to visit, Governor’s Island should definitely be on your itinerary.

Read on below for the most recent landscape and gardening trends from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).

The conservation of water e.g. harvesting rainwater/graywater is projected to be the biggest trend with the greatest consumer demand, for 2016.

The ASLA also projects these additional 7 trends for architectural landscape and garden elements:

Indigenous plants: preferred by 86.02% of people. Once most native plants are established they need very little water between the rains. They use less water, less pruning and help to use less or no fertilizer.

Low maintenance landscapes: preferred by 84.55% of people. This means easy-care greenery, no fuss ground works, durable furnishings and architectural landscape. Examples would be watering from drip systems, replacing lawn with pavers to reduce watering or weeding, garden beds filled with gravel and ornamental grass or miniature evergreens.

Food and vegetable gardens: preferred by 74.95% of people. Backyard gardening, community gardens and even planter boxes are providing tasty produce right off the vine. Homeowners can save hundreds of dollars with the investment of even a small vegetable garden according to the National Gardening Association (NGA).

Pergolas: preferred by 50.94% of people

Decks: preferred by 47.40% of people

Arbors: preferred by 44.32% of people

Fencing: preferred by 44.07% with privacy fences in highest demand.

Additional information on backyard gardening and architectural landscaping can be found at

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