Garden fashion forecast

When it comes to trendsetting, Columbus is progressive in foodie and fashion circles. But the city also flourishes in garden design. It's home to Cultivate 2018—the horticulture industry's largest trade show July 14-17 at the Columbus Convention Center. The city also hosts top horticulture research and trial gardens at Ohio State University, first-class public gardens, a pioneering botanical garden and leading horticulture companies. With all this inspiration, we've identified five new trends for the coming year.


Vegetable gardening continues to be incredibly popular with gardeners of all ages, and part of the fun is experimenting with new varieties. Try purple carrots, chef-prized Shishito peppers, Instagram darlings called cucamelons, ground cherries, bok choy or protein-packed chickpeas and edamame. For indoor gardening, grow cherry tomatoes, herbs and salad greens with self-contained, countertop AeroGardens by Central Ohio's MiracleGro.

Green Interiors

Houseplants are the definitive home accessory. Budding gardeners are filling their apartments, homes and workplaces with stylish fiddle-leaf figs, stumped scheffleras, air plants and succulents. For novel plants and expert advice, visit Groovy Ranch Plants in Marengo and Stump in Italian Village and German Village.

Downsized Shrubs

Why spend Saturdays pruning a 4-foot shrub for a 2-foot space? New dwarf varieties are bred to fit in small spaces and maintain their size. Try ‘Bobo' or ‘Little Quick Fire' hydrangea, ‘Tiny Wine' ninebark, ‘Winter Gem' boxwood, and Drift or Oso Easy roses.

Urban Wild

Inspired by Dutch landscape designer Piet Oudolf's high-profile public gardens, which include the High Line in New York City and Millennium Park in Chicago, many well-traveled gardeners are looking for ways to bring his signature look to their own backyards. Ideas to steal: a groundcover of sedges, massive mixes of flowering perennials and grasses, and winter texture including seedheads and dried blooms, such as hydrangea.

For the Bees

More and more gardeners are recognizing the role they can play in attracting and nourishing bees (and butterflies) in their own backyard. At OSU trial gardens, new annual varieties are being studied for their attractiveness to pollinators. Five favorites include ‘Mystic Spires' salvia, ‘Pink Blessing' scaevola,' Rosea Lavender Lace' cuphea, ‘Morello' agastache and ‘Luscious Royale Cosmo' lantana.