The shape of green things to come could well include a ball, bison or basset hound as gardeners get out their snips and release their inner Edward Scissorhands. **Shrubs clipped into simple geometric forms** bring crisp definition to borders and containers, while **animal shapes** such as closely sheared sheep add wit and whimsy. Boxwood and yew respond well to clipping but if you don’t trust yourself to work freehand, wire topiary forms are available. These are either placed over a shrub, which is then trimmed to the outline, or filled with sphagnum moss and planted with low-growing spreaders. Trim occasionally and water and feed regularly.
Taking a cue from indoor decor, **mixing and matching patterns** is the name of the game for outdoor fabric. Whether you go for an earthy palette, jewel tones or bright primary colours, there are plenty of weather-resistant fabrics to create your own unique combination.
**How to mix and match:**
1. Choose your style. If you like modern, think graphic, geometric shapes. Go traditional with floral, toile or damask.
2. Select two to three colours to form the base of your palette.
3. Look for patterns that feature these colours. The scale of the patterns should vary, letting one take centre stage.
##Call of the Wild##
**Attracting wildlife—birds, bees and butterflies**—to your outdoor space is a crucial aspect of gardening. Try planting perennials such as blazing star (*Liatris aspera*) and salvias to lure hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. Plant vines—Virginia creeper (*Parthenocissus quinquefolia*), trumpet creeper (*Campsis radicans*), native honeysuckle (*Lonicera sempervirens*); shrubs—dogwood (*Cornus spp.*) and serviceberry (*Amelanchier spp.*) and evergreen trees—spruce (*Picea spp.*) for food and nests. With the planet under climate assault, we have to be stewards at least in our own gardens.
##New Age Sheds##
No longer relegated to the far corner of the yard, today’s garden shed has taken on new life as a multi-purpose structure, increasing the space of your home. It may be used for meditation, entertaining, potting plants, storage, as a playhouse, a guest room or even a home office. **Stylish prefab sheds** are assuming architectural relevance in a myriad of styles and building materials including wood, aluminum, glass, sheet metal, plastic and more. Kits come in a series of parts ready to assemble. Modern-Shed has several varieties ranging from a basic shed to a small office.
If water gardening is hot, **pondless waterfalls** are hotter. They offer the lovely sound of a trickling stream without the worry of harbouring mosquitoes or tending fish. Available in kits (with everything but the rocks and plants), this clever cascade sends the water into a stone-covered sunken plastic reservoir instead of a pond. From there, a pump recirculates it to the top of the water course. Bog and water plants can still be planted along the edges, birds can drink and bathe, and children can safely dabble fingers to their hearts’ content.
For more great trends, pick up the latest issue of Gardening Life on newsstands now!