Tips and trends for today's smart gardening
• Try xeriscaping. Instead of turf grass, integrate plants that require less water in your landscape, such as yucca, sedum, salvia, hens and chicks, and some ornamental grasses.
• Have a small city lot? Plant flowering dwarf shrubs. Popular varieties are 'Spilled Wine' and 'My Monet' weigelas, and the Seaside Serenade series of hydrangeas, which require little pruning.
• Plant pollinator magnets to attract bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and insects to your urban and suburban landscape. Pollinators need food throughout the seasons. Plants such as 'Blue Yonder' veronica, 'Midnight Prairieblues' indigo, 'Trevi Fountain' lungwort and 'Miss Kim' Korean lilac can provide it.
• Succulents are hot. The water-retaining, fleshy-stemmed plants are exotic eye candy in beds and containers. Now there are more varieties, colors, shapes and sizes available than ever before. Echeveria and hens and chicks are especially popular this spring, said Jessie Jacobson, owner of Tonkadale. "Succulents are easy-care once you get the hang of it."
• Get kids excited about gardening with fantasy fairy gardens. (Tonkadale offers a variety of accessories, houses and plants to create the whimsical mini-landscapes.) "Fairy gardens are an activity kids can do with grandparents," said Jacobson.