(Edited from the AP) Ditch the grass. Plant food. Go green.

The trends in landscaping and gardening this summer are all toward a more relaxed environment, experts say.

(Edited from the AP) Ditch the grass. Plant food. Go green.

The trends in landscaping and gardening this summer are all toward a more relaxed environment, experts say.

“The rewards of growing your own basil, berries or flowers are boundless,” says Susan McCoy, trend spotter for the Garden Media Group, an industry marketing firm in Kennett Square, Pa. She says people are looking increasingly to their plots of green, little or large, to recharge, and reap the benefits both aesthetic and, often, edible.

Some of what’s in:
LOSING THE LAWN
Lawns soak up water and cash, and stress the environment by requiring pesticides, say today’s green gardeners. Motorized lawn-maintenance equipment also adds to air and noise pollution.

Giving up that expanse of grass may be difficult, but there are attractive, easy-care alternatives. Margie Grace, the 2009 International Landscape Designer of the Year, is on the forefront of the “de-lawning” movement. She urges homeowners to reduce or eliminate “a green pit of wasted time, money and space.”

“Ditching the lawn doesn’t mean you have to have a hippie yard,” she says. “A lawn-free garden can be incredibly elegant and upscale.”

And if you can’t live without any lawn, try living with less, she says.

EDIBLE GARDENS
Vegetables, fruits and herbs can be attractive and tasty.

Jamie Durie, host of HGTV’s “Outdoor Room” show, calls edible gardens “a huge trend worldwide as people see the economic, environmental and health benefits of growing their own food. You don’t need a big garden, either. Vegetables can be grown on balconies, even street parkways.”

Grace suggests mixing edible elements with ornamentals, as well as planting in containers to minimize bending and tilling.

To get started with a simple veggie garden, consider a tiered raised frame that comes with protective cover hoops.

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