The ebb and flow of trends in the world of landscaping might not be as furiously fast-moving as that of fashion or even interiors, but we certainly do see plants come in and out of vogue, both outside and inside the home – witness the Instagram obsession with the fiddle leaf fig.
‘It’ plants for outside
The hottest property in nurseries right now is the cactus. Nurseries are expanding their range as social media becomes studded with these prickly characters and demand for them rockets correspondingly. With greater range and availability comes the potential to really have fun with these guys, making a statement with taller ‘fence post’ cacti or playing with groupings of cacti in varied colour combinations to create a minimalist Palm Springs look.
Palms are far from a new addition to Sydney gardens, but we’re seeing different varieties used in new, sculptural ways; for example, multi-trunked varieties, such as Chamaerops humilis. A further advantage of these is they are shorter than the more commonly used palms, so you’re not stuck just staring at the trunk.
In vogue indoor plants
Inside the house, the reign of the fiddle leaf fig is coming to an end (although if you’ve managed to keep one of these fickle fellows alive, don’t bin it – it’s still a gorgeous plant with enduring appeal). Just as with the outdoors, cacti and succulents are having a fashion moment in interiors. These plants can look stunning in a little windowsill or tabletop vignette and – even better news for less confident gardeners – they can be much more robust and low maintenance than other popular indoor plants. We love Euphorbia ‘Cowboy’ and Sansevieria ‘Congo’, which can both thrive indoors.
One of the appealing characteristics of the fiddle leaf fig is its size and scale, with a mature specimen having an undeniable presence in a room. To achieve a similarly dramatic effect with another on-trend interior plant, look to fan palms, such as Licuala ramsayi or Licuala elegans. These elegant plants add height – an essential ingredient for a well-composed room scheme – as well as the opportunity to play with light and shadow, as one can position the plant to cast a fan of dramatic shadows across a wall.