Following the convention of looking to California as the maker of all trends, let's review a few that I spotted on my recent trip to San Francisco, starting with parklets.

Trends

Above you see one of many new curbside gardens in former parking spaces.  Businesses sponsor a space or two, converting them into mini-parks where passers-by can step aside from foot traffic and have a seat.  The trend is taking off, with whole blocks now sporting these curbside gardens.  Other cities are liking what they see here in SF and copying the concept. 

Another trend is residents creating gardens in the city-owned space between the sidewalk and the street.  Below is a just one section of gardens that stretch a city block, thanks to a nearby homeowner who adopted the space.

Chickens are increasingly grown in the suburbs of San Francisco, less so in small yards in the city.

It's no surprise that succulents are HUGE in San Francisco.  And unlike Marylanders, Californians have a vast range of them to choose from, including the ones that aren't cold-hardy enough for us to grow them outdoors.  

Below, succulents as the centerpiece in an outdoor table.

I saw lots of big dramatic plants as accents in borders, like the banana seen here.   This is something I'm trying this year in my own garden, though because we actually have a winter, even hardy bananas die back to the base and don't reach this height for us until the end of the season. 

Cannas serve the same purpose.

Vertical Garden Trend

A fabulous new trend in California and increasingly seen here are vertical gardens that are simply hung on walls.  They can be almost any size, and look especially cool when the wall they're hung on is color-coordinated, like the one below.

Finally, representations of cats and dogs were everywhere.  Fortunately, that's a garden feature that knows no regional limitations.  

On the right is another example of a dramatic vertical accent, but without nearby ruins to scavenge, I doubt that I'll ever find one.  Or be able to afford it if I did.

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