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Garden Trends for 2023: Take Your Garden in a New Direction

While you are sitting at home this winter deciding what direction you would like to take your garden plans for 2023, take a look at gardening trends for the future!

The world of trends is all around us and for the most part they govern how we live our everyday lives. There are companies that make a business of studying trends and forecasting those trends which affect the information and shopping world in general. The study of trends also tells you that they are driven by media influencers, the internet and current or historical events. 

The word ‘trend’ comes from two Latin words – tenere (to stretch) and tractus (course or direction) which basically explains its meaning. Trends occur in music, fashion, business, politics, social media and, of course, gardening. A fun trend is better known as a fad. A fad is enjoyed for a ‘moment’ and may or may not show up again in the future. Trends tend to be around for a longer period of time and some never fully go away. Most trends come and go but there are many that occurred in history that are making a resurgence in the 21st century. A fashion trend from the 60’s and 70’s enjoying a resurgence are bellbottom pants or retro clothes in general. Gardening trends are still around from ‘back in the day’.  Home grown bouquets were very trendy in the 1920’s and 1930’s. This trend continued off and on for decades all over the world and has made a comeback along with the trend of natural and wild gardens. Everything old is new again! Many garden trends are driven by climate change. For example, sustainable gardening, using drought-tolerant plants/shrubs and trees in general, replacing lawns with native, cottage or veggie gardens. 

Some current trends include food as a hobby, tiny houses, and wearable technology.

Garden Centres look at future trends in gardening that helps them to purchase products that will compete with other garden centres and meet customer demand. For example, houseplants were very popular in the 1970’s and 1980’s.  The trend toward growing houseplants (especially ‘specialty plants’) became popular again during the pandemic when we were spending all our time at home. This trend continues today. Vegetable gardening became a trend for city dwellers in the few years previous to the pandemic and continued in 2020 and beyond. Men, women, and young families in particular became very interested in gardening and became more climate conscious in general. A group of new gardeners was born!

Gardening Trends for 2023

Sustainable Gardens

Sustainable gardening is basically four-season gardening that makes the very most of your property. Your garden should be filled with all types of wildlife and activity. Create homes for pollinators, grow your own vegetables, amend the soil with layers of compost and provide homes for birds. Many gardeners are using the trend of mixing edibles with landscape plants.

As we rediscover the importance of putting our environment first, gardens also become a outdoor schoolroom for our children.  It is that invaluable connection to nature that educates children and adults alike. 

Simplistic Modern Living

Simplistic modern living encompasses a look that I like to compare to the art deco period of a history. It is a mix of hard and soft landscaping. Many homes now are simplistic in design and the landscape matches. This does not always mean in a small way. Straight lines with the odd curve are used in house design and landscape design as well. The colors and plants used in this trend are limited and repeated throughout a property. Simplistic Modern Living makes use of manicured bonsai, succulents, topiaries, the use of circles and ball shaped garden accents such as water fountains. Many people find this calming.

There’s No Place Like Home

At the same time, modern living has encouraged people to vacation in their own back yards. Since the pandemic began, enjoying a vacation in your own backyard has gone up a level or two! Relaxing and unwinding is the focus, in a tasteful way, including bringing the indoors out - pizza ovens, elaborate eating areas, full kitchens, barbecues, hot tubs and swimming pools. People enjoy relaxing around elaborate fire pits watching movies and TV on the covered patio deck. Large planters in terracotta and earthy colors are filled with a mix of tropicals, perennials and flowering annuals.

Your garden at home can also be your sanctuary. This can be a small or large area of the yard where you can relax, be at rest and recharge the batteries. We used to call them ‘Secret Gardens’ years ago – close to nature and out of sight of the rest of the world.   

Victorian Cutting Gardens

The Victorian Era in reality was far from ideal living. In particular, filthy and unsanitary conditions abounded in the cities, which forced many people to seek beauty and peace in their gardens. Cut flower bouquets were always present and filled their homes with pleasant aromas. As the name implies this trend follows the pastel look and feel of Victorian cutting gardens filled with roses, lilacs, hydrangeas, hollyhocks, sweetpeas and geraniums. These cutting gardens were meticulously planned to continuously provide blooms. Other flowers used in Victorian gardens were dahlias, phlox, verbena, larkspur, lilies, snapdragons and zinnia. Victorian gardeners also included garden accents such as natural stone birdbaths, statuary and stone planters.  Decorative wrought iron fences were popular as well. 

Scandinavian Minimalism

When I look at this trend, I think of Ikea. Simplistic coziness with clean lines of outdoor furniture, garden beds and the use of stone and wood. Every garden décor piece has a function.  Colors used can be pastels and in some cases black and white. Wicker furniture and plant containers in earthy tones of brown, rust, tans and creams. It is a very simple high-end look and the plants chosen for this garden should be very carefully considered. Less is more!

Drought Tolerant Gardens

No matter where you live the use of water-wise plants is becoming essential. Due to climate change, a good gardening direction to go is to study up on drought tolerant plants for 2023. There are many to choose from! Low maintenance gardening with drought tolerant plants does not mean you will have to give up beauty, color or interesting foliage. Quite the opposite. A well thought out low water use garden incorporates rock, gravel, colorful shrubs, and plants with various leaf colors and textures. Tall perennial grasses, monarda, echinops, rudbeckia and succulents are just a few for consideration.

FYI

Pantone Colour of the Year – Viva Magenta

Perennial of the Year 2023 – Rudbeckia ‘American Gold Rush’

Hosta of the Year 2023 – Hosta ‘Neptune’

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