The trendiest thing you can do in your garden is whatever makes you happy! While we encourage that to be your goal, we still love to share what’s rising in popularity, in hopes of providing some inspiration to gardeners everywhere.
The forecast for 2022? Intention in the garden. Considering how everything—each plant, piece of garden art or furniture, structure, material, pot, and more—contributes to your space as a whole.
1. Including Plants that Transport You to the Tropics
Travel restrictions continue to deter many from venturing out, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get the feeling of being in a far-off destination. The types of plants best for evoking the “faraway” feels? Tropicals. Though tropical plants have always been a favourite, nurseries have seen a recent boost in popularity. If you’re new to tropicals, here are some beauties to get you started:
- Caladiums (elephant’s ear), which come in varieties for shade or sun, are known for their showy foliage.
- Rose of Sharon is a hardy hibiscus with some varieties
- Rose mallows offer stunning flowers similar to hibiscus.
- Cannas have jungle-like leaves and upright stems with blooms in colours ranging from pale pastels to vibrant oranges and reds.
2. Blurring the Lines between Indoor and Outdoor
You’ve heard of bringing the outdoors in and bringing the indoors out—but why not both? So much time at home has led to gardeners realising that blurring the lines between indoors and out extends the living area. When you stop limiting your idea of “home” to the structure on your property and instead consider your entire property your home, you can create a strong sense of place and connection to the natural world.
Ways to bring the outdoors in:
- Set up a small herb garden in front of a sunny window.
- Use grow lights to bring plants into rooms that don’t get natural light.
- Place hanging planters outdoors, positioning them in front of a window so you can look out and see greenery.
- Plant a climbing plant along a trellis that’s positioned next to a window so you can catch glimpses of it.
Ways to take the indoors out:
- Set up “garden rooms” to extend your living space, providing you a place to get cozy while enjoying fresh air.
- Screen areas using tall shrubs or hanging plants to create the sense of enclosure you get indoors.
- Provide ample lighting with string lights, uplighting, lanterns, and outdoor lamps, etc.
- Get comfy. A lounge chair or hammock will make your space more hospitable.
3. Designing with Dark Foliage
Plants with bright flowers or vibrant foliage colors such as silver or chartreuse are standouts on their own. But the secret to really making them pop is dark foliage.
4. Gardening for a Changing Climate
Long-time gardeners know that changes in weather are affecting the way we garden. We’re all familiar with drought-tolerant gardening and including plants that can handle excessive temperatures, but another manner of gardening is gaining traction: gardening for fires and floods.
Gardening for firescaping:
- Choose drought-tolerant plants that retain water which are less likely to immediately ignite.
- Avoid plants that have a lot of sap or resin-materials used to start fires.
- Add features such as stone paths or walls that function as a firebreak.
- Prune back branches of trees that hang over structures.
- Create defensible space around your home which can slow and sometimes even stop fire.
Gardening for flooding & excessive rain:
- Improve water runoff patterns by incorporating rain garden design principles.
- Create a swale to distribute water more equally in an area.
- Reduce runoff by including permeable surfaces that allow water to slowly percolate into the soil.
- Choose plants for erosion control, especially on hillsides. These plants have roots that run deep and hold topsoil in place.
- Select water-loving plants for locations on your landscape where water collects.
5. Taking your Food from Start to Finish
Edible gardening is a perpetual trend, but it’s always evolving—and so is the way gardeners approach it. An aspect of this trend that continues to rise in popularity is growing food from seed.
Last year, many seed companies reported record sales—some completely sold out of edible seeds, and many gardeners weren’t able to get any.
6. Maximising Balconies and Porches
If small-space gardening at your home is limited to a balcony or porch—this one’s for you. Staying at home more has led people to become more and more creative with their spaces. It’s truly incredible to see how many plants can fit in even just 30 square feet (and sometimes less)!
Here are some ways to fit a lot of plants into a balcony garden or other small outdoor space:
- Include large pots that can handle multiple plants.
- Install shelves for smaller plants such as herbs and other annuals.
- Affix chicken wire to your railing to grow vines or other climbing plants.
- Hang pots from the roof of your space, if possible
- Put plant hangers on railing.
- Mix edibles and ornamental plants in containers to conserve space.
7. Amplifying Colour with Bicolour Plants
Nurseries and plant sellers are always keeping an eye on what colors people are gravitating towards. More recently, it’s bicolor flowers that are stealing the spotlight.
- Fill an entire garden bed with a bicolor plant. This keeps it simple but still gives you the benefits of multiple colors.
- Mix and match. Choose a bicolor plant, such as Supertunia Mini Vista® Violet Star, then choose neighboring plants of each color.
- Think beyond flowers and include bicolor foliage too. Plant varieties such as ColorBlaze® Royale Apple Brandy with flowers or other foliage in corresponding colors.
8. Creating Gardens for Peace of Mind
By now, most of us know that gardens are good for our mental health. But while saying we’ll spend more time in our gardens is one thing, doing it is a different story. That’s why gardeners are becoming more intentional about what elements they add to their gardens, carefully selecting pieces that will draw them in.
- Get sentimental. If there’s a plant that evokes fond memories of a loved one, find a place for it.
- Include colors that make you feel good. Decide which colors you do and do not want and keep that in mind as you select plants.
- Create sensory connections:
- Include scented plants near spaces where you frequently spend time.
- Incorporate plants with soft textures near pathways so they brush up against you as you walk through your garden.
- Add the sound of water or plants such as ornamental grasses that make a lovely rustling sound in a breeze.