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Garden Trends Report 2023 | Garden for Wildlife

March 16 2023 – Kelly LaVaute, Staff Member

hands holding seedling in dirt with 2023 numbersSource

Garden trends come and go, but some seem to stick around like an unfazed perennial. Each season, gardeners try out the latest in garden trends while exploring more traditional ideas to create their personal oasis.

While garden trends may be slow growing, they can offer surprising and inspired charm when done correctly.

And 2023 is the perfect time to get creative in the garden! With garden trends ranging from embracing diversity in nature to modern materials and tech-savvy garden automation, gardeners are promised an exciting experience.

If you're looking for something new, we believe these ideas will make your garden even better while still being enjoyable and practical. Get ready to flaunt your garden this year — it's going to be bigger and better than ever!

Gardening with native plants

As gardeners look for ways to create beautiful outdoor spaces without resorting to unsustainable plants and methods, native plant gardening is here to stay, and for good reason! 

Gardeners have been reaping the benefits of this new trend in garden care for years now, as its low-maintenance approach allows gardeners of all skill levels to take full advantage of what nature has to offer in terms of a thriving garden. There’s no better way to make your garden stand out than by taking up this popular gardening trend.

If you're looking to start your garden with native plants, you're in luck! Using a native plant finder tailored to the ZIP code of your home or business will ensure that your efforts to bring the benefits of native plants to your property are successful. 

A local native plant finder will provide information on the best types of plants for the climate and environment of your area, giving you the upper hand in keeping them thriving and flourishing! 

Tips on gettings started with a native plant garden:

  • Research native plants: Learn about the native plants suitable for your area and the specific conditions of your garden. This will help you choose plants that are well-adapted to the local climate and will thrive in your garden.
  • Make a plan: Make a plan for your garden, including the layout, the type of plants you want to use, and their placement. This will help ensure that your garden is functional and visually pleasing. Each of our collections comes with a suggested design for ground planting.
  • Include a variety of plants: Include lots of different native plants in your garden to create a diverse ecosystem supporting a wide range of wildlife throughout the seasons.
  • Avoid invasive species: Be aware of invasive plant species and avoid using them in your garden. These plants can easily take over and harm the native ecosystem.
  • Get Certified! Becoming a Certified Wildlife Habitat is easier than you think! If you’ve got native plants, you’re nearly there. There are just 5 components to certifying: food, water, cover, place to raise young, and sustainable practices. 
  • Educate yourself and others: Learn about the importance of native plants, how they help maintain biodiversity and the impact of invasive species on the ecosystem. Share what you learn with everyone you know! Our collective efforts can make a difference for the planet.

The smart garden

Technology can enhance gardeners' connections with their outdoor space. With everything from online platforms to garden automation systems, gardeners can access more garden knowledge and less work. Digitally savvy gardeners can monitor weather and soil composition and even check on their gardens remotely. 

Technology in the garden offers a wealth of opportunities for gardeners to create a beautiful, efficient garden with minimal effort. Here are some examples of the kinds of smart tech that will have a big impact on gardening in 2023.

Smart plant meters

Smart plant monitors have become one of the hottest garden trends, bringing new and innovative ways to garden. These nifty tools are perfect for novice gardeners who use technology to upgrade their gardening game. Inserting a smart plant monitor into the soil helps gardeners take measurements of moisture levels, keep track of light and humidity, and even analyze the soil’s nutrients!

Automated indoor gardens

Grow greens and herbs year-round with the garden trend that's taking indoor gardening to a whole new level — the automated, self-contained garden. The most popular example is the Click & Grow Smart Garden. All users need is to plant the seed and let the garden do the rest.

These automated gardens do everything for you, from providing light and watering down to automatically applying the right heat levels. This gardening trend takes away all the hard work of traditional garden maintenance thanks to its user-friendly ease.

Smart sprinklers

Working to save water, optimize irrigation, and so much more, these technologically savvy gadgets are quickly becoming a gardening must-have. Smart sprinklers can:

  • Detect how much water your garden needs
  • Turn themselves off in case of leaks or breaks
  • Make adjustments according to weather events as they occur.

And all while being able to be monitored and changed via your phone or computer. Not only are gardeners now able to save on their garden's water usage, but they can maintain a healthier garden with lower maintenance needs.

Expandable pots

Garden trends come and go, but one new concept that gardeners are bound to love is the expandable plant pot. These unique containers can expand as a plant grows inside, eliminating the need to continuously buy larger pots for increasingly large plants. 

This is fantastic news for gardeners who want to keep their garden looking neat but don't have the time or money to constantly upgrade garden pot sizes. It's certainly worth keeping an eye out for this latest gardening trend because these origami-style pots are incredibly practical, and look fantastic, too.

Getting started with a smart garden

If you're thinking of taking on the garden trend of introducing smart garden technology, there are some essential elements to consider first. Do your research to find out which garden devices have a positive track record regarding quality and performance. Don't be swayed by cheap garden gadgets as they may not last very long.

You should also assess what garden systems you currently have and determine whether you need or can benefit from some technical support. Bear in mind that garden technology can get pricey quickly, so deciding on a budget and scaling your plans is wise before investing in any trends new to the garden space.

TikTok and gardening

TikTok has brought garden trends to new heights, with gardeners of all skill levels finding support and inspiration on the social media platform. TikTok has allowed gardeners worldwide to show off their unique spaces and discuss their progress with a massive, engaged community. 

Whether it's for garden hacks or discussing the newest garden trends, TikTok offers an avenue for gardeners to express themselves and learn from others. Its global reach is solidifying this platform's place in garden culture as much as Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest. 

These new garden phenomena make gardening more approachable and “Instagrammable” than ever, as young gardeners incorporate their designs and innovative strategies into their garden aesthetic. For many of tomorrow's gardeners, these new trends indicate that they don't simply have to tend a garden or veg patch. They can artistically express themselves too!

The garden of abundance

This garden trend is about creating a garden that flourishes abundantly, with edible plants coexisting alongside traditional garden staples such as trees and native shrubs

A garden of abundance isn’t just about producing fruits/vegetables but also focuses on demonstrating mindfulness in reconnecting to what mother nature provides. Nowadays, successful gardeners err more on letting nature run its course rather than having too many rules for keeping our garden looking picture-perfect.  

The garden of abundance allows gardeners to watch their garden blossom into a fertile space where various plants can thrive.

Lush garden designs incorporating edible  and pollinator plants are the way to begin this new garden trend. It's becoming more popular to take advantage of garden space by planting foods you can eat and flowers to attract beneficial insects while providing a habitat for birds. 

This style of pollinator garden gives gardeners maximum aesthetic appeal while increasing garden diversity all year round. Adding an abundant garden is one of the most rewarding gardening trends out there, allowing gardeners to benefit from their efforts in a truly meaningful way.

The Bridgerton Effect

Garden trends are catching up to fashion trends as the perennially popular Victorian garden makes a comeback in 2023. With its romantic and vintage feel, this traditional garden look will take over outdoor garden spaces in the coming year. 

To fully re-create the nostalgic look, maintain a casual and thoughtfully laid-out space with white fences, gravel or brick pathways, and birdbaths. Whether you choose to keep it simple or “go big” with it, one thing is certain. Victorian garden design can turn any garden into something enchanting.

Tips on getting started with a Victorian garden:

  • Use lots of different plants and flowers: Victorian gardens were known for their diversity and variety of plants and flowers. Consider incorporating various native plants and flowers in different shades, textures, and sizes to create a vibrant and colorful garden.
  • Include Victorian elements: Victorian gardens often featured elements such as trellises, arbors, and gazebos. Use these to create an inviting and intimate space in your garden.
  • Use lighting: Victorian gardens were often used for evening entertainment and socializing, so adding lighting is a must. Use Victorian-style lanterns or string lights to create a warm and inviting ambiance.
  • Keep it formal: Victorian gardens were known for their formal and structured design. Avoid creating a garden that feels too wild or unkempt. Instead focus on creating a grand and orderly garden.

Goodbye lawns

Goodbye lawns, hello gardens for wildlife. We are seeing an exciting new garden trend in the US, and it’s even being backed by states. The anti-lawn movement is one of the biggest garden trends for 2023. Gardeners worldwide are discovering the joys of a garden that doesn't include a big grass lawn but instead incorporates natural materials that provide texture and color.

Los Angeles County offers a significant amount of cash for grass rebates, and two suburbs in Denver are banning lawns in new developments altogether. 

Homeowners across the country want to proactively design their gardens to be climate-friendly by using low-water native plants and anticipating fire safety or potential floods. With a garden trend this dramatic, it’s time to get creative in designing your garden space!

This garden trend is becoming increasingly popular as gardeners look for ways to bring life (both literally and aesthetically) to their gardens through greenery that adds color and vibrancy with low maintenance needs. 

According to a 2021 State of the Industry Report from gardencentermag, 67% of people aged 35 and under want to reduce the size of their lawn while they redesign the rest of their garden with various plants. 

A garden with a smaller lawn space gives gardeners more creative freedom. This new garden trend looks like it’s here to stay as gardeners strive for different, unique uses for their garden space.

bright green lawn bordered by low green bushes


The garden as a tranquil sanctuary

One of the many garden trends emerging from this year's Chelsea Flower Show, sanctuary gardens introduce gardeners to an array of innovations and possibilities. Sanctuary gardens feature everything from garden patios, swimming pools, and outdoor spas to yoga platforms and meditation areas. 

Gardening has skyrocketed in popularity over the past couple of years, with gardeners discovering the positive impact that being immersed in nature can have on their well-being. Society's focus has shifted to finding tranquility outside, growing flowers and vegetables, and transforming garden spaces into outdoor living areas. 

Whether it's a garden shed turned recording studio or a dedicated space for growing vegetables, people are finding more ways to pour love into their garden spaces, turning them into personal havens for relaxation. Gardening continues to be one of the most popular hobbies for those keen on cultivating life amidst these stressful modern times.

An overwhelming sense of tranquility should engulf visitors as they explore a sanctuary garden. It's easy to see why people are using this garden idea after the last few years of unparalleled levels of bad news (and lockdowns). The trend of creating our own relaxing havens continues to gain momentum.

When it comes to plants, one should think form over feeling. Native plants are most often recommended for optimal results. Overall, garden trends provide quick ways to bring tranquility and peace into our lives and gardens.

woman in sun hat on hammock relaxing while reading a book

Tips on how to create a tranquil sanctuary garden:

  • Create different zones: Tranquil sanctuary gardens often have different zones for different activities such as meditation, reading, or relaxing. Create different zones in your garden that cater to different activities and moods.
  • Incorporate seating: A tranquil garden should have comfortable seating options that allow visitors to sit and relax in different parts of the garden. Use seating options that are in line with the theme of the garden.
  • Keep it simple: Tranquil sanctuary gardens are often known for their simplicity and elegance. Avoid over-decorating or cluttering the garden with too many elements. Instead, focus on creating a sense of harmony and balance.
  • Add natural materials: Natural materials such as wood, stone, and clay can bring a sense of harmony and warmth to a garden. Consider using natural materials for things like garden beds, paths, and seating areas.
  • Add a sense of privacy: A tranquil sanctuary garden should be a private and secluded space. Use plants or screens to create a sense of privacy and seclusion.
  • Incorporate sound: The sound of running water, birds, or wind chimes can add to the peaceful ambiance of a garden. Consider adding a water feature for ambiance, which local wildlife will also enjoy. Many birds, especially hummingbirds, love a mister! 

Guerilla gardening

Guerilla gardening is the growing garden trend taking over neighborhoods around the world, not just in the US. From cities to suburbs, more and more gardeners are looking beyond their backyard gardens in favor of guerilla gardening

Guerilla gardening is a creative form of urban gardening. It’s often a communal activity that's revitalizing urban environments with plants. It’s an innovative way to create neighborhood beautification by reclaiming public and private unused spaces. It encompasses all the usual processes of gardening, including soil preparation, planting, watering, harvesting, composting, and replacing with new plants when necessary.

In short, it can empower citizens to be active stewards of public spaces while creating green havens in once-dilapidated areas within cities. With this practice continuing to take shape across the nation, guerilla gardening is undoubtedly set to become more common as local citizens look to improve the natural spaces in their communities.

Guerilla gardeners often work in vacant lots, side streets, or even public parks to create secret garden sanctuaries full of native plants and flowers. Along with being a soothing and meditative activity for gardeners, guerilla gardening offers environmentally friendly benefits such as:

  • Reducing runoff from storms
  • More food for local animal species
  • Increased diversity of urban flora
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides.

Tips for getting started with guerilla gardening

  • Work with the local authorities: Work with local authorities and community groups to ensure that your guerrilla gardening efforts are sustainable and beneficial to the community.
  • Choose the right plants: Select suitable plants for the location and conditions. Consider factors such as sunlight, soil quality, and water availability
  • Use eco-friendly methods: Use eco-friendly methods, such as composting, to reduce your environmental impact.
  • Build a community: Connect with other local guerrilla gardeners and join or create a community of like-minded neighbors.
  • Regular maintenance: Guerrilla gardening requires regular maintenance to keep the plants healthy, including weeding and watering. Make a schedule for maintenance and stick to it.

The millennial gardeners

The Covid pandemic has shifted garden trends to a whole new level. According to recent reports, the pandemic-driven surge in gardening activity saw an unbelievable 18.3 million new gardeners take up the hobby, with the majority being millennials.

Millennials form the biggest demographic in the US, and they’re also proving to be one of the most eager groups when it comes to gardening. While, traditionally, the average gardener has been 35-44, millennial gardeners are emerging as a major trend heading into 2023. 

Studies have shown that millennial gardeners are some of the most adventurous, embracing innovative plant varieties, natural remedies, and sustainable growing practices. As more millennial gardeners enter the horticultural world, we expect to see a creative wave of experiments and ideas shifting gardening trends over the next few years.

You might have this preconceived notion that millennials prefer to stare at their phones while eating avocado, but the fact is that millennials and gardening go hand in hand.

The vege-lution

The trend of growing vegetables in the United States is on the rise. According to recent statistics, 35% of US households are growing vegetables, fruits, and other food. This is not only a way for people to save money on groceries, but it also allows them to control the quality and safety of the food they consume. 

Then there’s the fact that children involved in growing vegetables are more willing to eat them, which can benefit their overall health and well-being.

The US is one of the top three gardening countries in the world, and this reflects in the growing popularity of home gardening. A recent survey found that 55% of people garden to create a beautiful space, and 43% garden to grow food. Tomatoes are the most popular homegrown vegetables in 86% of food gardens.

The average US garden is 600 square feet and can yield up to $600 worth of food in a year. Even a smaller 100-200 square feet garden can feed one person all year round. This shows that gardening can be done on any scale and can still be a valuable source of fresh produce.

In 2021, growing flowers was the most popular gardening activity, followed by growing vegetables and houseplants. This indicates that gardening is a practical pursuit and a leisure activity that can bring beauty and joy to people's lives. With the benefits of gardening, it's no wonder why more and more Americans are starting to grow their vegetables.

Tips for gettings started with growing vegetables in your garden:

  • Choose the right location: Pick a spot in your garden that gets plenty of sunlight, has well-draining soil, and is protected from strong winds.
  • Plan your garden: Plan out the layout of your vegetable garden, including the type of vegetables you want to grow and how far apart they will be. Research the best time of year to plant them. Having native plants or a pollinator garden nearby can actually help your edible plants. It’s called companion planting!
  • Water regularly: Vegetables need regular watering to grow and produce a good yield. Water your garden early in the day to avoid evaporation and to give the plants a chance to dry before nightfall.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases: Keep an eye out for pests and diseases and take action promptly to protect your vegetables.
  • Harvest and preserve: When your vegetables are ready, harvest them promptly and preserve them if you can't consume them immediately. 

What garden trends will you be following in 2023?

Obviously, the 2023 garden trends that we’re most interested in are the ones involving native plants. And the good news is that most of the garden trends listed above work just as well with most native plants as they do with exotic, non-native plants.

Gardening has become an increasingly popular hobby in the lead-up to 2023. As people become more environmentally conscious, native plants have become a top choice among gardeners. Not only do they support local biodiversity, but they also require less maintenance and resources. Smart gardens are also becoming more prevalent, allowing gardeners to control and monitor their gardens remotely.

Victorian and Greek-inspired gardens have also made a comeback, with many gardeners incorporating grand and ornate elements into their gardens. Younger generations of gardeners are also showing an interest in gardening, with many using social media to share their experiences and learn from others. Many gardeners are also getting rid of traditional lawns and opting for native plant gardens and vegetable gardens instead.

Overall, gardening trends in 2023 reflect a growing interest in sustainability, community engagement, and personalization. As gardening continues to evolve, it will be exciting to see how these trends will shape the future of gardening. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting, there is something for everyone to enjoy in the world of gardening.

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