Like anything else, horticulture sees its fair share of yearly trends. Some stick around, some are fun, and some are a little odd. It’s fun to look at trends over the years and how they differ. Whether it’s an aesthetic craze or popular growing technique, gardeners express their creativity through growing trends. These trends usually originate from newly revealed information, a meaningful cause, or from someone’s example. People gravitate towards originality and creativity, and gardens are perfect for showcasing these qualities.
Unique heirloom veggies, tiered garden beds, and organic pesticides are a few examples of trends that have survived their predecessors due to their benefits and results. As we look back on the popular trends of 2017, we have to wonder which ones will go the distance. You may be tempted to try every fresh gardening idea, and you can! They’re interesting and let you expand your gardening creativity. As long as you keep your garden irrigation on point, ensure the climate is right, and give your plants helpful nutrients to feed them, you should be able to experience any garden trend.
The following are a few practices that we’ve seen grow in popularity during 2017. If one sounds particularly fun or innovative that you haven’t tried yet, make 2018 the year you try it!
Gardens comprised of heirloom vegetables have grown in popularity; this is evident by scrolling through Instagram alone! Heirlooms are beautiful, nutrient-rich, flavorful plants that aren’t hybridized with other varietals. They have a common ancestor and developed through open pollination in specific climates which lead to their unique style. While their yield isn’t as frequent as hybrids, heirlooms are being rediscovered and loved for their rich flavor and local suiting. Heirloom seeds have interesting stories about their parentage and produce less-uniformly, so harvests are spread out. Because they take after their parent, gardeners plant heirlooms accustomed to their region which will yield the strongest results. Of the recent trends, this one has a strong chance of sticking around.
This trend is both aesthetic and growth beneficial. Wall gardens utilize non-traditional space, add unique color and texture, and look beautiful. Acting as living art that can spruce up any environment, wall gardens are a great way to grow things such as herbs and flowers. They utilize minimal space, soil, and water to create a unique take on traditional, horizontal gardens. This trend is, in a way, a part of the urban gardening trend that will be discussed later. Basically, living walls bring gardening to more urban areas that aren’t privy to the ground space typically needed for a garden.
Aesthetic and easier on the back, tiered garden look beautiful because the tiers add an extra dimension. Like building a step garden, these are perfect for showcasing flowers and vined plants or growing tall and short plant on different tiers, simultaneously. The different planting heights can bring short plants such as lettuce up closer to you and keep tall plants such tomatoes or sunflowers at a reasonable height. They give practicality for ease of plant management and aesthetic appeal to a section of your yard.
Pizza gardens, salsa gardens, cocktail gardens, and salad gardens — these are a few examples of gardening with a purpose. This trend is about creating a garden comprised of vegetables used together in one recipe. Most gardens are beautiful, but the vegetables don’t always work together in a meal. Growing with a purpose means the garden, when ready for harvest, can be used in one recipe. The result is a completely homegrown meal, snack, or drink that emphasizes the beauty and tastes of your work. Additionally, it provides an extra incentive to grow. For gardeners who need a goal other than nurturing life, they can create a garden that will be turned into a delicious meal for family and friends.
As mentioned earlier with living walls, urban gardening is a trend quickly growing in popularity. Once common in the early and mid-1900’s, urban gardening is seeing a renaissance. Whether it’s a hanging planter on the windowsill, a small garden bed on a porch, a rooftop raised garden, or converted lot, urban living can support the beauty of a garden with a little creativity. It helps localize some of the urban area’s produce, reduces the transportation needs for food, and introduces plants and vegetables that may not be common to the area.
These are some of the trends that we’ve seen which we think will stick around and continue to grow (pun intended). Many gardening trends are regional due to climate and growing conditions. However, trends can start from anywhere, and if you have an idea, you should share it with fellow gardeners. Who knows, it may become a national trend!