Garden Trends for 2023

  • We live in a digital age and gardeners are going electric or battery powered at a rapid rate. Many communities have imposed complete or partial bans on leaf blowers. There is a movement in many communities to phase out specifically gas-powered leaf blowers and also other gas-powered lawn equipment. Regardless of the legislative moves, many individuals on their own have been converting to new tech equipment. Digital age homeowners are embracing the tech of clean and quiet electric equipment and adjusting their landscapes to reduce gas powered equipment to get the job done.
  • As an Apollo age boy who remembers watching the moon landing in 1969, it’s fun to see the resurgence in interest on all things Moon. How about Moon Gardens? Google Trends says the term will peak in 2023. Plant choices like white flowers that “show off” during evening hours in outdoor entertaining areas, hardscape designs, moon gates, are examples of the interest.
  • Many areas of the country are experiencing a housing shortage. Inventory has fallen and buyers are being priced out. Home values have risen at a rapid rate. Roughly 73 million millennials are entering their prime first-time home-buying years. Maybe now is not the time to buy a house thanks to higher interest rates and the higher cost of a starter home. Next year, instead of moving, homeowners will invest in the home and yard they have, improving their indoor and outdoor spaces as they look ahead to several years at the same address? Demand for rentals and accessory dwelling units (ADUs) self-contained living units that can be attached or detached from single-family homes. Zoning reforms in some communities are reducing minimum lot sizes. Approvals for ADU’s are becoming easier to obtain. With this movement the garden industry will see great demand for small space design, vertical gardening, and container gardening with searches reaching new highs on Google Trends. Demand for plant material that is more compact or vertical will grow. Vertical design, green walls, arbors and fencing are just some of the ways this trend is growing. A great example is Proven Winners Color Choice Shrub landscape shrub of the year PURPLE PILLAR® Hibiscus syriacus. If you thought you didn’t have enough space to grow a big Rose of Sharon, ‘Purple Pillar’ is perfect for you. Think of all the areas in your landscape where you could squeeze in a burst of summer color. A very fastigiate selection, Purple Pillar® rose of Sharon brings the durable, easy growth of the genus to narrow spaces. Purple Pillar® is a very unique rose of Sharon. It naturally grows as a narrow column instead of a wide, spreading plant. People who live in “cottage clusters” are going to want to garden too!
  • Boomers like yours truly, have become become what they call “Super Agers.”  We are entering an era of “Super Agers,” where we are living longer and remaining active. Things like exercise equipment, housing, gardening methods and accessible opportunities for those “north of 60” will adapt in order for this segment of the population to thrive.
  • Brands who tug at the nostalgic heart-strings of “Down-Agers” (those younger than boomers) will win their business. Retro metal lawn chairs, pagoda umbrellas, statuary, tropical plants, cottage gardens and use of traditional favorites like lilacs or sowing seeds for cut flowers will be enjoyed by all ages.
  • The general sense that homegrown is best.
  • Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons may have made Grease a smash hit, but gardeners are putting Greece on the map. Greece is the word.  And Mediterranean style gardens. Not only is this style conducive to using less water but it is very beautiful. Nostalgia returns to its roots this year as people take inspiration from Ancient Greece. Corinthian home decor, statuary and boxwood hedges. Classic Greek gardens are designed to stand up to the elements. Stone walls, archways, and a pale-colored backdrop are typical features of a Greek garden.  Add some statuary and terracotta hues, arches and use some symmetry to create an effect. Olive trees are the IT plant in Europe right now. And how appropriate! With serious drought threatening many olive groves in Spain, olives have been in the news. Create impact by elevating raised beds and patios. Key plants are hardy, water-wise succulents, boxwood, and roses. Grow bulbs such as agapanthus and Alliums.  And don’t forget Herbs! Where gardeners need to be drought conscious, Mediterranean-style gardens are seeing a surge in popularity.  If you don’t live in a dry climate, there are still plenty of ideas to gather from Mediterranean-style gardens and sun loving herbs are an important living element!
  • Abundant gardens. Less about “curb appeal” and more about the usefulness of plants. Enjoying the ornamental beauty of edible plants and mixing them in with their other trees and shrubs in the landscape.
  • Flower farming. Many gardeners are experimenting with growing cut flower gardens at home. Even if you only have a small spot in your yard, planting some zinnias, gomphrena, cosmos and daisies is possible for cut and come again fresh flowers in a vase for your indoor living space.
  • Low-maintenance gardening including interest in ornamental grasses as an example, due to their drought resistance, deer and pest resistance and erosion control attributes.
  • Patterned tiles in the landscape. Statuary and stones.
  • Here’s a novel concept. Sharing gardening tools with neighbors. Sustainable, economical and community oriented.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture first published the plant hardiness zone map in 1960. It is based on the average annual minimum temperature of any given spot. Each zone marks a 10°F band, from – 60°F in zone 1 to 70°F in zone 13. Since the map was last updated in 2012, nearly half the country is at least half a zone warmer. Researchers believe the lines will continue to march northward. This is referred to as “climate velocity” and it will affect the kind of plants we can put in the ground here in the Midwest/North. Plants previously deemed “not hardy” will used in landscapes north of where they are accustomed and the “growing season” will expand.
  • Climate change will continue to cause an evolution in how we define a “yard.” Years of the iconic broad expansive lawns complete with clothes line poles and laundry swaying in the breeze and swing sets are in some parts of the country being replaced by something more sustainable. In Los Angeles County you are paid cash to tear out your lawn: LA turf rebates And it’s not just California. Look at Colorado where community ordinance prohibits turf in common areas, medians, curbside landscape and front yards. Backyard turf is restricted to 45% of the area, or 500 square feet, whichever is smaller: : https://kdvr.com/news/local/castle-rock-limits-new-grass-lawns/ and https://www.9news.com/article/news/local/local-politics/aurora-grass-restrictions/73-0bb0045e-94e6-4f45-aed8-1b5c6ba1d527
  • Tree planting. What a novel concept!  Plan to see businesses and consumers join nonprofit groups and governments in a global tree-planting boom. Last year saw billions of trees planted in scores of countries worldwide. With climate concerns and warming temperatures we’ll continue to see an interest in both the care of and planting of trees.
  • Vertical gardening. Though vertical gardening has been popular for a while now, we’ve seen a resurgence of interest due to a focus on maximizing small spaces.
  • Gardeners tearing out their lawns and swapping them for drought-tolerant and pollinator-friendly plants
      In summary there is a post pandemic recognition that “gardening helps me feel hopeful and positive.”  Homeowners are maximizing and personalizing their outdoor space. Informal cozy outdoor spaces for casual conversation. As many learned in 2020, gardening and the time you spend in an outdoor space that you have created, relieves stress and makes us feel more positive. 

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