Forum gardening columnist talks yard and garden trends for 2023
Trends include vegetable gardens in raised pods and a continuing surge in using native plants and grasses.
Do you know what researchers discovered when studying trends in bike sales? They found they ran in cycles.
Chuckling aside, many trends do run in cycles. Gardening is no different, but if a trend resurfaces, it’s in a new time, with new people, and often from a different viewpoint. The Garden Media Group analyzes such trends in the horticultural industry, both new and recycled.
The organization recently published their predictions for 2023 after analyzing industry trends and consumer habits. Underlying their forecast are themes of individual self-reliance and increased access for everyone.
Following is a sample of Garden Media Group’s predictions:
- Battery-powered yard equipment, such as mowers and leaf blowers, will continue to gain popularity. Arizona offers vouchers to switch to electric lawn equipment, and California will ban the sale of gas-powered mowers by 2024.
- The ever-increasing shortage of affordable housing has caused many cities to adopt smaller lot size requirements. Fencing, trellises, arbors, and small-space screening trees and shrubs are in demand to create privacy in small yards.
- Gardening that’s more readily accessible is trending. Vegetable gardens in raised pods allow access for those who can’t bend, or for wheelchairs.
- TikTok isn’t just for dancing. Short, 60-second gardening videos are now popular.
- Nostalgia is returning. Ancient Greece is even being revisited, as stone walls, archways trimmed hedges and classic garden statuary are becoming popular, which were typical features in Greek landscapes.
- Native plants and grasses are trending, as are old-fashioned flowers such as hollyhocks.
- More lawns will be swapped for meadows.
- The climate zone winter-hardiness map continues to change, with warmer zones marching northward at a rate of about 13 miles per decade. Climate-resilient tree species will be important.
- Terracotta has been declared the color of the year, popular in everything from traditional clay pots to soft orange flower colors.
Other media personnel have produced predictions of their own. Bob Villa says natural stone pathways will be a trend, and he echoes the increasing need for using plants for privacy.
Outdoor furniture made from bamboo, rattan, recycled plastic and other eco-friendly materials will be popular, Villa predicts. His website also describes the increasing popularity of lighting up sculptures, statues and sundials to provide focal points and transform the yard into an intriguing space.
We mustn’t forget Martha Stewart. According to her website, the new trend is to create landscapes that are energizing, vibrant and fun, such as a wild perennial-filled meadowscape.
Stewart says that during the pandemic people needed more living space and created functional front and back yards for daily activities. Her website explains that as people have settled into their home, they’re craving landscapes that aren’t just functional, but show personal style.
Stewart emphasizes the importance of continuing to plant pollinator gardens and choosing climate-flexible plants. Vertical gardening is trending, which consists of planting upward, incorporating greenery in smaller-spaced yards using plants that grow vertically in shape, providing privacy and color without requiring a large footprint.
Celebrity gardening personality P. Allen Smith, for his 2023 forecast, provides a list of plants that are his top picks for the new year. Included are Bacopa Snowstorm Giant Snowflake, Supertunia Vista Bubblegum, Coleus Colorblaze Keystone Copper and Colorblaze Lime Time, Sweet Alyssum Snow Princess, Cleome Senorita Rosalita, Hibiscus Summerific Cranberry Crush, Shasta Daisy Amazing Daisies Banana Cream, Hosta Shadowland Empress Wu, Daylily Primal Scream and Catmint Cat’s Meow.