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Garden trends for the new year

Garden trends for the new year flower filled garden with wooden seating area stone pathway and brick element with plants draping over

The internet is a wild place full of an endless amount of information, ideas, opinions, advice, arguments, and more. Tangled in this web, it will come as no surprise that my favorite spaces are those that relate to plants. I’ve been known to have many, many pages open in my browser window that relate to a vast expanse of horticulture topics. As I read through articles to answer one question, inevitably, more questions develop, which demand research and so on and so forth.

Since it is the beginning of a new year, many of my current questions center on the plans I’m making for the upcoming growing season. What went well last year, and what went sideways? What did I most enjoy and what needs rethinking? What is available? How can I find more time and growing space in my very full schedule and garden? And what new and fun things do I want to try this year?

The answers to this last question are always inspired by what others are doing. I talk to friends and colleagues. I am a sucker for promotion emails that advertise new cultivars. I stay up late scrolling through social media looking for pretty pictures that spark creativity. And I turn to publications that help summarize garden trends of the new year. Since a landscape is an investment that endures for years, many trends tend to resemble previous year’s themes in one way or another, and 2024 is no different. This year, according to the Garden Trends report, the overarching theme is Eco-optimism.

Facing an abundance of climate reports that warn of ongoing climate changes affecting precipitation patterns, temperature ranges, and the size and intensity of weather events (we just experienced 2023 as the warmest year on record). Recent trend reports indicate that people are taking notice and are looking for ways to make a positive impact on the environment.

Eco-optimism is an umbrella term that captures the sum of these efforts. Interpretations of this trend take many forms, including people choosing quality products over quantity, turning to natural products that are more sustainably produced, and a continued increase in planting for pollinators. Tangentially related to environmental trends are style trends. Ecoconcious choices can be made to implement current style trends or not, depending on the gardener. This year’s style trends juxtaposed bold, unexpected hues of deep, dark colors or bright chartreuse greens with neutral tones of tans and browns.

In these next few months, as I collect ideas and decide which are right for my landscape, it is easy to get carried away and overwhelmed with all the possibilities. If you are like me and want to try all the things but are limited by life’s realities, I offer you this: Gardening and growing is a deeply personal adventure where there are few right answers.

Trends are ephemeral; they come and go. As you make 2024 garden plans, I recommend that you do your research and gather ideas, fully understand your site conditions, and then make decisions that feel like a good balance for your gardening sense. Some will want to push design boundaries more than others. Some are dedicated to the garden style they have been developing for years. And others, like me, will land somewhere in between.

I’ve got favorites that I’ll never abandon, but I’ve also got a soft spot for what I call the ‘oddballs’, those plants that challenge my gardening skills or make visitors scratch their heads, asking “What is that?”. This level of dabbling in current trends is my happy place. Where is yours? Feel free to write or send me photos…like I said, I welcome inspiration from anywhere.

Good Growing Fact of the Week: Good Growing is also a podcast. Each week, we produce a podcast on another gardening topic. If you want more gardening goodness, find us here:  And mark your calendars because on March 15 we are going to have an entire conversation about gardening trends where we will offer more insight, ideas, and experience with past and current trends.

Thank you for reading!

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