Whether you’re a keen horticulturalist looking for inspiration, or a would-be grower looking to take your first steps in gardening, 2019’s new trends in home gardening are sure to get you pulling on your gardening gloves in enthusiasm. Taking in everything from space-saving vertical gardens to dramatic sculptures, sustainable “victory gardens” to invigorating water features, 2019 will see gardeners explore new territory while reviving old traditions. To find out some of the biggest home garden trends of the year, read on.
1. Back to Basics
One of the major trends in 2019 is the return of the vegetable garden. Pretty flowers may be all well and good (and certainly, there’s still a place for them in the current landscape) but this year will see more us of toiling over our “victory gardens”, and less of us worrying about our roses. The trend goes hand-in-hand with the increasing awareness and concern for sustainability and reducing food miles- after all, what could cut our carbon footprint more than growing our own food in our very own yards? Victory gardens came to prominence in Britain during World War I and II, during the period in which people learned to overcome the challenges of national food shortages and rationing by following the cry to “dig for victory”. Thankfully, most of us aren’t short of food in 2019, but with more of us becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of over-consumption, dubious food standards, and the widespread use of pesticides and chemicals in food production, the idea of growing your own vegetables has never been so attractive. From gooseberries to potatoes, apples to carrots, and tomatoes to red berries, the variety of fruit and vegetables that can be grown in a small patch of land is sure to get you digging.
2. Sustainable Gardening
In tandem with the return of the vegetable garden, 2019 will see a growing trend to “give back” through gardening. As with the victory garden, gardeners are getting turned onto the fact that a garden can be so much more than just a little patch of personal paradise. The potential to give back through gardening (whether to the earth or to the local community) is gaining prominence, and the ways of getting involved can be just as small or just as large as personal preference dictates. Some of the ways we’ll see gardens turning from pretty patches of land to vital parts of the sustainability movement include:
- Turning the land over to fruit and vegetable cultivation, with any surplus donated to local food banks or distributed around the neighborhood.
- Using organic pest control and natural gardening methods over pesticides and chemicals.
- Dedicating areas of the garden to wildflowers and plants that attract pollinators. The decreasing numbers of bees and other insects is a growing environmentalist concern, but by including plants that are known to encourage their population, we can all do our bit to help counter the problem.
- Encouraging wildlife by avoiding excessive “landscaping” and introducing native plant species.
- Adding ponds and other water features to encourage frogs and wildlife (a natural solution to pesky slugs).
3. Water Features
Whether it’s a small pond dedicated to wildlife, a cascading waterfall, or a trickling stream, water is set to be big in 2019. There are numerous ways to introduce water into your garden, but the key trend for 2019 will see a return to natural water features. For a touch of drama, try a waterfall cascading into a pool. Natural springs scattered around the garden will create a relaxed, calming vibe, while a gently trickling stream that meanders through the greenery will imbue a sense of tranquil serenity (and provide a great way of encouraging birds to visit). If your garden is large enough, big, oasis-like pools can create a garden retreat that will be the envy of all your neighbors.
4. Low Maintenance
With everyone leading increasingly hectic lives, the amount of time we have to care for our gardens, let alone spend time in them, is decreasing by the day. 2019 will present a solution to our time-poor lifestyles by focusing on low maintenance gardens powered by Artificial Intelligence. Some of the way’s our gardening activities will simplify include the re-emergence of perennials as the “plant de jour” (their low maintenance requirements and annual rebirth will see your garden in yearly bloom without the constant need for re-sowing); the removal of trees and shrubs that have a tendency to drop their leaves or grow over paths (thereby requiring a constant cutting back or shoveling up); greater use of irrigation systems to take some of the back-breaking work away; the use of durable, high quality stones and gravel that don’t require constant cleaning or repair; plants that are specifically designed for the climate and soil conditions they are grown in (rather than ones that need constant attention to avoid withering in the heat, or freezing in the cold); sprinklers and hose timers to leave you free to travel without worrying about returning to a parched desert; and last, but certainly not least, robotic lawn mowers that can be controlled through smart devices, leaving you free to decompress while the machines get to work.
5. Bringing the Outside Inside
The great outdoors is all well and good, but unless you’re fortunate enough to live somewhere that enjoys year-round sunshine, there’s a good chance you spend most of your time indoors, rather than outside. 2019 sees a growing recognition of this fact and will have more and more of us working to capture a sense of the outside, inside. Some of the ways we’ll see gardeners add relaxing, botanical havens to their homes will be through the introduction of indoor plants such as ZZ, pothos, aglaonema, dracaena, rubber tree, cacti and snake plants – all hardy enough to be left alone for lengthy periods (thereby proving a great option for frequent travelers) while still providing all the stress-busting, oxygen- delivering qualities that houseplants are renowned for. Garden Design offers some great tips for growing plants indoors, including growing larger plants in pots on the floor, adding toxin-combating plants to a living wall in your bedroom, and using trailing plants to decorate high shelves or ledges.
6. Bold Sculptures
As much as 2019 will herald a return to traditional, sustainable gardening methods, it’ll also see the emergence of bold, dramatic landscapes with striking sculptural forms and artwork as their focal point. As Lushome notes, “Original artworks turn functional and decorative spaces into unique and impressive places blending the modern aesthetics with luxury and comfort”. What this means in practice is the introduction of features that add drama while evoking the power of nature, making them perfectly at home in the natural surrounds of the garden. At the UK’s annual celebration of all things horticultural, the Chelsea Garden Show, we saw Andy Sturgeon create an inspiring garden that featured at its heart a massive burnt timber sculpture designed to create the illusion of natural rock formations working their way through a forest landscape. Tom Hoblyn, meanwhile, managed to create a series of raised beds in the shape of sand dunes through the creative use of traditional earth rendering techniques.
7. The Space-Saving Garden
Gone are the days when we were all lucky enough to have a vast expanse of land to call our own. These days, more and more of us are living in apartments, and even those of us in houses often have limited space to grow the garden of our dreams. 2019 will see increased recognition of the problems being faced by would-be gardeners, with new and ingenious ideas being presented as a solution. As Garden Club reports, adaptive solutions such as vertical gardens (a landscaping feature that has gardens stretching to walls and roofs, providing a great, space-saving solution for small gardens and a creative way of introducing an unusual, contemporary vibe to your outdoor space); elevated, raised garden beds; and an increased availability of miniature fruit bushes and shrubs that thrive in containers (making them ideal for balconies) will make gardening a possibility for even the most space-poor. Continuing the theme of leaving no space untouched, green roofs and green walls will also enjoy a surge in popularity, providing as they do a great way of incorporating green spaces into urban areas and giving us all the chance to pull on our gardening gloves and get growing.
8. Architectural Frames
Along with a growing trend to introduce pieces of sculpture and artwork into the garden, 2019 will see architectural frames being added as a way of drawing the eye to different parts of the garden and creating a real talking point. Pergolas are a great example of the style, as is Jo Thompson’s classical colonnade (seen at this years Chelsea Flower Show) which offers multiple perspectives of the surrounding landscape as visitors make their way through. Tom Stuart-Smith, meanwhile, demonstrates the modern vibe the trend can invoke by incorporating two huge steel frames into his contemporary garden for the RHS. Garden Design offers a number of helpful ways of introducing the style into your own garden, including converting salvaged materials (barn wood, antique iron gates, etc.) into useful structures such as rustic pool houses; using local landmarks as inspiration to create similar structures out of re-purposed materials; or even resorting to purpose-designed kits to build easy, ready- to- assemble garden structures.
9. Private Retreats
2019 will have us revisiting the idea of a garden within a garden. As we lead increasingly busy lives, having a private space to decompress and unwind is becoming an ever more popular (and needed) concept. As noted by Bernard Trainor of Ground Studio, “I find intimate, secluded spaces in a garden are just as important as grand vistas,”… a sentiment many of us will sympathize with. Whether you want a private space to meditate, a quiet spot to practice yoga, or just a peaceful place to relax, rejuvenate and re-energize, creating a quiet retreat within the wider space of the garden is the ideal solution. How you go about it is down to you, but there’s many ideas floating around to get you started, including blocking off a “room” with a living wall of plants, using tall, leafy plants as a privacy screen, adding a pergola (which in itself is bang on trend for 2019) and using it as a frame to grow privacy-providing plants, using a water feature to add a sense of serenity (with the added bonus that the sound of water has a well-known calming effect), adding boulders and sculptures to create an intimate spot (with a love seat offering just enough seating for 2), creating a “secret” garden with an enclosing wall, and finally, eschewing vividly colored flowering plants for those of a more calming, neutral hue.
10. Keeping it Green
If you prefer a neutral color palette over the vivid explosion of tropical, rainbow colors we’ve been seeing in recent years, 2019’s return to gentler hues will have you breathing a sigh of relief. Greens and whites will feature heavily in 2019, while the fashion for all things yellow is set to spread from the runways to the flower beds. Fortunately, there’s no end of yellow blooming plants to choose from (think yellow tulips, forsythia shrubs, daffodils, pansies, dandelions, marigolds, yellow irises, daylilies, black-eyed Susans, daisies, tickseed, sunflowers, sedum, and mums) leaving you free to pick and choose your favorites. Greenery, meanwhile, will be no less dominant, providing a great way of introducing texture and form to the garden without losing its natural look. Ferns will see increased popularity, providing an excellent way of adding vibrant foliage that can withstand most conditions (thereby feeding into that other trend of 2019 for low maintenance gardens).