Landscape trends are being driven by societal trends. That’s abundantly apparent in the Garden Media Group’s Garden Trends Report for 2023. The report is intended to help garden centers and landscape professionals plan for what customers will be requesting. I present some of the highlights here to help your creative juices begin to flow.
The report starts out with the statement that the two driving forces of the moment are the individual and access – summed up as self-reliance. Personal empowerment includes things like growing our own food. It’s estimated that 8.5 million people turned to gardening during the pandemic and 75 percent intend to continue as pandemic restrictions ease.
As housing prices soar, cities are accommodating accessory dwelling units (ADUs). ADUs are self-contained living units that can be attached or detached from single family homes. The report refers to this as the Backyard Revolution. As a result, containers continue to be a significant gardening trend, especially with 35–45-year-olds. Roses, bred to live in containers, are trending, as are miniature vegetables – even lettuce. And green walls are coming of age to provide privacy.
The report refers to Baby Boomers as “Super Agers” whose brains function as if they were 30 years younger, noting that they are making their landscapes accessible as mobility limitations and other health problems begin to challenge them. It mentions raising planting height (raised or elevated beds) for those who can no longer kneel and making landscapes accessible to those with wheelchairs and walkers.
The report goes on to indicate that aging boomers are purchasing midcentury modern products like retro metal lawn chairs, pagoda umbrellas and plants with a tropical flair.
A section indicates that ancient Greece is inspiring garden design with everything from columns, statuary, stone walls and archways to boxwood hedges and roses. It went on to say that Gen Z is embracing this.
Two pages are devoted to the proliferation of battery powered tools. Depending on where you live, a robot mower might be a good investment. The report also mentions a new companion to the robot mower – a robot weeder. Speaking of technology, the report even devotes a page to phone apps, including one that “allows you to shop, log plants, calculate planting and harvesting dates, and find recipes.”
The report also has a section on climate change. Needless to say, it indicates that the earth is getting warmer than the zones on the current hardiness map. Other trends are whimsical and eclectic gardens, filled with bold colors, texture and art. Finally, the color of the year is terra cotta.