Many garden trends are just about cosmetics, and don’t ultimately make a big difference. But there are some trends that transcend the whims of the moment and tell us important things about the broader picture of human psychology and society. Last year was a strange of difficult one for many of us, and we are starting this year with immense uncertainties about the future. But looking at some of the garden trends for 2021 can actually give us a lot of hope regarding what is to come.
In this article. I will talk a little about some interesting garden trends that provide hope for those with an interest in eco-friendly living and sustainability. Building on a growing interest in all forms of gardening in 2020, 2021 is set to be a year in which mainstream gardeners embrace changes that will be beneficial for people and planet.
Here are some interesting garden trends for 2021 that will likely shape our gardens and lives not just this year, but for many years to come:
Food Production Garden Trends
One of the great things to come from a difficult 2020 was the rise in the number of people galvanised into growing their own food at home. And this is a trend set not just to continue but to rise exponentially. More and more people are recognising the joys and rewards of home growing. And more and more people are growing their own food year round.
Look at the trends for the upcoming gardening season, you will will also see that there is a growing interest not just in growing food – but specifically in sustainable food production. The concepts of organic gardening, and holistic design systems like permaculture that have sustainable ethics at their heart – are becoming more mainstream.
People are increasingly seeing that many of the world’s problems can be solved in a garden. And they note that food production is at the heart of these endeavours. Sustainable food production and gardening ideas that were once on the fringes are now coming to the fore.
In this vein, one key trend within food production is greater integration. There is a growing understanding that vegetable plots are not separate and distinct areas, divided from other parts of the garden, but should be viewed holistically, as part of the whole garden ecosystem. Forest gardening, polyculture planting, and edible ornamentals are all key ideas gaining in popularity, which are set to continue gaining in popularity this year.
Bringing The Indoors Outdoors
It is no surprise, given that some many people have had to stay home, that outdoors living is also a hot trend. Of course, outdoors living has been popular for some time. But there is yet more interest in making sure that the garden really is an extension of the home. Outdoors cooking, dining and seating are all enduringly popular, and there is hope in the idea that people are really valuing their gardens and spending more time in them than ever before.
The pandemic has changed the way we use our homes – not least because so many people are working or learning from home. There is growing recognition that a garden is not just something to look out on from the windows, but a key living space where we can work, rest, learn and play. There is an increased understanding of the healing and nurturing power of the natural world, and of the benefits that come from having a closer connection with the living world around us.
While, in the past, outdoors living areas have been separate areas, now, integration is one more key. Living areas are being blending into planting, with holistic design ideas that bring together the human build environment and outdoors furniture with the natural world.
Bringing Plants Indoors
Houseplants have been enjoying a resurgence over the past several years. They have been a key feature of on-trend interiors. But now, more than ever before, keeping plants indoors as well as outside is seen holistically, in the context of the wider environmental picture.
There is a growing understanding that keeping houseplants is not just about making our homes visually appealing. It is also about enriching our lives and our living spaces. And improving air quality. Plus, it is about living in an eco-friendly and sustainable way. And living in harmony with plants and all of the natural world.
Houseplants are also, increasingly, a gateway to other gardening. And a gateway to other steps that allow someone to live in a more sustainable way. To make the most of their space, whether they have a large garden or not.
Small-Space Innovation Garden Trends
Another important trend this year is all about making the most of every inch of space. Small space gardening has been rising in popularity over recent years. But 2021 is set to see this interest rise even further. Gardens have become such a valuable thing to people living in lockdown. And people have been finding new and innovative ways to make the most of all the outside space available – no matter how small.
Using vertical gardens and vertical gardening techniques is very more popular. And container gardening on even the smallest of scales is a cheering sign. It shows that people recognise that it is important that they make the most of whatever space they have.
More and more people are not just buying vertical gardens, but are taking matters into their own hands. They are taking a DIY approach. And creating budget friendly small space gardens using natural and reclaimed materials.
Upcycling and Reuse
The zero waste movement is also becoming ever more mainstream. Upcycling and reuse are hot topics right now – not just in the home but in the garden too. In the face of the health crisis, more people are recognising the other major crisis we face – the climate crisis. There is a growing awareness that our habits and systems need to change. That is, if we stand a chance of meeting our net zero goals. And that waste is abhorrent – in all its forms.
The zero waste concepts and eco-friendly garden design ideas are definitely winning through. More and more people use items in their gardens that would usually have been thrown away. And see the benefits of using reclaimed materials rather than buying new.
Following trends is not about working out which colours are ‘hot’ this year. It’s not about looking at which plants are popular, or which particular planting schemes you employ. It is about looking at the bigger picture. It’s about analysing how things are changing about how people use their gardens, and live their lives. The broader trends in gardening outlined in this article show us how our gardens are increasingly helping people live in more eco-friendly and sustainable ways. They give us hope that more and more people are working towards creating the ethical future we want to see.
Have you embraced one or more of the trends mentioned above? Have you identified any other garden trends that interest you this year? Let us know in the comments below.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.
To get in touch, visit https://ewspconsultancy.com.