Just like flowers bloom and fade or harvests thrive and shrink, gardening trends also come and go. While tried-and-true favorites will always be in season, it can be fun to try different trends and experiment with hot new techniques – which trends will you give a green thumbs up in 2016?
Top 10 2016 Garden Trends
From more color to a longer gardening season to high-tech gardening help, there are a wide variety of trends in the garden this year. There are different ways you can apply each trend, and it can be an exciting gardening adventure to find just the right way to be trendy.
Single Color Flowerbeds
Instead of a riot of color in the flowerbeds, this year's trend is toward appreciating the subtle beauty of a range of similar shades. Go for an all-white garden with hues from creamy to snowy for an elegant option, or choose your favorite color and experiment with how many different shades you can blend together for one colorful statement.
Neutral white, brown and gray tones will always be welcome in the garden, but you can heat things up with a bolder color on your fence, shed or gate. Darker shades of blue and gray are especially popular because they help the colors and structures of the plants really pop, creating a bold and sophisticated look.
Spring and Fall Appreciation
Instead of planning your garden to be at its best only at the height of summer, pay more attention to the brief but amazing beauty of spring and fall. Look for flowers, foliage and edibles that do their best early or late in the season, and pay attention to the structure of plants as well so they add texture and interest to every gardening space in every season.
Gardens as Living Spaces
More than ever, gardens are part of our lives, and they're being designed as true living spaces. Abandon straight, even rows and regimented layouts for flowing, relaxing spaces that incorporate a chat area, meditation nook or reading corner. Include comfortable seating, LED lighting and fire pits to truly bring your life outdoors.
In addition to living space gardening, another hot 2016 trend is landscaping for your pet. Controlling lawn and garden chemicals to protect your pet is just the beginning – these gardens also include plants that are beneficial to your pet, turf that is pet-friendly and plenty of space for pets to enjoy and explore. Avoid plants that may be toxic to pets, or sharp thorns that can cause injuries.
This year's garden isn't just about the classic fruits and vegetables, it's about a refined palette and distinctive tastes. Consider heirloom varieties of your favorite garden crops, or experiment with more exotic tastes and rare herbs. Edible flowers, microgreens and other unusual options are all part of this unique trend.
Gardeners have always been aware of beneficial bugs, but the trend to create pollinator-friendly gardens is increasing. These spaces use native plant varieties that can serve as host plants as well as food for a range of welcome pollinators, including bees, butterflies, moths and hummingbirds. Less pesticide is also critical for this garden's success.
Gardening does not have to be done in isolation, and there are a variety of great garden apps that can help you plan layouts, choose plants or connect with other gardeners. Try apps that can monitor rainfall and control sprinklers or mobile calendars that can remind you of essential garden tasks to stay up-to-date on all your gardening information.
Gardening in 2016 isn't just an outdoor activity. Rather than a few random houseplants, true indoor gardening is a hot trend, from terrariums to succulent containers to large, luscious containers that follow the spill-thrill-fill formula. Be sure indoor plants have adequate sunlight, temperatures and moisture, and you can garden in the comfort of your favorite room no matter what the season or weather.
Make Your Own Trend
The best thing about trends is that they're always changing. If you see a new plant you want to try in the garden, or you have an idea for a new landscaping layout, or you want to redesign a flowerbed for a specific purpose, go for it! Your trendsetting just might become the hottest new idea next year.