Like all things home-related, our gardens have been the focus of greater than normal attention over the last two years as we hunkered at home down to weather the pandemic storm. Both avid gardeners and newbies alike embraced gardening as a pastime and a way to make all those hours we were spending outside at home more beautiful and enjoyable. Though the recent return to semi-normal life may mean we’ll be away from home a little more this spring and summer, gardens are still remaining a prime focus for homeowners in our region.
Regardless of whether your garden is small and urban or a rural masterpiece, it’s fun to switch it up with some new approaches. This year, garden experts are keen on a wide variety of trends, from “rewilding” your landscape to creating multifunctional spaces, and focusing on eco-friendly garden practices, among others. Here are five of our favorite top garden trends for 2022 that you can easily incorporate into your own outdoor space.
“Rewilding” is a key trend for gardens this year. The idea is to create, within your garden, a native habitat that supports biodiversity and connects us all to the wild, according to Amanda Bayley, CEO of Westchester-based sustainable garden firm, PlanItWild. To incorporate this trend, Bayley recommends designing and planting your garden with native species that support the foodweb and provide quieter, zero-emission mowing and maintenance. When your garden is rewilded, it provides an ideal habitat for birds, bees, insects, and butterflies, which help to enhance local biodiversity, she explains. As a greater awareness of natural elements continue to wield large influence on the way we live and design our homes, it’s only natural that garden trends would follow suit. Making your garden a living natural habitat is a great first step.
The More Uses, the Merrier
Multifunctional spaces have become a bit of an obsession for designers and homeowners of late. Now, the same trend is hitting the garden, according to Homes & Gardens, which named multifunctional spaces as one of its 25 top garden trends for 2022. Combining plants and flowers with additional features will help take your garden to the next level. You can intersperse functional items among the plantings to give the garden greater uses. Try seating areas, water features, lighting, a garden shed or greenhouse structure, a “zen” area for quiet contemplation, and even a children’s play space, which could include an outdoor chalkboard, sandbox, or mini potting shed to pique your children’s curiosity in nature. Being able to use your garden for quiet enjoyment, family time, and entertaining makes the most of the space.
Make it Edible
It’s not just plants and flowers that in-the-know gardeners are focused on this year—veggies and herbs are in demand, too. A lot of homeowners and landscape designers have decided to add a beautiful and practical edible element to their gardens this year. Edible gardens are gorgeous to look at, yummy to pick from, and mixing in herbs and veggies can actually increase garden yields and flower production, notes Nikki Tilley, Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden. When figuring out what herbs and veggies to plant, she recommends making sure that plants and their edible companions will match well together visually and that they share the same growing requirements, such as needing sun or shade, and a comparable amount of water.
While the green-thumb portion of the garden is of course, the most common element, this year, garden trendsetters are embracing textures like wood, stone, and brick and integrating them within the greenery. Brick and stone can serve as anchoring points within a garden and are particularly well suited as the base material for seating areas. They’re also idea as accents points and help to bring a sense of movement to a garden. Mixing up the pattern of the brick is also a fun way to bring visual interest to a garden. Outdoor ceramic tiles, too, are gaining in popularity as design features within landscaped areas. Bring wood into the mix with ideas like wooden stools, gates, pergolas, sheds or other structures, and pieces of driftwood as garden décor.
Awareness of environmentally friendly home and design principles has steadily risen in recent years, and is now finding its way into gardening practices as well. Landscaping experts from Veranda anticipate this trend to catch on in a big way in 2022. Eco-friendly recommendations range from reducing carbon footprint in garden design, to making gardens feel well-rooted to the surrounding environment, selecting plants that are native to your area, using organic seeds, weeding out invasive species, creating landscapes that require little or no irrigation to maintain, and removing the use of pesticides and fertilizers.