Some garden trends—like manicured lawns, rows of evergreens, and enchanting cottage gardens—will never go out of style. But sometimes we want to branch outside of traditional landscaping ideas, try something different, and create a beautiful space in our yard to better suit our lifestyles. Turns out, we’re not the only ones who feel this way: Katie Tamony, Monrovia’s chief marketing officer and trend spotter, says this craving for more personalized landscape design is growing tremendously.
Tamony says, “Personalization of your outdoor space can take on specific design attributes, but in a lot of instances, it’s more than that. Our research is telling us that gardening offers a unique connection. It could be a connection to the environment–interest in pollinators like bees and birds. For some, it is creating a functional and beautiful space that allows them to connect to family and friends. For others, it’s about developing a calming sanctuary to relax and unwind.”
During the pandemic, most of us spent more time at home, which created a renewed interest in gardening and outdoor living. Tamony says, “At the beginning of the pandemic, this interest was more about freshening up the areas where we were spending more time and making outdoor spaces more comfortable. Now homeowners are maximizing and personalizing their outdoor space.”
We were curious about what other gardening trends were emerging for next year, so we tapped the team at Monrovia and dug into their consumer research findings from thousands of people to learn more. Here are the biggest garden trends for 2023—plus the plants that will help you get the look (just make sure to check your USDA hardiness zone to find out which ones you can grow successfully).
1 Garden of Eden
The wild, earthly, Garden-of-Eden vibe is going to be big for gardens this year. So how do you translate that aesthetic to your own backyard? For starters, try mixing in edible plants with the rest of your landscape—don’t just contain them to raised beds. This trend is also all about nurturing nature by incorporating pollinator- and bird-friendly plants, using organic products, and being mindful of soil health.
Tamony says, “This trend is about creating a space that is teeming with life and activity. An abundant garden incorporates the usefulness of edible plants with the love of pollinator plants. It also includes providing season-long habitat for birds. Using herbs, trees, and other shrubs and weaving things together in the space. We see this trend surging, especially with younger gardeners.”
2 Architectural Simplicity
This elegant trend is inspired by travel (think: European estates, wineries, or luxe hotels) and invokes the feeling of elegance, history and tradition. To copy this trend at home, you’ll want to stick to a limited color palette (for instance, green and white) and repeat forms through masses and rows for a strong visual impact. Topiaries, sculptural succulents, boxwood hedges, and garden walls all work well for this trend.
Tamony says, “Homeowners who are attracted to architectural simplicity often work with a professional for design and installation, or start their own design thinking of boxwood or grass borders and then punctuating with a few flowering shrubs, but very traditional, such as roses or hydrangeas.”
3 Upscale Relaxation
We could all use a little extra R&R, and this trend is about mimicking the feeling of being on vacation in your own backyard. “Our research has shown that the number one reason people are taking on an outdoor project is to create a space to relax and unwind,” says Tamony. “We are seeing people investing more in quality furnishings, elaborate firepits, pizza ovens, water features, and more to create a relaxing and enjoyable outdoor space.”
This landscape trend relies on plants with different ombre shades, texture foliage, tropicals, and grasses that catch the breeze. “We’re also seeing the use of houseplants with this trend,” adds Tamony. “Larger plants that may typically live inside the home are being brought outside for the season to create a lush, relaxing feel. It’s about bringing a bit of luxury to the outdoors through texture.”
4 New Victorian
Gardeners are gravitating towards more traditional garden plants such as roses, lilac, hydrangeas, and hollyhock. “Blame it on Bridgerton,” says Tamony, referencing the popular Netflix series. “This trend is an elevated maximized version of cottage gardens,” she adds. “These classic, pretty plants bring a sense of history and tradition without the slight chaos of the typical cottage design.”
Though the New Victorian trend is casual and rambling, it’s not disorganized. It also usually features a more feminine palette of pink, purple, and white flowers, along with delicate foliage. The trend is punctuated with romantic garden accents such as white fences, gravel or brick pathways, birdbaths, and stone planters.
To get the look, opt for fragrant roses such as the Eau de Parfum Bubbly Fragrant Rose, Seaside Swirl Pink Rugosa Rose, or the Heavenly Ascent Pink Climbing Rose. Purple flowers such as the Seaside Serenade Crystal Cove Hydrangea and Arctic Falls Campanula also add visual impact to the New Victorian garden.
5 Scandinavian Minimalism
This trend embraces the Danish concept of hygge, or finding (and creating!) coziness and comfort in your surroundings.
“In the garden, this trend translates to a reverence of materials like stone, warm woods, and contrasting colors of black and white,” says Tamony. “For plants, we’re seeing varieties that cascade over stone, and flowers that provide an almost dreamy quality. It’s almost like a painted feeling with natural structure and beauty. Think conifers and airy blooms that sit atop tall stems.”
6 Waterwise Plants
Due to droughts and other extreme weather conditions, water conservation has become top of mind and is more than just a passing trend.
Tamony says, “Being waterwise in your garden is essential no matter where you live. We are seeing homeowners interested in plants that are climate-appropriate, with lower water needs. But they don’t want to sacrifice beautiful blooms, bold color and lush foliage. These consumer needs are driving the plants we are choosing, trialing, and bringing to market.”
To make a major statement in your garden without raising your water bill, try incorporating Rocket Jr. Red Hot Poker, Sweetmaroon Myrtle, Sumerlasting Plum Crape Myrtle, or Celebrations Fireworks Kangaroo Paw.
Ancient Japanese gardens are known for their beautiful minimalism and intentional asymmetry. The contemporary version of this garden style will make your outdoor space feel like a relaxing retreat through the use of groomed leafy foliage, sculptural rocks and water features.