9 Garden Trends You’ll See Everywhere in 2023

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We may not be staying at home quite as much this year as the past few summers, but that doesn’t mean we’re neglecting our yards and gardens. In fact, many of us are putting money into creating unique natural retreats that reflect our personal sense of style. It’s the overarching theme we’re seeing emerge this year—but don’t just take our word for it: “People are asking for outdoor spaces they’ll really use and where they’ll want to spend time,” says landscape designer Kat Aul Cervoni, founder of Staghorn NYC, and The Cultivation by Kat. “They’re looking for areas that are an extension of their homes.”

Curious to see exactly what that looks like? Read on for the top garden trends you’ll see in 2023.

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1. Dedicated Hangout Spaces

Whether it’s hosting family or friends, people want their backyards, patios or even a tiny balcony to become a destination. “People are asking for a place outdoors to have coffee in the morning or a drink after work,” says Cervoni. “The backyard is not just for letting the dogs out. It becomes additional square footage for living.” Patio furniture, grills, a grill prep area and outdoor storage remain at the top of the must-have list. Interestingly, requests for hot tubs also have been climbing.

2. Edible Gardens

As grocery costs soar, many people are growing their own produce. “Tomatoes and lettuce seeds, for example, can cost less than $3 a packet and can yield hundreds of dollars’ worth of produce,” says Rebecca Sears, CMO and resident green thumb at Ferry-Morse. “Herbs like basil, oregano, and cilantro can also be grown at home for much less than purchasing a few sprigs at the grocery store.” Tomatoes continue to be the number one edible plant choice for home gardeners, according to the garden experts at Ball Horticultural. Unique options are increasingly available, including new plants with increased disease resistance, uniquely shaped fruits and compact forms so they thrive in containers.

3. Colorful Houseplants

The indoor gardening trend hasn’t slowed down, though people are looking beyond classic houseplants such as snake plant, Monstera, and pothos. “There’s strong interest in variegated houseplants, especially with silver, white or pink in the foliage,” says Justin Hancock, horticulturalist with Costa Farms. “Also, plants with gold coloring in the foliage are gaining popularity with consumers.”

4. Cutting Gardens

Cut-flower growing has exploded in popularity, with many gardeners adding flowers which can be snipped and enjoyed indoors. Blooms from flowering shrubs also are being used more often in bouquets, according to Proven Winners Color Choice Shrubs. For example, the big blooms of some types of hydrangeas look smashing as cut flowers, and many hydrangea flowers dry well so you can enjoy them in arrangements all winter long.

5. Evergreens

Cervoni says many homeowners are looking for an alternative to deciduous trees, which tend to drop leaves and sticks year-round.  A low-maintenance solution is evergreens, which provide privacy, screening and color.

“Maybe you’re not outdoors in winter, but it’s nice to look outside and see green from your windows,” says Cervoni. Because evergreens come in an array of sizes and shapes from tall, upright trees to adorable, round shapes, there’s one that will work in your landscape.

6. Shady Spots

Whether it’s a shade sail, umbrella, retractable awning or pergola, shade makes an outdoor space more practical and accessible. “Many people continue to work from home, so they want the garden to be usable at mid-day, not just in the evenings when the sun is setting,” says Cervoni.

7. Wild Gardens

Some homeowners are embracing the wild, or meadow, garden look. Think plant diversity and a more relaxed design over neat-as-a-pin beds or tidy rows of plants. It can be done in a small area of your yard, or even in containers, if you’re short on space, says Cervoni. Emphasis is on flowers such as Russian sage, bee balm, asters and native plants which help support pollinator populations.

8. Eye-Popping Color

Forget about sedate colors: This year is all about intense, saturated shades for ornamentals. And there are no rules about what colors to combine together; it’s really about what you love to maximize enjoyment of your garden, says Cervoni.

9. Old-Fashioned Appeal

Like many things, everything old is new again. Nostalgic plants, such as climbing roses and lilacs, are experiencing a resurgence. New rose plants such as the Reminiscent line, have big, lush, bowl-shaped blooms and look and smell like old garden roses, but they’re much hardier and more disease-resistant.

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Freelance Gardening Editor

Arricca Elin SanSone is a gardener with more than 15 years of experience. In addition to PureWow, she writes for Prevention, Country Living, Veranda, The Spruce and many other...