How to Get in on the Getaway Garden Trend (Even If You Don’t Have a Yard)

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Just like sourdough-starting and tie-dying, it seemed like everyone got in on gardening at the start of the pandemic. And like those trends, people thought it would simmer down, once vaccinations rolled out and things started opening up. But the opposite has occurred.

“Those early container gardens and vegetable gardens gave people the confidence to start thinking about bigger, more ornamental gardens,” says Erin Schanen, the blogger behind The Impatient Gardener.

She’s not the only one to notice increased interest; as the weather warms, Google searches for “gardening” are on the rise, and a recent study of Pinterest pins found a few new gardening trends emerging: staycation gardens, social space gardens and rustic retreat gardens. They all seem to serve a similar purpose—providing an escape from the chaos of everyday life (and those same four walls you’ve been staring at all year). So, we came up with a catch-all term to encompass them all: getaway gardens. They’re a backyard sanctuary, whether you want to spend the afternoon with a good book in a shady spot…or simply need five minutes without your kids tugging on your sleeve shouting “hey mom, hey mom, hey maaaahm!” And, the good news is that you don’t need to have a palatial estate to pull one off. We’ll prove it.

How to Create a Getaway Garden If You Only Have…

getaway gardens window
Maskot/Getty Images

1. a Windowsill

If you’ve got a south-facing window, you’ve got a great spot for plants that need a lot of light. (And if you don’t, you can always invest in a grow light.) In this nook, creating a transporting ambiance is key: Consider a tiered plant stand or adding a hanging planter, in addition to lining a few on the sill. An ottoman or pouf will give you a nice perch to take everything in.

Plants to Consider:

  • Pothos (low-maintenance)
  • Begonias (to bring in color)
  • English Ivy (makes for a great hanging plant)
getaway gardens small patio
Andrea Rugg/Getty Images

2. a Small Patio Or Balcony

Use a mix of traditional planters and plant stands to create a sense of lushness (and privacy), then add in some string lights and a small bistro set, and you’ve got an instant getaway. In fact, if you want to make things even easier—particularly if you love the idea of a garden but aren't sure where to start—pick up one of Bloomscape's Bloom Kits. You choose how many plants you want, whether you need soil, and which planters you want, and the whole thing is shipped to your door.

Plants to Consider:

getaway gardens medium yard
Flashpop/Getty Images

3. a Medium-sized Yard

A yard this size is ideal for leaning into the staycation garden trend. Choose a spot near a tree, if you can, to take advantage of its shade. Add a few solar-powered hanging lanterns and a small bench (or table and chairs*), then surround the area with drought-resistant plants and perennials, which tend to be lower maintenance, according to

Plants to Consider:

  • Salvia (can handle a variety of climates)
  • Coreopsis (provides a burst of sunshine-yellow blooms)
  • Hosta (great for shady areas)

*If you go the dining table route, you may want to invest in outdoor furniture covers when they’re not in use.

getaway gardens pergola
Randy Fath/Unsplash

4. a Wide, Open Space

With so much square footage, it can be tempting to sprinkle plants in everywhere, which can turn costly (and require a ton of watering). To create your own getaway garden, you’ll want to carve out a corner of your yard just for this purpose. Consider adding a pergola to create a sense of privacy and weave in a few climbing plants.

Underneath it, create a lounge space with a full sectional, outdoor armchair and coffee table, or go for more of an alfresco dining hangout, with an outdoor dining table set. Either way, it’s nice to add a few large planters with taller plants (like canna, if you’re going for a tropical vibe, or Angelonia, for a more romantic look) around each leg of the pergola—especially if you’re still waiting for those climbing plants to come in.

Plants to Consider:

  • Honeysuckle (the scent alone is transporting)
  • Rambling roses (for more of an English garden feel)
  • Clematis (easy to grow and lightweight, so it won’t pull your pergola down)

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Candace Davison

VP of editorial, recipe developer, kitsch-lover

Candace Davison oversees PureWow's food and home content, as well as its franchises, like the PureWow100 review series and the Happy Kid Awards. She’s covered all things lifestyle...
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