Top 10 Gardening Trends for 2021: Shared Inspiration

Photo Curtesy of Arcwind

"Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are." -

Alfred Austin

Trending 1, 2, 3…

In my effort to get a handle on what is trending for gardens I consulted several resources, that include trending garden hashtags on social media, KW Finder, Google Trends, and multiple blogs.

I have not listed the trends in any specific priority so be sure to scan the whole list to find inspiration that will get you out into your garden digging for joy.

Ok lets get into this…

TREND 1: More Gardens Than Ever

Home gardening experienced record growth last year, and garden professionals predict that even more folks will be playing in the dirt once again this spring than did in 2020.  Research performed late in 2020 revealed 86% of homeowners intend to resume gardening in spring 2021.

Approximately half of the respondents said they would be increasing their gardens and planting more crops this year. With all that expansion and enthusiasm comes the need for inspiration and advice.

People are planning everything from "Victory" vegetable gardens, patio planter boxes, new outdoor gathering spaces, and landscapes that inspire and lift fatigued spirits. Gardening offers a healthy mental outlet from the stresses of the pandemic.  Hopefully, this trend will continue, and more people will realize that gardening benefits go beyond just the yield they hope to harvest.

The term "Victory Garden," comes from World Wars I & II when governments encouraged people to plant gardens. The goal was to supplement citizens' rations and improve morale.  Victory Gardens of vegetables, fruits, and herbs were planted at private residences and public parks across the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Germany.

TREND 2: An Increase of Novices Looking for Assistance

A source that provides inspiration and advice to help people become more successful in their gardening endeavors is The National Garden Bureau (NGB)

Founded in 1920, the Bureau began a few years after World War I, when suburbanites wanted fundamental backyard gardening education. The nonprofit organization's objective is to offer instruction to inspire individuals to appreciate plants, ranging from indoor houseplants to extensive outdoor gardens.

With more gardens being planted than ever before National Garden Bureau is experiencing a bit of a renaissance of its own.  People who have never gardened before are now seeking out advice on what and how to grow a healthy productive garden.

The NGB has a program called ‘Year of’ which Bureau selects one annual, one perennial, one bulb crop, one edible and one shrub as their 'Year of the' crops. The executive director of NGB Diane Blazek says "Our 'Year of' program puts a spotlight on timely, interesting varieties. Plants are chosen because they are popular, easy to grow, widely adaptable and versatile."

This year’s picks are:

A popular choice for 2021 is the Sunflower.  Blazek adds that "If there was ever a time where we needed to add some sunshine to the world, it's now and Sunflowers add bright, cheery color to the garden, and they're effortless to grow. They're simple to start from seed, or you can purchase new potted varieties that promise multiple blooms throughout the season."

A popular area of NGB's website is the New Plants section. You can easily find perfect variety by searching by name, plant category, type or height.

You can also find plant combinations, new vegetable varieties and tips to keep your plants happy and healthy.

The members of NGB are made up of horticulture specialists who know gardening well. They are there to help and are a great resource for everyone.

TREND 3: Balcony & Container Gardening

Since 2006 more people live within cities than in rural areas and as a result people have far less space to plant gardens.  With more city-dwellers looking for ways to incorporate gardening into their lives it is not surprising that balcony and container gardening is trending in 2021.

There is a plethora of options when it comes to this trend. 


Usually, space is at a premium on a balcony so upward is the way to go. Stackable planters or tall plantstands are a great way to use vertical space.


For those DIYers, you can turn just about anything into a container, make sure it has proper drainage and a saucer to catch overflow.

If you choose to purchase containers the question to ask yourself is do I want this container to be out year-round or will it just be seasonable like in the case of growing veggies.

Reusable cloth grow bags are great for seasonal or year-round, the can be easily sored but are durable enough to be left out all year.

Other cool sustainable solutions that I personally use and like include:

It doesn’t matter what kind of space you have to work with just work it! Get creative and find where you can add some green freshness into your home.

TREND 4: Wild Gardens

Wild gardens are fun to grow, every year I plant about a one third of my front garden with wildflowers and it explodes with color early spring through late summer. 

I love how low maintenance it is and gone are the days of meticulous garden maintenance.

The patches of undisturbed flowers are highly efficient insectary plants attracting helpful insects such, as bees, butterflies, and ladybugs just to name a few.

Today gardeners are increasingly environmentally conscious and are aware of the need for increasing the population of pollinators, especially the bee.  Lavender is an easy plant to grow and is a beautiful and fragrant pollinator.  It attracts bees and butterflies that bring your garden to life.




The wild look does not need to look out of control or messy.  Experiment mixing wildflowers with herbaceous perennials and grasses that create more of permanent composition. Give your garden depth and texture by framing the look with shrubs in planting borders. 

Blossoming beds of beautiful flowers make a stunning backdrop to any outdoor space.  The growing space requires sunlight with south facing areas are always the best for blooming buds.

TREND 5: Inside Outside

This is a huge trend. 

Being cooped up for much of 2020 is resulting in increased interest in outdoor living spaces.  The concept of bringing the indoors outside is about creating a natural flow from one space into the other making the garden feel like an extension of the interior.

Once in the out space(s) you have created aim for a multisensory experience.  Create a fully immersive space by focusing on innovative planting schemes that emphasize displays of color, fragrance, light, and texture.

At its simplest its about using features like comfortable patio furniture, cushions, a hammock, firepit or an outdoor bar.  Using outdoor rugs and mood lighting are inexpensive ways to make an outdoor space comfortable and inviting.

Or you can get more sophisticated with a built in fireplace, kitchen and pizza oven or an outdoor portal cinema with a projector and screen where you can host movie nights.

Think through the elements you use in doors to make your life comfortable and replicate those outside out by decluttering your home of those things that can be used.

TREND 6: Raised Garden Beds

Raised beds are not anything new but their popularity is on the rise.  Raised beds are a fantastic solution for several reasons, they allow you to control your soil better, reduce soil compaction and make caring for your plants much easier.

Raised beds are not complicated to design or build. 

Typically, they are rectangle or square boxes made of wood and filled with soil.

If you don’t want to build a bed from scratch, you can buy a raised garden bed kits that are quick and easy to assemble. 

Once you have selected the beds’ location, attach chicken wire to the bottom of it before filling it with mulch, compost and planting soil.  The wire will prevent underground varmints like gophers and moles from ruining your crops.

Get inspiration on Instagram with #raisedbedgarden.

TREND 7: Permaculture Gardening

When I saw that permaculture was trending upward, I was happy to see it that it was doing so but didn’t relish the idea of condensing the topic into a Top 10 list because permaculture is such a large topic.

A common definition of permaculture gardening is that it is a permanent agriculture that works with the natural forces of wind, sun, and water to provide shelter and sustenance that is in harmony with the planet. 

Permaculture has experienced a long slow rise in popularity since its introduction in the 70’s.  I earned my Permaculture Design Certificateion back in 2008 through a collaboration between Portland State University, Toby Hemingway and Tryon Life Community Farm.

The definitions above are taken straight from and I encourage you to start there to learn more about permaculture and how you can begin practicing it in your life.

TREND 8: White Gardens

I love this trend.

It’s exactly as the name implies, a totally white garden with stunning white flowers and bright white furniture on a dark backdrop. Use a variety of foliage, switch up sizes/shapes and utilize repeating forms.

A white garden emits a minimalist feel with the all-white space producing a cleansing and calming effect.  It’s easy on the eyes and relaxing on the soul.

Use #whitegarden to find a ton inspirational ideas.

TREND 9: Houseplants & Indoor Gardens

This is another huge trend.

Again, all the time spent indoors has undoubtedly influenced peoples increased interest in house plants and indoor gardens. Also, more people now work from a home, like me, and we crave a little more green around us.

House Plants

Where do I begin?  The variety of plants to choose from is enormous.  See Trend #2 for help.

Indoor Countertop Gardens

You can bring gardening indoors with something simple like a herb garden starter kit to give you fresh herbs at your fingertips. 

If you have the room and budget you can for opt for a more sophisticated indoor farm complete with a salad bar seed kit.

People are finding creative ways to bring the outdoors inside as much as they can. In a small spaces utilize windowsills to keep houseplants or go with a countertop garden, you got options.

TREND 10: Small or No Lawns

Smaller lawns are a trend that has been on the rise for a couple decades. Tearing out high maintenance vanity lawns and replacing them with beautiful insectary plants and editable crops.

I tore my lawns out about 12 years ago and have not looked back.  No more mowing, trimming, fertilizing, and watering.

The executive director of NGB Diane Blazek says “There is still a passion and nostalgia for lawns,”, “however, lawns are probably going to be much smaller in the past.”

Garden beds absorb rain better than lawns and attract pollinator populations and create habitats for native wildlife.

You’re Oh So Trendy

Ok that’s a pretty exciting list and hopefully one of these trends is something that resonates with you.  Gardening shouldn’t be something arduous that you dread but something fun and relaxing.  Pick something from the list to add a fresh spin on your outdoor spaces.  

See you in the garden!