Garden Trends Vs. Good Garden Ideas

By Teo Spengler | January 6, 2022
Image by Irina Selina
by Teo Spengler
January 6, 2022

I am not a trendy person. The very word “trend” makes me run in the opposite direction. I have always hated the idea of doing something in the garden or liking some plant because other people do. And yet, a good idea does not become a bad idea just because it’s “trending.”

So where do I come out on garden trends? Most I note and walk right by. Others I adopt and make them regular habits.

Garden Trends Vs. Good Garden Ideas

Garden trends are not all the same. Some are based on ornamental ideas that leave me cold. The white garden trend falls into this category for me. Other trends are based on good garden ideas – like using low-water succulents in our gardens. 

Nobody can argue with the fact that water is becoming increasingly precious and that any effort we gardeners can make to cut back water use is good. If a particular gardener is just discovering succulents and swaps out some water-guzzlers for water-storing succulents, it is hard to argue with the benefit.

Earth-Loving Trends

I am a great fan of “earth-loving trends,” or any garden trend that aids the environment. I can’t say that I actually “follow” these trends, since most are garden habits I acquired before the idea started trending. But I certainly support them.

For example, I have filled my garden with succulents since I moved to my current place in San Francisco. They require little water, little maintenance, and you can grow them easily and without expense from trimmings from the neighbor’s succulents. But I support anyone who follows this trend since it makes our water load lighter.

Other Good-Idea Trends

If I could start a good-idea trend of my own, it would be leaving a messy corner of the garden, high grass, some weeds and a pile of tree and shrub cuttings topped with evergreen branches. It would be so nice for small mammals, reptiles, and birds to have a safe spot in every backyard, a wildlife “fort” where they could be out of the rain and out of danger. Can anybody think of a catchy name we could use for it?

I am a great believer in all good-garden-idea trends. I was thrilled when people started removing water-wasting lawns and planting prairies. I love the xeriscaping trend almost as much as the native plant trend and the pollinator garden trend. All three make our gardens more harmonious with the natural world.

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