We love looking into a crystal ball to see what the future of gardening holds! What gardening techniques, styles, and plant varieties will dominate in 2024? Garden Media Group (GMG) releases a trend report every year, and this time around, it’s predicting that eco-optimism will dominate the gardening world over the next several months. People want to tackle climate change and eco-anxiety by making a meaningful impact locally and in their outdoor spaces – here’s how they’ll do it!
Say what, now? GMG is picking up on a trend that sci-fi lovers will undoubtedly enjoy! It’s all about brightening our vision of the future, says garden scholar and historian Tracy Qiu. “We used to view the future like we view the past, erasing its color and vibrancy,” she says. “Not anymore!”
What does this mean for the garden? For indoor spaces, closed ecosystem terrariums will be popular and are relatively easy to make. Inside and outside, survivalist gardens will likely sprout everywhere as more people grow food for their families and plan for emergencies.
And while moon gardens have been around for a while, they won’t be going anywhere as more of us look to enjoy plants in the evening hours, too. Consider selecting white flowers, evening primrose, star-flecked or silver-hued plants, and variegated leaves that give a ‘neon’ glow after the sun goes down. GMG’s report pegs lime as the color of the year, which will also add a futuristic vibe to your garden!
You may have noticed while scrolling through Netflix that things have been getting a little dark lately. There’s no shortage of horror movies, and it’s not hard to find a binge-worthy spooky cult series, either. How does this apply to gardens? I wondered the same.
Social media is exploding with #Gothgarden(ing), #VictorianGardens, #Halloweengardens, #Steampunk, and #Tombstonetourism (over 430K posts!). Cemeteries are getting in on the fun since they’re open to everyone. For example, GMG says Oakland Cemetery in Georgia offers a nature-themed light show and has plans for an African-American section featuring a plant palette unique to the culture, era, and region.
Garden centers are encouraged to get involved by offering plants for memorial gardens and trees perfect for dedicating to the memory of loved ones.
Meanwhile, home gardeners will likely choose to keep things less tidy in 2024, and eerie plant selections might be more common. Plants with darker foliage and flowers like ‘Black Prince’ Snapdragon, Blood Red Sunflower, Black Peony Poppy, and black tulips are perfect for the goth gardening trend.
All About Bugs
The world is waking up to the plight of our pollinator friends, and thank goodness that’s a trend that we’ll see continue throughout 2024!
The interior decor scene is bursting with insect motifs on wallpaper, beddings, knobs and pulls. GMG predicts this obsession will also spark an interest in the plants that feed our beautiful bugs. So, expect to see many more pollinator victory gardens emerge in your neighborhood, featuring plant choices like bee balm, daisies, salvia, rudbeckia, echinacea, and other native rockstars.
And don’t be afraid to incorporate dead wood into your garden plan to support insects. Bug hotels, wooden sculptures, and driftwood or fallen tree trunks are all excellent ideas!
Small Space Gardens
Cities are growing; the United Nations projects that 89% of people will live in urban areas by 2050. But concrete jungles are a thing of the past! Container gardens were a massive trend in 2023 that GMG predicts will continue to grow this year.
People will maximize vertical space and create privacy screens by growing food and ornamental plants in balcony and rooftop gardens. Hanging and trailing plants are predicted to be big in 2024, indoors and out. Trailing plants often require less upkeep thanks to better airflow, and gardeners also love them because they can cover a lot of ground without hogging too much space.
Trailing houseplants include String of Pearls, English Ivy, and Hoya. Edibles that do well in hanging baskets include many strawberry varieties, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, nasturtiums, and herbs. Spilling flowers like Lobelia, potato vine, and petunias are show-stoppers and brighten any patio or balcony.
Technology is at our fingertips, yet we are more disconnected from people than ever. Many of us long for better human relationships, and community gardening movements are here to serve!
While the news headlines paint a bleak picture, people are compassionate and care about the planet and their neighbors. Now is the time to remain eco-positive and effect change locally. Look for various groups and workshops in your area!
GMG points to Gens X, Y, and Z as being passionate about sustainability and demanding it in their growing ventures and the products they buy, from clothing to hygiene and cleaning products.
Garden shops will answer the call for high-impact greenery by selling carbon-capturing plants and fast-growing native trees, grasses, and perennials. Expect to find more resources on growing food in cities and at home, planting native gardens, and replacing lawns with wildlife-friendly zones.
Are You Ready?
There are many ways to effect change in 2024. You have to dig around and find them. Whatever growing ventures you choose, stay eco-positive. You’re helping the cause.
Happy New Year!