Garden trends in 2021 are rather different from in 2020 since, although growing food is still prominent, there is an increased focus on raised garden beds and creating pleasant living spaces.

Trends develop in response to how people are interacting with their physical and social environments and are a process of innovation and copying. Last year the advent of COVID-19 initiated a trend to start gardening partly because people were required to stay at home and partly because of fears of running short of food.  In 2021, we still have COVID, but there has been a drift to gardens spaces to live in as well as to be productive.

We have analysed 7 online gardening magazines and blogs in both northern and southern hemispheres and found 31 so-called trends. Since many were related to others we have assembled them in 9 main themes so that you can see if you are part of a trend or a non-conformist or even a rebel.

Major Themes

Sustainability and Growing Food

This theme is mainly about food production, mostly vegetables rather than fruit, as well as raised beds, sometimes in quite formal arrangements, to optimize growth.  It includes composting, worm farms, organic methods, water conservation, permaculture methods, mulching, growing local native plants and trees for shade. An example is from Better Homes and Gardens.  Associated with this were planting nectar-rich flowers to attract birds and pollinators such as bees and providing habitat for them.  Recycling or repurposing items into the garden, such as using an old heating coil as a water feature, are other aspects under the general heading of environmental sustainability.

Another aspect of this trend has been articulated by Paul Bangay, celebrated Australian gardener, is a greater use of succulents, many of which have interesting flowers and attractive growing forms. They can be used to advantage in a warming and drying climate since they need little water.


Rewilding, Mixing Flowers, Herbs and Veggies and Romantic Cottage Gardens

This trend combines a number of factors:

  • more natural, wild appearance
  • colourful landscapes of wildflowers
  • habitat and food source for bees, other pollinators, butterflies and birds by planting nectar-rich flowers
  • a “cottage” style with vegetables and herbs together with flowers

These gardens have roses and lavender among the vegetables, vines and creepers over fences, fields of colourful annual wild flowers and grasses. Associated with this is creating Instagram-friendly images.

Paul Bangay says that shaping shrubs is becoming softer using the natural shape of the shrub as a guide.and less like the neatly clipped hedges which have previously been fashionable,   Westringeas and Correas are well suited to this approach. Australian native plants are also increasingly being mixed in with other types.

The Garden as a Living Space Flowing from Indoors

As gardening became a more prominent activity during lock downs, we have been spending more time outdoors at home, wanting it to be accessible and comfortable.  So a lot of attention is being paid to having direct connection from indoor living areas to both garden beds and paved areas with furniture to relax and entertain.

A part of this theme is small gardens created on balconies or  courtyards where people can relax among the plants.

Another aspect is bringing more human comfort and protection from sun and wind to the garden in the form of gazebos and canopies. And even positioning hot tubs on the lawn among the shrubs.


Image credit:

Single Colour Themes

Most frequent colour is white for flowers, walls, furniture and even shed.  This colour is possibly chosen because of the large array of white flowering plants to choose from.

Grey gardens also feature where shrubs, herbs and ground covers with silver/grey foliage dominate. Garden furniture in grey tones is also popular.

Interesting Containers and Indoor Plants

Continuing previous trends is the interest in indoor gardening using exotic warm-climate plants as features, to clean the air and to provide some relaxing green to boost well-being.  Unusual, stylish containers are also the rage.

Windowsill gardens are favorites with apartment dwellers who want to be part of the gardening trend.  This location is often the only place with sufficient sunshine and light to grow herbs and annuals.

Textures and Patterns

Creating paved areas with mixed colour tiling to achieve patterns, sometimes in Mediterranean style, is increasing.  Other examples are walls where patterned designs are created using bricks or wood blocks.  Use of rattan in furniture is another way of adding geometric pattern and texture.

Buying and Learning Online

With restrictions on travel, buying plants online has increased dramatically and will possibly continue to some degree now that we recognize its convenience.  Also popular are online gardening workshops and videos, especially for those just starting gardens and needing to learn the basics.

Involving Kids

Almost essential for young families during COVID times is finding ways of engaging children in acts of creating and maintaining vegetable gardens.  Also important is using gardens to provide opportunities to entertain the little ones by, for example, going on bug hunts.

Novel Plants

There is more interest in plants that have not been widely grown. There is a move to seek herbs other than parsley and rosemary, such as lemon thyme, lovage, tarragon, stevia or French sorrel. More attention is also being paid to succulents and colourful exotics to grow indoors such as cordyline, bromeliads and begonias.

Minor Themes

Less dominant themes include a move towards topiary, but choosing  and building pizza ovens instead of barbecues outdoors.


Better Homes and Gardens

Garden Design 

Homes to Love

Ideal Home


Homes & Gardens – Country

Pure Wow

Banner Image: