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This is what’s trending in the house right now: Erlicheer tazettas from Old House Gardens

At this time of year, the inboxes of garden writers (and editors of any genre) are flooded with trend report and predictions of what people will be planting, buying, and installing in the coming season. Most of it is so silly that my delete finger doesn’t stop moving enough to read more than a sentence or too. But, just for fun, here are the ones I will definitely be ignoring:

Apps and devices that will work together to send me messages about my plants
No. Way too fussy. And unnecessary.
I do like plant ID apps though and informative ones like Armitage’s. Though—when it comes to getting info on your device, Wikipedia and the various extension websites are fairly comprehensive, depending on your needs.

Plant “tables”
This came up when one of my garden designer friends suggested I have a succulent table. I can see why some might find that novel and attractive, but I like the easy mobility of containers. I don’t want this big object that can’t be used for what it is—a table.

Creating a garden where you can have cocktails
It’s not that I won’t be following this; I just don’t understand why people need to be told that they can sit and have drinks in their garden and need explanations of what they need to do to make that happen. Chairs and tables are a trend? (Sure, I get growing cocktail ingredients if you want, but it really did talk about having seating.).

Paying any attention whatsoever to Pantone colors
I agree with guest ranter Marianne Wilburn on this. As a magazine editor, I know that matching colors using Pantone is very important for graphic design, but I don’t need them in the garden.

Gnomes are back

Trends I do like, if they even aren’t trends anymore:
I do love using native plants, pollinator-friendly plants, and containers of all kinds. Water features are non-trending apparently; I still love them. And here’s something that apparently hasn’t been a trend since the nineteenth century but I still love it: bulb forcing. I also love art in the garden, but am very cautious about having too many objects. This is really a big trap for many gardeners, and the home and garden shows don’t help, with their tempting displays of ornamental goods that might look great on the shelf, but do little more than create clutter in the garden.

We’ll see. Did I miss any trends we should be talking about?

Posted by

Elizabeth Licata
on February 23, 2016 at 8:03 am, in the category Everybody’s a Critic.


  1. I don’t follow trends whether in the garden. in fashion, or in my home. I do my own thing, which is why some people look at my garden and say, “What?” I’m glad there are other people who also ignore them.

  2. Well, of course you have cocktails in your garden! But trending or not, that’s what the whole garden is for, so yes to places to sit a look about. And yes to real art, not kitsch. Gnomes and gazing balls make me think what fun a pellet gun or sling shot would be.

  3. I can take some gnomes, but I can’t take PINK flamingos, I want to get a shot gun and blow them off one by one because they are UGLY, plastic, and don’t belong in the garden or anywhere in the Rocky Mts…

  4. I just put the last few of mine in a glass container filled with glass rocks — I’ve been starting a few each week since November. They all had green shoots even when I bought them, but they still grow just fine as soon as you give them water and light. Easy peasy — go ahead and grow them.

  5. Will somebody please tell me where I can see a plant table?? I’ve seen the term enough now so that I want to see a picture of one. I’ve tried “the Google” with no luck. Elizabeth has just given me a better notion of what people are talking abut. Thanks Elizabeth.

  6. Try Pinterest – people are always posting impractical ideas like this, particularly on garden boards. So many ideas that are cute or interesting in the moment, but would not age well.

  7. I do have a few little gnomes that my daughter likes to hide in the flowers and foliage and move around. Rien Poortvliet’s book was magical for me as a girl, so I like to have a few sneaky guys. I think we’ll make some toadstools too. Great fun, but definitely NOT at all trendy. Ha! (Maybe they seem more stylish after a few cocktails in the garden?)

  8. Trends come & go … & who knows what will be “in” next year. In the meantime, my garden happily grows on without paying too much attention to them. I have lots of succulents, both in pots & in the ground, but none of them adorn (or overtake) a table!

  9. Thank you for stating how I feel about those ‘trends’, Elizabeth. The word ‘trend’ is highly overused when applied to things that are really more like a blip that should never have happened in the first place.

  10. I really don’t understand the whole Pantone colors-in-the-garden “trend”. So when new colors become trendy do you just rip out last year’s plants and put in more. I’ve got enough to keep me occupied in my garden without doing all that silliness. And I like my crazy, mixed-up so-called color scheme just fine.

  11. Brilliant! Gnomes always make me vaguely uncomfortable, but I did by a handful of little stone turtles to scattern in my flower beds last year for the neighbor kids to hunt for.

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