2022 Garden Trends And Cerulean Sweaters - January 2022

What do they say about being 'on trend'?  Something like....if you stick to something LONG ENOUGH, it will eventually come back to being 'on trend'.  Like clothes.  If you loved wearing flannel shirts and Doc Martin boots back in the 1990's and you kept wearing them ever since?  Good news.  You're back on trend twenty-plus years later.

With that idea, I suppose it is worth thinking about trends in gardening.  I've posted about trends in the past - here's a 2019 post about how gabion-style walls were on trend that year.  And in 2020 how creating little 'nooks' was on trend. 

There are various times when trends in gardening come out.  The first is typically during the Chelsea Flower show that takes place annual in London.  This year, the show was moved (Thanks, COVID.), but some trends continued to emerge - mostly related to the changing dynamics COVID has brought to our lives.  Something that seemed to percolate out of Chelsea this year was the idea of meadows.  And ponds.  And organic ovals.  And something that is/was brand new to me:  the notion of "To Senesce". What's that?
A catch word that has had people checking its definition, and then using it with abandon, is “senesce,” which the leaves and grasses are happily doing in the M&G garden. As they decay elegantly (or senesce), flowers such as Aster cordifolius become even more luminous. When the Chelsea date moved from May to September, Harris and Bugg were able to keep 70 to 80 percent of their original plants, because by coincidence, they’d chosen specimens that were intended to do well over time, not just for show week. That meant some of their plants, like Hydrangea quercifolia and Actaea simplex ‘Atropurpurea’, are looking at their best now, in September.
Elegant decay.  

What else came out of the Chelsea show?  Look for "pocket forests", all season interest and curves are back.  Over angles.    Bridges, zigzags and informal groundcover, too.     The bridge one is interesting as I've been talking about/thinking about bridges in various ways over the years. From that trends piece:
Stepping stones, and even small wooden bridges were also on display, evoking a real sense of discovery and adventure.

That footbridge from a few years back is still on my mind.   

So, Chelsea is clearly a place where gardening trends emerge.  But, I think of trends that come out of Chelsea kinda like the cerulean sweater monologue in the Devil Wears Prada

Beyond the Chelsea show, there's this second moment for garden trends.  And that's as you'd expect...during the run-up to and flipping over the calendar.   Publications put out annual lists.  And these items seem to be more Old Navy blue sweaters than run way blue dresses.  More, ahem, my style, I think.

I've read a bunch of the lists for this year and they mostly include things that we'd all (somewhat) know:  native plants, water features, house plants, sustainability, growing food, etc.  Something news I saw, though, was when this Australian publication calls out how mid-century style will move to the garden in 2022.  
In 2022, mid-century style is set to make itself known outdoors – "circular stepping stones, over-sized paving and gravel mulch" will be welcomed, according to Michael Bates.
There are other outlets that I subscribe to - including Garden Design's email newsletter.  They put out a list, too.  I've covered them over the years here on the blog.   

Here's Garden Design's list from 2020.   On that list were a few interesting ideas:  vertical gardening, houseplants, composting and inclusion of water.   Last year, they put out a 2021 list, too.  COVID-induced list it seems.  They started with just the idea of gardening in 2021 *was* a trend.  They included houseplants, online shopping and bringing your kids into your gardening.  

This year, they recently published their 2022 trends list and there are a few items that jumped out to me more than others.  That sub-list includes: the use of tropicals, designing with dark foliage, gardening for wildlife, bicolor plants and...something that I've been thinking about a lot lately:  four-season gardening.  

I'll talk about each of those over time, I think.  But, for now, I've already put down a marker on four-season gardening and tropicals in my early preview/organizing entry around 2022.  So, look at me!  I'm on trend already.  Who would've thought?  Not me.


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