2018 Garden Trends

by Amanda

2018 Garden Trends: Container Gardening

Container gardening is one of the big garden trends for 2018.

With a year of conferences, tests, trials and garden visits under our belts, we’re excited to tell you about the big ideas we think will be influencing the gardening world in the months ahead. Beyond popular colors and new varieties, big-picture themes always emerge on the world (gardening) stage that prompt designers and plant breeders to shift their work towards our changing needs. This year, most of what we see heading your way has to do with population, technology, cooperation over competition, and plants that solve problems. Keep reading to see what we’ve been taking note of!

2018 Garden Trends: Containers

Container gardening isn’t exactly new, but we feel confident that it’s about to get a whole lot trendier! With populations set to rise only in cities over the next 30 years and homes already being built smaller, more and more people will choose to do their gardening in pots.

Two big populations — millennials and retirees — are more frequently living in smaller spaces. Growers are keeping up with this trend by hybridizing favorite varieties into dwarfs, meaning that they're saving everything you love about these flowers, but breeding them to be much shorter. Some of our favorites are Compact Lavender, Dwarf Cosmos, and Dwarf Pampas Grass. If there’s a plant that you love, chances are you can find a dwarf variety of it!

2018 Garden Trends: Lavender in Containers

Lavender is a favorite for containers. The fragrant blooms can fill an entire balcony or patio with their lovely scent.

Containers are a way for those living with small outdoor spaces (balconies included!) to create an oasis for pollinators in areas where they often need it most. It’s also a fantastic way for home gardeners to grow their own food — there are plenty of new dwarf vegetable varieties to choose from, as well.

Even for those with larger gardens to tend to, containers are an increasingly-popular way to dress up porches, patios, window boxes and entryways - or to create a low-commitment color combination that be changed up from year to year (or even from season to season). We’re excited to see what unique and fun container gardens come to life in 2018.

  1. Radiant Glow Coral Bells Collection
Caramel Coral Bells Image Courtesy of Walter's Garden Inc

    Our Radiant Low-Grow Coral Bells Collection shines year-round with richly hued foliage, providing attractive evergreen groundcover in shaded gardens and containers. In summer, flower...

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    Radiant Low-Grow Coral Bells Collection Radiant Glow Coral Bells Collection Heuchera
    As low as $62.65 Sale $53.99
    Per Collection of 4
    Our Radiant Low-Grow Coral Bells Collection shines year-round with richly hued foliage, providing attractive evergreen groundcover in shaded gardens and containers. In summer, flower spikes feature dainty, bell-shaped blooms. Our Low-Grow Collections are perfect for transforming your yard from lawn to flowers, a few square feet at a time! Coral Bells are highly adaptable and deserve a place in every garden. Plant below taller perennials, as edging for a garden border, or as a no-mow lawn alternative. Collection of 4 or 12 plants.
  2. Purple Dream Asiatic Lily

    ‘Purple Dream’ Asiatic Lily looks like a rare exotic flower, with the perk of being reliable and easy to grow. The center of each upward-facing violet-pink blossom is dee...

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    Purple Dream Asiatic Lily Purple Dream Asiatic Lily Lilium asiatic Purple Dream
    As low as $19.99 Sale $16.99
    Per Bag of 3
    ‘Purple Dream’ Asiatic Lily looks like a rare exotic flower, with the perk of being reliable and easy to grow. The center of each upward-facing violet-pink blossom is deeply flecked with plum tones, and ‘Purple Dream’ produces many flowers on each sturdy stem. It’s a fabulous choice for dramatic accents sprinkled throughout garden beds, and the plentiful early summer flowers make spectacular cut flowers too! (Lilium)
  3. White Flame Dwarf Garden Phlox in container garden, Phlox paniculata White Flame

    Flame® PRO White Phlox offers all of the flower power of its bigger cousins, but in a compact, manageable size. In mid-to-late summer, pure white panicles of star-shaped blossoms to...

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    Flame® PRO White Phlox Flame® PRO White Phlox Phlox paniculata Flame® PRO White
    $9.32 Sale $7.92
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    Flame® PRO White Phlox offers all of the flower power of its bigger cousins, but in a compact, manageable size. In mid-to-late summer, pure white panicles of star-shaped blossoms top the strong 12-18” stems, attracting butterflies, bees, and moths. The deep green lanceolate foliage of White Flame PRO® provides a backdrop for this native stunner, and shows strong mildew resistance. Pure white flowers on tall stems make beautiful cut flowers, and deadheading will encourage more blooming. An excellent option for small gardens and tight spaces, or anywhere you’d like to add a bright spot in a sunny garden! (Phlox paniculata)
  4. Pink Lemonade Low Grow Plant Collection

    Add a refreshing burst of color to your sunny summer garden with our Pink Lemonade Low-Grow Plant Collection. These compact, long-blooming perennials are easy to grow, and the flower...

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    Pink Lemonade Low-Grow Plant Collection Pink Lemonade Low-Grow Plant Collection
    As low as $31.99 Sale $27.99
    Per Collection of 4
    Add a refreshing burst of color to your sunny summer garden with our Pink Lemonade Low-Grow Plant Collection. These compact, long-blooming perennials are easy to grow, and the flowers produce non-stop color all season to keep pollinators nourished. Our Low-Grow Collections are perfect for transforming your yard from lawn to flowers, a few square feet at a time! Plant below taller perennials, as edging for a garden border, or as a no-mow lawn alternative. Collection of 4 or 12 plants.

2018 Garden Trends: Planting For Privacy

2018 Garden Trends: Vines for Privacy

Vines (like this Clematis) are an affordable and attractive way to create privacy in your outdoor space.

If you spend your time staring at a monitor, sitting in traffic, and trying to escape the sounds of modernity (television and constant construction,) you may find yourself planting the beginnings of a private retreat. You can use tall, vining-plants, foliage-heavy varieties, and a sprinkling of your favorite flowers to block out annoying noises and eyesores.

With more and more of the population living in small spaces, this means closer quarters - and with that arrangement comes more noise. Dense plantings not only offer a sound buffer for those who crave peace and quiet in their lives, but plants can also function as a 'Do Not Disturb' sign of sorts. When you're not visible to your neighbors, they're less likely to start an unwanted conversation.

Beyond Privacy: Defensive Plantings

Many aren’t just planting for privacy in their outdoor spaces, but are also strategically planting vines and thorny bushes to help with home security. These 'defensive plantings' work in two key ways: 1) they fill spaces and block access underneath windows and other vulnerable entry points and 2) they provide privacy for windows that face the street, making it difficult to see inside.

See how one of our co-workers used vines to create privacy in his city garden.

2018 Garden Trends: Monarch on Zinnia

Whether you're participating in citizen science projects or planting pollinator-friendly varieties like Zinnia, 2018 is the year to grow for wildlife!

2018 Garden Trends: Pollinators & Cooperative Gardening

Last season, after Butterfly Weed was announced as the Plant of the Year, we watched with excitement as gardeners everywhere joined together to grow these showy, native perennials in a cooperative attempt to help the struggling Monarch population. In our eyes, that was only the beginning of a beautiful movement.

In 2018, we see a variety of other cooperative gardening ideas taking over throughout the country. Some of our favorite citizen science projects come from the Xerces Society, the National Audubon Society, and the National Pollinator Garden Network. Go to bumblebeewatch.org, from the Xerces Society, to submit your bumble bee sighting, participate in the annual Christmas Bird Count for the Audubon Society., or register your pollinator garden with the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge from the National Pollinator Garden Network. Besides these favorites, there are also endless ways to get involved with citizen science and help people throughout the country gather data on pollinator populations in your area.

2018 Garden Trends: Bee on Borage

Easy-to-grow Borage is a bee magnet.

  1. Shasta Daisy Alaska, Leucanthemum x superbum 'Alaska', close up of flower

    Perky and cheerful, Shasta Daisies are spectacular in a meadow, wildflower garden, or when cut for bouquets. ‚Alaska‚ Is the most famous of these beloved European wildflo...

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    Shasta Daisy Seeds Alaska Shasta Daisy Alaska Leucanthemum x superbum Alaska
    As low as $19.95
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Perky and cheerful, Shasta Daisies are spectacular in a meadow, wildflower garden, or when cut for bouquets. 'Alaska' Is the most famous of these beloved European wildflowers, producing large, white blooms all season long. Long-lived perennials, 'Alaska' Shasta Daisies will return with enthusiasm each year. All of the seed we offer at American Meadows is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free and guaranteed to grow.
  2. Northeast Pollinator Wildflower Seed Mix

    Plant your support for the disappearing pollinator population in your own backyard with our Northeast Pollinator Mix. This easy-to-grow blend is designed to provide food and habitat ...

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    Northeast Pollinator Wildflower Seed Mix Northeast Pollinator Wildflower Seed Mix
    As low as $14.95
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Plant your support for the disappearing pollinator population in your own backyard with our Northeast Pollinator Mix. This easy-to-grow blend is designed to provide food and habitat to northeastern pollinators throughout the length of the growing season. Annual and perennial wildflowers like New England Aster, Black Eyed Susan, Milkweed, Coreopsis and Cosmos provide pollen, nectar and shelter for hundreds of important species, including Monarch butterflies and native bees. Contains only 100% pure, non-GMO and neonicotinoid-free seeds, best for planting in CT, DE, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT, WV, QC and the Eastern Townships. Guaranteed to grow.
  3. Backyard Birding Wildflower Seed Mix

    Our Backyard Birding Wildflower Seed Mix is an easy way to grow bird and pollinator habitat right in your own back yard. A rainbow of colorful flowers will light up your landscape fr...

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    Backyard Birding Wildflower Seed Mix Backyard Birding Wildflower Seed Mix
    As low as $14.95
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Our Backyard Birding Wildflower Seed Mix is an easy way to grow bird and pollinator habitat right in your own back yard. A rainbow of colorful flowers will light up your landscape from spring through fall. Birds will swoop through to feed on tiny insects, and once flowers fade, seeds provide them another good food source. Includes a mix of annuals, biennials, and perennials. All of our seed is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free and guaranteed to grow.
  4. Southeast Pollinator Wildflower Seed Mix

    Attract and support pollinators found in the southeast all season long with the Southeast Pollinator Wildflower Seed Mix. Colorful favorites like Clasping Coneflower, Sulphur Cosmos,...

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    Southeast Pollinator Wildflower Seed Mix Southeast Pollinator Wildflower Seed Mix
    As low as $14.95
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Attract and support pollinators found in the southeast all season long with the Southeast Pollinator Wildflower Seed Mix. Colorful favorites like Clasping Coneflower, Sulphur Cosmos, Butterfly Weed, and Red Poppy are easy to grow and provide habitat and breeding grounds for a variety of pollinators. This mix contains 100% pure, non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free seeds for planting in: AL, AR, DC, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, Eastern TX and VA.

Even if you aren’t planning to participate in these citizen science projects, 2018 will still be an important year to plant more for pollinators. One way to do this is to create a monarch waystation, which provides a variety of host and nectar plants for the dwindling butterfly population throughout their entire lifecycle. You can also plant bee-friendly varieties that bloom all season long.

Think Global, Plant Local

In 2017 we were excited to see an upswing in gardeners planting our Regional Pollinator Mixtures, which provide season-long food, shelter, and breeding grounds for a variety of pollinators native to your region. No matter what size garden you have — be it a small balcony or acres of land — 2018 is a great time to add more pollinator-friendly varieties to your landscape.

Learn how to create your own Monarch Waystation.

2018 Garden Trends: Groundcovers

Maybe it’s to save time, money, and resources by mowing and watering less, or maybe it’s to remedy annoying landscape problems (think erosion), but planting groundcovers has become a very smart trend. Find a foliage and flower combo that you like, and let it spread under trees, down embankments, and wherever the mower won’t reach.

2018 Garden Trends: creeping phlox

Groundcovers, like Creeping Phlox, are a low-maintenance alternative to grass and can also help prevent erosion and provide nectar for pollinators.

With the extreme weather we’ve been experiencing throughout the country, groundcovers have become a low-maintenance and attractive solution to some of the problems gardeners have been facing. Groundcovers can help prevent erosion in areas with heavy rainfall or prone to wind, and can become an easy (and long-lasting) alternative to a demanding, high-maintenance lawn. As we find ourselves busier than ever with less time to manage our landscapes, groundcovers are quickly becoming a gardeners’ favorite way to spend less time maintaining their property.

  1. Pollinator Paradise Flowering Lawn Seed Mix

    Our Pollinator Paradise Flowering Lawn Seed Mix is the ideal solution for a resilient, pollinator-friendly lawn. This mix will provide an attractive green lawn with a soft, cushiony ...

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    Pollinator Paradise Flowering Lawn Seed Mix Pollinator Paradise Flowering Lawn Seed Mix
    As low as $79.95
    Per 5 Pounds
    Our Pollinator Paradise Flowering Lawn Seed Mix is the ideal solution for a resilient, pollinator-friendly lawn. This mix will provide an attractive green lawn with a soft, cushiony feel underfoot, while blooms nourish pollinators.​ Drought resistant Yarrow, Clover, and dwarf fine Fescue grasses thrive in dry conditions and poor soils, improve soil health, and prevent erosion. Mow for a traditional tidy look, or skip mowing for a flowering meadowscape. Our seeds are non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free, and guaranteed to grow.
  2. child laying in wildflower lawn

    Our No Mow Flowering Lawn Seed Mix is the perfect solution for a charming pollinator-friendly lawn. No Mow Grass features drought resistant, low-growing fescues with a soft texture a...

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    No Mow Flowering Lawn Seed Mix No Mow Flowering Lawn
    As low as $124.95
    Per 5 Pounds
    Our No Mow Flowering Lawn Seed Mix is the perfect solution for a charming pollinator-friendly lawn. No Mow Grass features drought resistant, low-growing fescues with a soft texture and deep green color. Clover creates a cushiony feel while acting as a natural fertilizer, and English Daisies add elegance and charm. Put away your lawnmower – pack up a picnic and enjoy this beautiful, low-maintenance lawn.
  3. Microclover Seed (Pelleted)

    Microclover is ideal for a sustainable, low-maintenance yard. This tiny white clover spreads densely and evenly, preventing weed growth and creating a soft yet highly durable surface...

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    Microclover Seed (Pelleted) Microclover (Pelleted) Trifolium repens var. Pipolina
    As low as $12.95 Sale $12.30
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Microclover is ideal for a sustainable, low-maintenance yard. This tiny white clover spreads densely and evenly, preventing weed growth and creating a soft yet highly durable surface for high traffic areas. It can be planted on its own, or paired with grass seeds, where it acts as a natural fertilizer for a lush, self-sustaining lawn. It’s cold hardy, drought tolerant, and stays green from spring through fall. Seeds are coated for even distribution and easy handling.

    For best results, we recommend planting Microclover 4-6 weeks before your average first frost date in Fall, or as early as two weeks before your last frost date in Spring. Perennial.

  4. Fall Cover Crop Seed Mix

    Fall cover crop mix is a ready-to-sow green manure perfect for renewing soils. This mix improves soil health through addition of organic matter, soil aeration, and nitrogen fixation....

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    Fall Cover Crop Seed Mix Fall Cover Crop Mix
    As low as $4.95
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Fall cover crop mix is a ready-to-sow green manure perfect for renewing soils. This mix improves soil health through addition of organic matter, soil aeration, and nitrogen fixation. Green manures provide living mulch that protects soils from winter erosion. Take advantage of the fallow season to enrich your soil with this dynamic mix of winter wheat, field peas, annual rye grass, red clover, and hairy vetch.

2018 Garden Trends: Pollinator Gardens

In 2018 we see gardeners planting to help solve problems and help the environment.

2018 Garden Trends: Planting To Solve Problems

As we look back on our forecast for the 2018 garden trends, we can’t help but see a common thread with all of them: utility. Although a garden is by default a way to create an aesthetically pleasing outdoor space, more and more gardeners are starting to grow to help solve problems in their personal landscapes and greater communities.

We see this shift as just the start of how gardening will evolve in the future; people will grow more out of necessity and to help make the world around them the best that it can be. What trends are you most excited about in 2018? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

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