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. Silky Deep Red Tropical Milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, with butterfly, Photo Credit - Quartl

    'Silky Deep Red' Tropical Milkweed produces eye-catching, red-orange flowers with yellow centers. A valuable source of nutrition for Monarch butterflies, this lush beauty carries an ...

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    Silky Deep Red Tropical Milkweed Silky Deep Red Tropical Milkweed, Bloodflower Asclepias curassavica Silky Deep Red
    As low as $16.98 Sale $9.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Silky Deep Red' Tropical Milkweed produces eye-catching, red-orange flowers with yellow centers. A valuable source of nutrition for Monarch butterflies, this lush beauty carries an air of exotic mystery when planted as an annual in cooler zones. Young foliage has reddish tones adding to the variety’s distinctive beauty. Flowers from late spring to late fall. (Asclepias curassavica)
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  2. Daybreak Coreopsis Li′l Bang™ Series, Coreopsis verticillata Daybreak Li'l Bang™ Series

    Though small in stature, Li'l Bang™ 'Daybreak' Coreopsis packs a powerful punch with a profusion of fiery yellow and red blooms. This low-maintenance, adaptable, drought-toleran...

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    Li'l Bang™ Daybreak Coreopsis Li'l Bang™ Daybreak Coreopsis PP#26138 Coreopsis Li'l Bang™ Daybreak PP#26138
    $15.98 Sale $9.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    Though small in stature, Li'l Bang™ 'Daybreak' Coreopsis packs a powerful punch with a profusion of fiery yellow and red blooms. This low-maintenance, adaptable, drought-tolerant perennial features all the qualities you expect from Coreopsis in a versatile compact form. Liven up a border, edge a walkway, and make containers pop with this reliable pollinator-friendly perennial.
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  3. Black Eyed Susan Goldsturm, Rudbeckia in bloom in perennial garden

    'Goldsturm' Black Eyed Susan brings a burst of showy color to the full-sun garden. Golden yellow, daisy-like petals surround nectar-rich, brown center 'buttons' set atop deep green f...

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    Goldsturm Black Eyed Susan Black Eyed Susan Goldsturm Rudbeckia fulgida Goldsturm
    As low as $9.98 Sale $6.49
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Goldsturm' Black Eyed Susan brings a burst of showy color to the full-sun garden. Golden yellow, daisy-like petals surround nectar-rich, brown center 'buttons' set atop deep green foliage. Unbothered by most pests, poor soils, drought and humidity, 'Goldsturm' is easygoing and the perfect addition to flower arrangements and pollinator gardens. Deer resistant and long-lasting. (Rudbeckia fulgida)
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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. Echinacea and Swallowtail butterfly, Butterfly and hummingbird wildflower seed mix

    With its abundance of nectar-rich blooms, the Butterfly & Hummingbird Wildflower Seed Mix can be planted to attract beautiful pollinators in any region of the country. Containing 16 ...

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    Butterfly & Hummingbird Wildflower Seed Mix Butterfly and Hummingbird Wildflower Seed Mix
    As low as $9.95
    Per 1/4 Pound
    With its abundance of nectar-rich blooms, the Butterfly & Hummingbird Wildflower Seed Mix can be planted to attract beautiful pollinators in any region of the country. Containing 16 annual and perennial wildflowers including Wild Cosmos, Rocket Larkspur, Echinacea and Catchfly, this diverse blend delivers stunning color throughout the season. A great choice for a variety of soil types, this mix contains only 100% pure, non-GMO and neonicotinoid-free seeds. Guaranteed to grow. .
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  2. Monarch Butterfly Wildflower Seed Mix

    The Monarch Butterfly Wildflower Mix is an easy-to-grow compilation of 27 wildflowers that will thrive in any sunny location throughout the US. Including 4 different types of Milkwee...

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    Monarch Butterfly Wildflower Seed Mix Monarch Butterfly Wildflower Seed Mix
    As low as $15.95
    Per 1/4 Pound
    The Monarch Butterfly Wildflower Mix is an easy-to-grow compilation of 27 wildflowers that will thrive in any sunny location throughout the US. Including 4 different types of Milkweed to ensure Monarchs have plenty of host plants to lay their eggs on, this mix also contains a variety of nectar-rich wildflowers for energizing monarch populations before they migrate. A blend of annuals and perennials provide early and lasting color. This is your go-to mixture for creating an official Monarch Waystation or simply helping out the local pollinators in your area.
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  3. Beneficial Bug Wildflower Seed Mix

    This mixture attracts beneficial bugs to the garden. Beneficial bugs include lacewings, lady bugs, hover flies and parasitic wasps, which help to destroy harmful pests such as aphids...

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    Beneficial Bug Wildflower Seed Mix Beneficial Bug Wildflower Seed Mix
    As low as $11.95
    Per 1/4 Pound
    This mixture attracts beneficial bugs to the garden. Beneficial bugs include lacewings, lady bugs, hover flies and parasitic wasps, which help to destroy harmful pests such as aphids, thrips and mites.
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  4. Honey Bee Wildflower Seed Mix, Photo Credit Heidi Erickson

    The Honey Bee Wildflower Mix features 19 nectar-rich wildflowers and clovers adored by bees. Easy to grow across much of the country (zones 1 - 8), this pollinator-friendly mix inclu...

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    Honey Bee Wildflower Seed Mix Honey Bee Wildflower Seed Mix
    As low as $10.95
    Per 1/4 Pound
    The Honey Bee Wildflower Mix features 19 nectar-rich wildflowers and clovers adored by bees. Easy to grow across much of the country (zones 1 - 8), this pollinator-friendly mix includes 12 annual varieties like Lacy Phacelia and Yellow Prairie Coneflower for quick, first-season blooms, and 7 perennial wildflowers like Mexican Hat and Echinacea for years of lasting color in the seasons to follow. Contains 100% Pure, non-GMO and Neonicotinoid-free seeds that are guaranteed to grow.
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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. Soil Boost & Pollinator Seed Mix

    Our Pollinator Cover Crop Seed Mix features a varied mix of easy-to-grow legumes, including Clover, Alfalfa, Vetch, and Sainfoin. Small white, pink, purple, and gold flowers attract ...

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    Pollinator Cover Crop Seed Mix Balansa Clover, Berseem Clover, Yellow Sweet Clover, Sainfoin, Hairy Vetch & Alfalfa Trifolium michelianum Savi, Trifolium alexandrinum, Melilotus officinalis, Onobrychis vicifolia, Vicia villosa & Medicago sativa
    As low as $9.95 Sale $9.46
    Per 1 Pound
    Our Pollinator Cover Crop Seed Mix features a varied mix of easy-to-grow legumes, including Clover, Alfalfa, Vetch, and Sainfoin. Small white, pink, purple, and gold flowers attract and nourish pollinators. Hardworking legumes suppress weeds, fix nutrients into the soil, improve soil condition, and prevent erosion. This is an excellent choice for groundcover and covercrops, as well as lawn replacement, or adding to a wildflower meadow. All of the seed we carry at American Meadows is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free and guaranteed to grow.
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  2. White Dutch White Clover Seeds, Trifolium repens, Dutch White Clover Seeds

    Dutch White Clover is one of the most popular clovers used in lawns, but also has many other uses. Plant this perennial clover as a cover crop, groundcover, for erosion control or in...

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    Dutch White Clover Seeds Dutch White Clover Seeds Trifolium repens
    As low as $38.95 Sale $37.01
    Per 5 Pounds
    Dutch White Clover is one of the most popular clovers used in lawns, but also has many other uses. Plant this perennial clover as a cover crop, groundcover, for erosion control or in your pasture mixture. The elegant, white flowers create a sweeping carpet of white. (Trifolium repens)
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  3. Northeast Native Grass Seed Mix

    This mixture is made up of warm and cool-season grasses that are native to the Northeast and will be a hardy, long-lasting solution to any area....

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    Northeast Native Grass Seed Mix Northeast Native Grass Mix
    As low as $10.95
    Per 1/4 Pound
    This mixture is made up of warm and cool-season grasses that are native to the Northeast and will be a hardy, long-lasting solution to any area.
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  4. Southeast Native Grass Seed Mix

    Southeast Native Grass Seed Mix is an easy-to-grow combination of grasses that are native to the Southeastern part of the United States. Featuring Little Bluestem Grass, Virginia Wil...

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    Southeast Native Grass Seed Mix Southeast Native Grass Mix
    As low as $18.95
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Southeast Native Grass Seed Mix is an easy-to-grow combination of grasses that are native to the Southeastern part of the United States. Featuring Little Bluestem Grass, Virginia Wildrye, Purpletop, and more, this mixture is perfect for planting in pastures and meadows. Turn your high-maintenance lawn into a low maintenance, ornamental native prairie.
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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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