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Top 2024 Garden Trends

January 12, 2024

Garden experts say we're growing more native plants, turning lawns into eco-friendly meadows and planting exotic fruits like persimmons. Let the 2024 garden trends they've spotted inspire you.

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Photo: National Wildlife Federation/Deborah Roy

Garden Trends Aren't Just What's Popular

Some garden trends follow what's popular, like planting certain colors or varieties. Others emerge from what's happening around us. Take climate change, for example. Because our average winter temperatures have been getting warmer, the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map was revised in late 2023. Many gardeners are now in Zones that give them more plant choices.

Other 2024 garden trends are popping up, too, like planting dark foliage and flowers and growing more grasses and sedges. Explore our roundup of the best trends of 2024, shared with us by landscape designers and other experts.

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Photo: Julie A. Martens ©

Gardeners Are Putting the Environment First

We're starting to put the planet first, says Andrew Bunting, vice president of horticulture for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS). The PHS calls this movement "gardening for the greater good" as we switch from gas- to battery-powered garden equipment and choose peat-free potting soils to avoid depleting vital peat bog habitats. He also reports we're diversifying our yards and gardens by growing more native plants that don't need a lot of water and fertilizer, and by leaving the leaves where they fall to reduce the waste in landfills.

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We're Counteracting Global Climate Change

As summers get hotter and droughts last longer, we're also growing more heat and drought-tolerant southern native species, Bunting says. Why "southern" natives? He says they’re becoming good choices for more northern climates because they can often withstand excessive heat and humidity, which are becoming more common. Also trending: waterwise gardening practices, rain gardens, gravel gardens and swale gardens.

Some of his recommendations for helping mitigate climate change: Mexican dogwood, also called Magic Dogwood (Cornus florida subsp. urbiniana), Magnolia grandiflora (also called Southern magnolia), willow oak (Quercus phellos) and Florida anise (Illicium floridanum).

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Photo: National Wildlife Federation/Deborah Roy

We're Earning Garden Signs and Certificates

Eco-conscious gardeners want others to notice what they're doing and follow their lead, says Bunting. "Home gardens are becoming popular vehicles to draw attention to the overall nature-based movement." He's noticed that people who work hard to curate their gardens enjoy public recognition and like sharing good gardening practices by posting signs and earning certificates. "Several organizations now recognize home gardens with ecological certifications," such as the ones below.

Check to see if your state or region has similar programs:
Home Grown National Park
Monarch Watch Waystations Habitat Registration
National Wildlife Federation Wildlife Habitat Certification
Penn State Extension Service Pollinator-Friendly Garden

how to get your yard wildlife habitat certified

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