Flower gardening is a way to escape the hustle and bustle of today’s busy lifestyle. Many gardeners use flower gardening as a way to slow down, unwind and relax. That’s part of why flower gardens are slowly turning to the flower gardening trends from the past.
Maybe it’s the idea of sipping tea on your grandma’s front porch that makes you want to plant hydrangeas like she had in her flowerbed. Or maybe it’s the idea of simpler times that keeps you searching for cottage style gardens. Keep reading to see which flower garden trends you can bring back in your flower bed.
Immaculate is out
For decades, flowerbeds and flower gardens were used to landscape pristine lawns and show off the architecture of homes and buildings. These immaculate gardens required a ton of work to maintain. Their appearance wasn’t natural either.
Boxed shrubs and spaced out flowers lined sidewalks and homes. Although these flower gardens were attractive, they didn’t have the natural beauty of old gardens. That is why we are seeing a revival of classic gardening trends and methods.
Old-fashioned flower gardens were filled with flowering plants. There’s wasn’t a need for weeding or mulch because the beds were filled with fragrant and lush flowers. Weeds didn’t stand a chance in those beds. Gardeners today are realizing that they can have gorgeous flowerbeds full of charm and flowers without the need to spend hours on their hands and knees pulling weeds.
The cottage garden is a perfect way to add a charming flower garden to your home. Plants like hydrangeas, peonies, azaleas and climbing roses will take up space in your garden and fill it with fragrant and colorful flowers.
Add foxgloves, lillies, poppies, sweet peas and morning glories to add even more beauty.
Fill in spaces with green herbs like lavender, thyme or sage. Green plants like hostas or even lily-of-the-valley can add to the charm of a cottage garden.
Cut flowers are in
The emergence of the immaculate flowerbed meant that many ‘flower’ beds were filled with shrubs, bushes, ornamental trees and a handful of flowering annuals. Petunias, marigolds and salvia took the place of traditional flowers.
Recently, gardeners have started to replace the non-flowering shrubs and bushes in their flower beds with flowering plants. While roses have certainly remained popular, other plants have seen a resurgence in popularity.
Perennials like peonies, lilies, ranunculus, dahlias, shasta daisies and hollyhocks can be cut to create stunning arrangements. Annuals are a winner when it comes to cut flower gardens. They will add more blooms when you cut from them. Try planting seeds from cosmos, stocks, poppies, bachelor buttons, sunflowers and zinnias.
Another plus to cut flower annuals is that they are extremely easy to grow. Most of these seeds can be scattered across the top of the soil and with a little bit of watering, they’ll germinate and flourish on their own.
Hardscaping refers to the incorporation of ‘hard’ materials or objects into the garden or landscape. Think sidewalks, trellises and even old wagons or the side of your home as ways to incorporate flower gardens.
Trellises, arbors, pergolas, and other structures can be used to grow vining plants on. In old gardens, climbing plants grew up the sides of homes and draped over retaining walls.
Climbing plants like roses and wisterias can be trained to climb up structures or to drape down walls to create a charming appeal.
Consider adding cobblestone or flagstone walkways through your garden spaces. Use ground covering plants like Snow in Summer, ground ivy, white toadflax or low-growing sedums to fill in the spaces between the stones. This will make the walkway feel like it’s been there for centuries.
Hybrid cultivars of flowers allow gardeners to grow unique and vibrantly colored flowers. Although these flowers can be beautiful to look at, using too many of these eye-catching flowers can reduce the impact that you may be going for. Many gardeners have started to soften the look of their flowerbeds by incorporating softer color palettes.
Charming flower beds filled with white and creams, rosy pinks, tones of peach and soft blues and purples are the new up and coming trend. A flower bed filled with soft tones is not only appealing to look at, but can invoke feelings of calm and relaxation. To get the most out of a soft colored flower bed, try mixing soft shades of a few colors.
Succulents in the Flowerbed
In the 1940’s, it became trendy to have a lawn. Lawns quickly became a status symbol for families. Outdoor life moved from the front porch to the backyard. It wasn’t long before people realized that the upkeep for a lawn was demanding. There wasn’t enough time to keep the lawn and flowerbed both in pristine condition.
To keep up with the Joneses, lawn care came above flowerbeds. This led to the rise in popularity of easy to care for flowerbeds. Many homeowners still wanted attractive flowerbeds and their lawns. Succulents were an easy choice for creating an appealing flowerbed that didn’t require much maintenance.
You may remember the old strawberry pot that your grandmother grew hens and chicks out of. Or maybe you remember succulents around her stone downspouts. Today, succulents are extremely popular. With all of the options available, it’s easy to incorporate easy to care for flowerbeds that are also colorful.
Succulents don’t require much water to thrive and can survive in soil that isn’t well suited for other plants. In fact, you can even grow some succulents on rock. You can find succulents in shades of green, blue, pink or purple. Some succulents are flowering. With the proper care, succulents will propagate and spread easily. Hen and chicks are a classic that is easy to take care of. Agave, dudleya, spruge and senecio are all hardy succulents perfectly suited to add to your flowerbed.
Heirloom Flower Gardening
You may be surprised to learn that heirloom gardening applies to flowers also. Vegetable gardeners aren’t the only gardeners that can enjoy the benefits of heirloom gardening. Heirloom gardening is the growing of heirloom varieties. Heirlooms are plants that have been raised for at least several generations.
Heirlooms are plants that were passed down from generation to generation. The best producing plants were replanted by saving their seeds. Plants are quite adaptable and would adapt to grow well in their environment. By saving the seeds from the best plants, gardeners developed strong lines of flowers that would produce more fragrant flowers, colorful blooms and continue growing even in harsh conditions.
Heirloom flower gardening today is a wonderful way to add another dimension to your gardening. Not only will you be able to grow better flowers, but you’ll also be able to grow plants that have a history.
You can find information about how heirloom varieties were developed. Most of the time you can trace these heirloom flowers back to the original families or towns that grew them. It’s a wonderful way to to incorporate a little bit of history into your flower beds.
Heirloom flower gardening comes with the added benefit of being able to save seeds easily. Heirloom plants were developed by saving seeds, so they are fairly easy to save seeds from.
Some hybrid plants that you find today don’t breed true and if you try to plant the seeds from them, you’ll end up with a much different plant the following year.
Heirlooms breed true so if you save the seeds, you’ll end up with the same plant the next year.
These aren’t the only old-fashioned flower garden trends that are making a come back.
Some honorable mentions that didn’t make the list but that are seeing a resurgence in popularity- climbing vines, rose gardens, lillies and rhododendron gardens.
Are you glad to see classic flower gardening trends back? What old-fashioned flowers can you work into your next flowerbed?
This gardening trends post comes from Shelby DeVore, founder of Farminence.com (https://farminence.com). Shelby is a former agriculture teacher and a multi-generational home gardener. She currently lives on a small farm with her husband and three children where they raise way too many animals and grow a large vegetable garden each year.