Every year I get updates from marketing firms about the latest trends in gardening. I’ve always questioned whether you could call them trends. They seem more like agendas, the things the industry wants stores and writers to “encourage” customers and readers to embrace. But while sifting through some garden blogs the other day, I did notice a distinct trend for the new year, from several sources. We’re tired of being told how to garden. These 4 bloggers speak for a lot of us…
Over at The Garden Rant, the discussion began with Elizabeth Licata’s 2015: the year of the do-nothing garden
She gives a list of resolutions that she is not going to do, which includes fussing over every perceived imperfection, from insect damage to gaps in the border. She gardens for her own enjoyment, not for show. “If it’s good enough for me, it will have to be good enough for everyone else.” She also blasts the trend toward “… super-modern, spiffy-clean minimalist garden designs…”, which leads to a response from Digging’s Pam Penick, who likes modernism in the garden.
Of course, Elizabeth gardens in the snow belt of Buffalo, NY and Pam is in sunny Austin, TX, so as Pam points out, in What kind of gardening do YOU block on social media? “… certain styles lend themselves to the region in which one lives, and don’t merely reflect one’s taste…” But I particularly liked Pam’s take on Ealizabeth’s idea of blocking gardening concepts that don’t reflect your own taste. As a southwest gardener, she feels that garden magazines have always focused on “…the lushly planted, temperate-climate gardens of the Northeast or Pacific Northwest…” and appreciates the gardening blog world where she gets to see real gardens, tended by real gardeners, all over the world.
Then there’s Kathryn Hall, who posted an excerpt from her book Plant Whatever Brings You Joy: Blessed Wisdom from the Garden, titled Leave Wild, Undisturbed Corners in Your Garden. She grapples with planting what you like versus respect for the land and concluded we should “…at very least leaving corners of undisturbed spaces in our gardens, honoring the unknown.”
But I think my favorite example of someone taking the practically gardening approach comes from at Carol, at May Dreams Gardens. She suggests we take The Doris Day Approach to Gardening — “Que sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be. The future’s not ours to see.” As gardeners, we love the act of gardening as much as we love the final product, if there is such a thing. There’s no point in fretting over a long list of must dos. There will always be surprises in the garden, thank goodness.
I don’t usually pay much heed to trends of any kind. I’ve never owned a pair of Ugg boots and I don’t carry my phone with me. But I am delighted to see so many garden writers saying enough with the lists of “shoulds”. Garden design should not take precedence over gardening.