10 Instagrammable garden trends for 2021

When we need to know the next big thing, where do we turn? To the world of social media of course. And Instagram in particular. The ‘gram’ is the perfect place to find and be inspired by the biggest trends of the moment.

When it comes to our gardens, it’s no different. Hours can be spent scrolling through the best garden-inspo on Instagram and dreaming of relaxing in the sun in your re-imagined outside space.

But what are the biggest trends of the moment? And what are the upcoming trends we all need to keep an eye on? Well, we turned to Instagram to find out just that. By analysing over 100 different gardening hashtags we were able to find those trends growing in popularity and set to become even more dominant in 2021. So, as you start looking ahead to the next growing season, here are the trends to start thinking about.


The top 10 emerging trends according to Instagram

1. #balconygardening – 96,817 posts

One in eight households in the UK, have no access to a private or shared garden. But what many living in urban areas do have is a little outdoor space high above the city. Balconies make the perfect space for a garden – you just have to know what to do with it. Balcony gardening is the top up and coming gardening trend right now.

How to get the look: You have plenty of choice to make this functional space really come alive, whether you opt to make the most of any wood on your balcony, go for minimalist design, or choose to go all out wildlife oasis.

Plants to use: The plants you’ll need will depend on your chosen look, but by opting for the likes of jasmine, lavender, foxglove, bamboo, eucalyptus, snake plants, and peace lilies, you can’t go wrong.

2. #wildgarden – 91,777 posts

For many people this year, gone are the days of pruning, mowing and meticulous garden maintenance. The second biggest trend in our up and coming list is the wild garden. Looks like it really is time to go wild.

How to get the look: A wild garden that encourages life and wildlife will rely on a few key things. First are wildlife friendly plants, as well as plenty of water. To really get the look, aesthetically long wild grass is ideal as are plant vines that ramble over fences or walls – they can hide these human-made structures and create a wild and untamed look in just a single season.

Plants to use: Single-flowering varieties of plants – or those similar to their original species form – are the best to encourage wildlife and insects. Open flowers are ideal for bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects.

3. #insideoutside – 83,731 posts

This trend has been taking London by storm in recent years, meaning it’s no surprise to see it at number three on our list of up and coming garden trends.

How to get the look: The inside outside garden trend is all about creating flow from your inside space to your outdoor space, so one naturally flows into the other. The garden should feel like an extension of the home. Both your interior and exterior design must work in harmony.

lants to use: Choose plants that work both indoors and out to create a transition between the living and outside space. Good options include geranium, boxwood and calla lily.

4. #tinygarden – 80,752 posts

While plenty of people in the UK don’t have a private garden or outside area, many that do have to make use of a tiny space. But just like those innovators making the most of small spaces indoors, the tiny garden trend is blooming at number four in our list.

How to get the look: With a tiny garden, it’s all about making the space look bigger. Options include growing up to use your vertical space, laying borders, having clear pathways, and creating specific zones or outdoor rooms.

Plants to use: Long flowering perennials like Geranium Rozanne, Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’, evergreens like Fatsia polycarpa, Sarcococca hookeriana var. digyna ‘Purple Stem’, and climbers will all do the job in your tiny garden space.

5. #raisedbedgarden – 78,910 posts

This one is simple and straightforward. And it looks great too. It’s no surprise that the raised bed garden is a real up-and-comer on Instagram.

How to get the look: By building a raised wooded garden bed, not only do you create a fantastic feature in your outside space, it’s an ideal option if you don’t have a lot of room in your garden. You can also gain better control over the soil, reduce soil compaction and care for your plants much easier. The choice of wood is up to you – for a real rustic look, old railway sleepers work well.

Plants to use: This really depends on you. You can use your raised flower beds to grow whatever plants or fruit and veg that you desire. The key point to remember about raised flower beds, as with any flower beds, is to choose plants that will work in the spot of your garden you opt for. It’s key to understand how the conditions will impact their potential to grow and thrive.

What the Instagrammers say: “The obvious benefit of raised bed gardening is the height, preventing aches and pains from bending down and tending to a traditional garden bed. Additionally, keeping your crops up and away from pests like slugs, cats and foxes, prevent your crops from being attacked by any predators. A Vegepod is one example of a raised vegetable garden bed on the market which also comes with a commercial grade canopy to further keep your harvest protected.” – Alex @vegepod.

6. #permaculturegarden – 76,576 posts

Now this really is a holistic approach to gardening. Permaculture gardening means “permanent agriculture” and it’s defined as working with natural forces – wind, sun, and water – to provide food, shelter, water, and whatever else your garden needs.

How to get the look: The key principle behind a permaculture garden is that you are replicating patterns of growth and harvest that occur naturally. Before you start re-imagining and planting, it’s key to design based on how you want to use the natural elements in your garden. Key design features also include stacking (just like in the forest), succession planting and companion planting. Remember, with permaculture gardening nothing is wasted.

Plants to use: Opt for annual vegetables like beans, peas, tomatoes, peppers and squash, while adding in plenty of flowers and greens to create a permaculture look. We also love sunflowers – they’re great to make use of the space.

7. #whitegarden – 51,750 posts

The clue really is in the name with this one. And with just a quick scroll through Instagram you can see why this is such a popular up and coming trend. With a backdrop of dark green, the white flowers really catch the eye. There’s something so pure and classic about them.

How to get the look: Key steps to create a white garden, include choosing a dark backdrop, varying up the foliage and changing up shapes and sizes, repeating form, and finally adding some eye-catching white flowers to fill the space.

Plants to use: Orlaya grandiflora (white laceflower), Rhododendron ‘Cunningham's White’, Delphinium ‘Guardia White’, Arrowwood ‘Park Farm Hybrid’, Cytisus x praecox ‘Albus’, Silene alpestris ‘Flore Pleno’, and Convolvulus cneorum (shrubby bindweed) are all great options to choose for your white garden.

8. #windowsillgarden – 48,432 posts

Now this really is for those of us who don’t have too much space. But with a lack of space comes real creativity. Just look at what some of these top Instagrammers have done to their windowsills.

How to get the look: First off you need a windowsill that gets at least six hours of sun a day. You’ll need pots with plenty of drainage and some good potting mix to get things started.

Plants to use: A windowsill garden is ideal for growing plants that will add a little something extra to your cooking, including herbs, chilli, kale, baby beetroot, pea shoots, onion, spinach. The list goes on.

What the Instagrammers say: “With more time at home than usual, we’ve all started to realise the importance of home and the space around us. With outdoor space in cities being at a premium a windowsill garden is the perfect way to utilise your space and bring that much needed element of ‘green’ to our city lives. – Fannie @windowfleur.

9. #greygarden – 45,124 posts

Not satisfied with being one of the biggest interior design trends of the moment, grey is really beginning to make an impact in garden design too. We’re really not surprised it’s made its way into our list of up-and-comers.

How to get the look: Bringing grey into your garden is all about those man-made touches that really let the space sing. From your choice of patio paving, fence paint, gravel, or garden path, grey is the way to go.

Plants to use: With a grey garden, you want to match your choice of plants with your grey man-made touches to really complement and make the colour pop. Purple is a fantastic colour to match with grey. We just love a little lavender.

10. #cottagegarden – 37,021 posts

Who doesn’t dream of a quant country cottage? And you can really create the cottage vibe in your garden. Judging by the number of posts on Instagram, plenty of people are doing just that with this up and coming trend.

How to get the look: You can immediately pick out a cottage garden. It’s such a distinct style. Key design features are an informal style with use of traditional materials, and dense plantings with a mixture of ornamental and edible plants. Remember, it’s all about grace and charm.

Plants to use: Think traditional and charming with the likes of roses, foxgloves, poppies, sweet peas, and delphiniums.


Most Instagrammed garden trends ever

While we’re all about the up and coming trends in gardening, you simply can’t ignore everyone’s favourites. There’s a reason why they’re the biggest trends of the moment and for many, have been for many years.

We, therefore, also looked into the top 10 biggest gardening trends on Instagram. With sustainability a key word on the world’s lips at the moment it was no surprise to see #growyourown on top of the pile as the biggest trend. The same goes with #organicgardening in at number 3.

With so many of us living in urban areas, #urbangardening is in at number 2 and #indoorgardening at number 5. Both #verticalgarden and #containergardening are in for our green fingered space savers, whilst some classic styles including #japanesegardening and #countrygarden also make our list.

What the Instagrammers say on #verticalgardening: “If you live in the city, you know how rare it is to stumble upon rentals that offer any outdoor space. If you’re lucky, you have a modest balcony or a communal outdoor space. So how do we best make use of our small urban spaces? Look up! The best thing is, thinking up doesn’t require any fancy trellis structures (which tend to be expensive if you’re not building it yourself). Most spaces already come with what you need, equipped with fencing, brick, railing, stairs, an overhang deck, or an awning. Utilising all wall space and existing structures can dramatically change the landscape from a concrete box to a vertical garden oasis.” - Felicia-Nichole Perez @TheBlueDaisyDesign.


All the hashtags we analysed

You can probably tell from the depth of our research that we love gardening trends. Whether these are up-and-comers or those that everyone can’t get enough of posting on Instagram, we love them all.

And to make sure we brought you the most complete list, we really spent our time delving into the world of gardening on Instagram – and what a time we had doing it! Here’s our league table of all of the gardening hashtags we analysed. And what makes the top of the list? It’s all about sustainability with #growyourown in at number one and #organicgardening in at number three; #vegetablegarden makes it in at number five with #gardentotable just missing out on a top 10 spot in at number eleven. Space saving is also a standout theme with urban gardening, indoor gardening and vertical gardening all making appearances.

The people of Instagram have spoken.

We can see that plenty of the up and coming trends focus on space saving, a dash of colour and really getting back to nature – which is great to see. And in the all-time stakes? Sustainability is really coming to the fore once again along with some of the classic styles that we all still can’t get enough of.


Methodology

To compile this list, Love The Garden’s research team analysed over 100 different gardening related hashtags. Where duplication arose due to singular and plurals, as well as spelling variations, the hashtag with the highest number of posts was included in the study, and the others were omitted to avoid duplication. To uncover the emerging trends, the team set the metric of 100,000 posts as the limit before a trend becomes established, anything under 100,000 posts was classed as emerging. All figures correct as of 1st August 2020.

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