7 Pacific Northwest Garden Trends For 2017

Despite some recent chilly temps, we can feel spring coming (perhaps willing spring to come is more appropriate - willing with all our might) and we're ready to start planning and planting. We're also ready for something new and exciting in the garden (and in our homes) this year! So we tracked down our experts, perused publications, and came up with a list of our favorite trends for the new year.

Extreme Small-Space Gardening 

Space is at a premium in Seattle, with many people living in condos and apartments. Even those with larger gardens are finding it fun to play with smaller footprints. From tabletop gardens for patios to edibles in containers to dwarf or super-skinny shrubs, sleek and small is having more than a moment.

Urban Balcony Garden Photo: Marie Viljoen,  gardenista.com

Urban Balcony Garden
Photo: Marie Viljoen, gardenista.com


Succulents and air plants will always have a place in our hearts, but sometimes you want to branch out. We love the bold color and clean lines of bromeliads like Guzmania lingulata. Easy to care for and hard to kill, the bromeliad family is highly diverse, with styles for every plant lover. 

Guzmania lingulata  Photo: Lena Curl

Guzmania lingulata
Photo: Lena Curl

Modern Romantic 

Simple design is still king, with retro and mid-century inspiration everywhere, but we're seeing an interest in romantic, nostalgic details that soften the look and add an element of history or a personal story to the garden. Think clean lines and foliage with a pop of blooming plants like lush peonies or roses, maybe varieties that your grandpa or mom once grew in their gardens. Or imagine a simple balcony planted with succulents and scented geraniums in aged terracotta pots or vintage metal containers. 

Succulents in "Antique" Terracotta pots Photo:  pinterest.com

Succulents in "Antique" Terracotta pots
Photo: pinterest.com

Geraniums in Aged Terracotta Pots Photo:  pinterest.com

Geraniums in Aged Terracotta Pots
Photo: pinterest.com

Unusual Edibles

With the rise in growing food comes the desire for experimentation. Unusual edibles are a fun way to keep your vegetable garden from feeling stale and often add unique visual interest. Options such as lemongrass, wasabi, paw paw, epazote, oca, honeyberry, and Chilean guava are sure to please adventurous chefs and many can be grown in containers.

Chilean guava Photo:  commons.wikimedia.org

Chilean guava
Photo: commons.wikimedia.org

Cutting Gardens 

Adding a cutting garden - no matter how small - can add seasonal interest and allow you to bring the garden inside with fresh cut flowers. The soothing ritual of choosing blooms, cutting, and arranging the flowers is brought into focus as well. To extend the season, think outside the flower box, so to speak. Collect interesting branches, seed pods, and foliage to add to your arrangements and create modern, flowerless bouquets.

Cutting Garden with Sweet Peas Photo:  floretflowers.com

Cutting Garden with Sweet Peas
Photo: floretflowers.com

Edible Flowers

Edible flowers are more than just a pretty garnish and they are taking center stage in food and cocktails and they are the perfect partner to an edible garden. Flowers such as pansies, borage, calendula, marigolds, scented geraniums, and nasturtiums are beautiful when planted in borders or containers, or even mixed throughout the veggie garden. Plus, most edible flowers attract beneficial insects and many can help deter pests!

Viola Photo: Aimée Damman

Photo: Aimée Damman

Rain Gardens

Pacific Northwest gardeners are passionately invested in our environment and our communities. A rain garden can be a tool to help prevent runoff and flooding, and can help create thriving plant communities. They filter pollutants before they can make it to groundwater, streams, and wetlands. Beyond that, they are aesthetically pleasing. 

Rain Garden Photo:  esw.org

Rain Garden
Photo: esw.org