Better Homes and Gardens gurus share the top flower and gardening trends of 2022

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show

Jessica Taylor Yates

Posted April 07, 2022


All the latest gardening and outdoor entertaining trends to turn your backyard into your own slice of paradise. 

As the mercury begins to fall and the chill of autumn and winter set in, avid garden aficionados will be rubbing their green thumbs together with glee. Keen garden lovers will begin planting for the spring season, while those who love to walk amongst the blooms can choose from the best flower shows and exhibits on during autumn, or go on a drive to see the foliage fall.  

Seasoned Better Home and Gardens TV hosts Melissa King and Charlie Albone know a thing or two about garden trends. Renowned in their expert fields of horticulture and landscape design respectively, both have been excited about the return of garden events such as the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (MIFGS), especially as “so many more people have gotten into gardening,” says Albone.  

While the past two years had us spending more time and effort in our backyards than ever before, amongst the social renaissance of outdoor living and entertaining, here are the trends in flowers, outdoor living and garden design for the year ahead.

 

Steve Day – Tree & Shrub Growers VIC sponsored by Mirvac. Image: Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. 


 

Flower and gardening trends 2022

Booming and blooming Australian natives  

As noted by the big wins at the MIFGS, Australian natives are having a quiet resurgence, albeit in a more modern and tailored way. Floral trends saw flowering wildflowers such as banksias, grevillea, bird’s nest ferns, eucalyptus, and fan palms alongside sustainable timber finishings, slick water features, and modern outdoor entertaining.  

Many provided an almost ‘bush luxe’ concept, which saw many pivoting towards an outdoor entertaining space for their landscape design, no matter how big or small, with flowering greenery fit for a garden party soiree. 

“So many people realised the importance of having their own slice of paradise during the lockdown period, and I foresee that continuing this year and into the future,” says Albone.

“Making the garden personal… will be a huge pushing factor in garden design this year and creating spaces to create memories in.”  

An extension of the home

For 2022, rather than a place where Fido goes to dig holes and kids play backyard cricket, the yard has become an extension of the home, used for everything from family meals and children’s play, to cooking, partying, and outdoor cinema viewing. 

“During the pandemic, people turned to their backyards in a way we’ve never seen before,” says King. “The garden became the heart of family entertainment and a way to escape, so people turned their backyards into an outdoor retreat. I think 2022 will see people really embrace the value of a good outdoor entertaining space whether you’re stuck in your home or not, and that they will build on the spaces they’ve created so that they can enjoy them year-round.” 

 

Bushes of wildflowers were centre stage at this year's Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. Image: Lisa Luscombe.
No longer just a place to kick a footy, the backyard has become an extension of the home. Image: Lisa Luscombe.
Areas to gather with friends and family outside have surged in popularity. Image: Lisa Luscombe.

Here are some trends King has forecast for our yards for 2022: 

  • Firepits and outdoor fireplaces for winter garden parties, roasting marshmallows with the family and cosy date nights
  • Creative play spaces for the kids that go beyond the backyard swing set
  • Installation of outdoor kitchens, so that the whole party is moved outside
  • More seamless connections between our indoor and outdoor living spaces
  • Garden lighting to extend the time you spend in your outdoor living spaces
  • Using pots around entertaining areas to supply seasonal bursts of colour
  • Comfortable, stylish outdoor garden furniture, so that you can truly live in the garden 
Creative play spaces for kids are expected to trend. Image: Lisa Luscombe.
Fire pits are extremely popular in the winter months. Image: Lisa Luscombe.
Timber finishes and water features make for a natural look with modern amenities. Image: Lisa Luscombe.

Indoor plants are here to stay

As noted in our interior design trends for 2022, indoor plants “are back in a big way,” says King.

“Nostalgia is also back, so people are turning to old-fashioned plants that they remember from their childhood or plants that evoke happy memories.”

King says that popular varieties include heirloom veggies, flowering perennials, and plants that are relatively low maintenance.  

“During the pandemic, everyone started greening their indoor spaces as a means of bringing the outside in, improving the air quality in the home, and creating a healthier, happier home environment.”

Her biggest tip? “Don’t drown them with love. Overwatering is the biggest killer of indoor plants.”

Gardens can grow in the smallest of spaces

Having a small balcony garden or limited budget doesn’t mean you can’t get involved in greening up your humble home.

If you’re still looking to bring nature into your small space, Albone has tips to make a small, low-maintenance yard work wonders: “Work out exactly what you want from the space and how you want it to impact your life, then do that one element really well rather than trying to fit lots of little concepts into the area.”  

“Also, don’t fear plants, they will breathe life into a space and make it feel larger and more dynamic.”

 

Indoor plants with interesting textures and patterns have proven popular for lighting up a space. Image: Lisa Luscombe.
Albone says with a balcony garden, to focus on one thing and do it well, such as these hanging balcony plants. Image: IMG Endeavour provided by MIFGS Media.
You can still make your balcony garden your own in the smallest of spaces in this Balcony garden - Party @ Home created by Party Plants & Flowers. Image: IMG Endeavour provided by MIFGS Media.

Our own backyard has become a place of refuge

While the pandemic kept many of us bound to our homes with more time at home, the garden was our ability to step out of our own four walls into the open air, and when working in our own outdoor space, supplied what King calls an “incredible feeling of contentment that we get after doing some hard yakka in the backyard or creating a beautiful new space to enjoy.”  

Whether it was weeding, planting, new landscape designs, or installations, “the garden is also a place where your efforts really pay off, because you put hard work in and out comes a crop of tasty vegies or the most beautiful display of flowers.”  

And it’s not just the physical transformation. As more of us got better acquainted with our yards, they not only became a source of pride, but contentment.

“In this busy world, gardening is incredibly grounding,” says King. “It’s the one thing I do where all my thoughts and worries are washed away.”

 

All imagery taken with permission at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.

 


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