Garden trends to avoid – experts reveal 5 features to rethink this season

From ornamental grasses to uniformed lawns, experts urge you to stay clear of these design decisions

garden edged with foxgloves
(Image credit: Future/Polly Eltes)

Interior trends know how how to divide designers, but the garden industry is no exception. 

As your thoughts inevitably turn towards preparing your exterior for the season of outdoor living, you may be tempted to flirt with the most popular garden trends of the moment. And while you should always design your space in a way that feels right for you, there are some features that experts urge you to reconsider.

Should you stay away from these five garden ideas? Here's what you need to know.  

1. Using ornamental grasses  

Pampas grass in a garden

(Image credit: GettyImages)

Ornamental grasses are an increasingly popular garden landscaping idea, but according to Andy Tait, an expert from True Green Nursery, there may be better alternatives. 

'Garden trends that are best avoided in 2022 include using ornamental grasses and succulents for landscaping – focusing on native rather than exotic plants – and using hardscape materials like stone or concrete instead of softer, more natural options.' 

In avoiding these trends, Andy suggests that you focus on 'healthy and sustainable gardening practices,' which will leave you with a garden that brings you joy throughout the season.

2. Planting invasive species  

Ivy growing in a garden

(Image credit: GettyImages)

English Ivy and Japanese Honeysuckle are amongst the most popular garden plants, but it may be best to avoid these plants, despite their aesthetics, 

'An invasive species typically does not grow naturally in your area but will spread rapidly and choke out other beneficial plants,' warns garden expert Erinn Witz from Seeds and Spades

Erinn explains that it can be hard to tell which species might be invasive in your area, as the labels are not always forthcoming with that information. Therefore, the 'danger can vary from one region to another.' 

3. Maintaining a uniformed lawn 

Lines in grass in a large garden

(Image credit: Future)

Having a uniformed lawn may be seen as the ultimate goal in terms of garden landscaping. However, Andy explains that this popular design doesn't work in every home. 

'Another garden trend that is best avoided is the use of plain, uniform lawns with little to no landscaping,' he explains. 'These types of gardens can be dull and uninviting, and they offer very little in terms of aesthetic appeal.'

If you want to put your best lawn mower to good use, Andy recommends incorporating some variety into your planting to accompany your lawn and create a scheme that works well overall. 'Use different colors, textures, and shapes to create visual interest,' he says. 'By doing so, you can create a space that is not only beautiful but functional as well.' 

4. Using garden-specific furniture 

outdoor dining space in loggia in restored Welsh barn

(Image credit: Kasia Fiszer)

While opting for garden-specific furniture may feel like the obvious choice, they are not always the best option in terms of individuality and style. Edward Jones from Home Care How recommends investing in 'adaptable furniture pieces' that will further blur the lines between indoor and outdoor living – and allow you to bring your favorite interior design trends into the garden. 

'Using flexible items that you can use inside and outside your home can establish a seamless feel. Having them will also provide your garden with an inviting ambiance,' he says. 

5. Avoiding heirloom plants

Large green vegetable garden

(Image credit: Future / Mathia Coco)

Garden trends may point towards seedlings and seed packets, but Erinn urges you not to overlook heirloom plants in your design. The expert suggests that these heirloom varieties offer 'many of the most flavorful and beautiful plants you can grow in your garden.' 

Plus, the rarity of these species increases biodiversity, which is 'critical for maintaining a thriving seed selection for future generations.' Because biodiversity is a trend that is certainly more than fleeting. 

These features may be in vogue, but they don't necessarily need to be in your garden. It's time to get garden party-ready – the right way. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.