This is the worst gardening trend of 2021, according to an expert

Should we be putting a stop to overgrown gardens?

crowded, overgrown garden with lots of tall plants
(Image credit: Alamy)

The last couple of years have seen outdoor living rooms booming, a flourishing grow-your-own movement, and millions discovering the joys of gardening for the very first time. With a new year right around the corner, we're wondering which garden trends should be left behind in 2021, and what's in store for 2022.

According to gardening expert Lindsey Hyland, overgrown outdoor spaces have no place in our gardens of the future.

crowded, overgrown garden with lots of tall plants

(Image credit: Alamy)

Lindsey Hyland is a gardening expert and the founder of Urban Organic Yield (opens in new tab). She says the one gardening trend she believes should be left behind in 2021 is overgrown gardens.

Forget faux plants or even artificial turf – overgrown gardens are the one thing she wants to stop seeing. Why? They can become 'impossible to maintain,' often creating 'a dangerous environment for gardeners' who may exhaust themselves in an effort that never truly pays off.

'Plus, when allowed to go wild, the plant palette in your backyard tends to fall in lackluster shades of green – not at all appealing!' Lindsey adds. 'Compost is the way to go if you want a yard full of color and variety.'

crowded, overgrown garden with lots of tall plants

(Image credit: Alamy)

While no one wants a vastly overgrown garden, there is an increasing interest in rewilding your garden. As we become more eco-conscious than ever, we're looking for ways to make our outdoor spaces wildlife-friendly as well as creating a spot for summer barbecues.

'You do need, unfortunately, a little bit of mess,' horticulturist and TV host Frances Tophill says. 'There's been a trend over the last 20 years to get your garden to look like another room in the house, and doing that is nice for us, but they're quite sterile spaces.'

long grass with weeds by a metal garden bench with a green pot plant on it

(Image credit: Getty)

Speaking to us as part of her work with Weleda (opens in new tab), Frances Tophill recommends we tidy up the bits we're going to be sitting in, so you're not surrounded by unsightly weeds. Then you can allow a little more wilderness to come in as you get further away from those areas you use all the time, she says.

Buckingham Palace gardens are championing the rewilding trend with 10 per cent of the 39-acres left alone. We think it comes down to striking a balance between wildlife-friendly and a practical space you can enjoy.

Is there a trend you think we could do without in 2022?

Millie joined Gardeningetc in early 2021. She loves creating a vibrant display of containers in her small urban garden and is always picking up new plants at the local garden center. She's never without some fresh flowers at home and her favorite houseplant is her variegated pothos that's currently climbing its way over her bookshelves.