Early each spring just as the weather warms up and the bulbs begin to show themselves gardeners start talking about what’s new, what’s in and what’s out. I’m in an especially fortunate position because I have almost 50 students that are usually on the ball with new ideas and I also see what is coming to a show like the Ascot Spring Garden Show months before everyone else. So what can we expect in 2018?
Back to the future– designers are moving steadily away from the endless perennial meadow to new ideas around mixed borders, bio-diverse planting and sustainable growing. So a little like we used to have in the 20th century but with an eye to supporting wildlife, cutting down on the need for watering and, to some extent, maintenance.
Bring planting indoors– a whole new movement in indoor planting is being led by Millenials who are interested in gardening but don’t have permanent homes. If you’re renting your home you may also be moving in the near future so why not use what space you have inside to create an indoor garden. Indoor plant sales are up 600% in 5 years and sales of slow growing tender outdoor plants like succulents are also up.
Micro gardening– is another movement that has been influenced by younger people moving into apartments with limited outdoor (usually balcony) spaces and it’s not limited to ornamental plants. The Japanese have been leaders in outdoor micro-gardening of edibles for some time now and we’re seeing that movement, encouraged by much simpler vertical growing wall systems, taking off. You can grow herbs and salad crops easily on a wall but try the more expensive varieties to save on cash.
Keeping healthy– is not limited to growing your own vegetables, exercise through gardening and getting your vitamin D by being outside but gardeners are also getting on board with plant health and making sure we source our plants from proper suppliers that check the sources of their stock to avoid importing new plant diseases like Xylella and are supplying us with pest and disease free plants
And finally- plant pot recycling is finally coming to a garden centre near you as gardeners embrace the need to recycle those plastic pots with a new scheme led by the industry. Watch out for this at your local garden centre.