Although the sunshine remains evasive and unpredictable, summer is definitely still on schedule – and that means the gardening season is gearing up. This year, summer is marked by a number of interesting garden trends finding their way into people’s little patch of green. How many of the following will you be trying out?
Fleuroselect predicted that 2017 would be the year of the zinnia. Meanwhile, last year’s characteristic Calendula ‘Powerdaisy’ may find itself back in the running for another summer, whilst the begonia is set to bring some of its staple colour to gardens up and down the country with the Northern Lights, Scarlet Burst variety. If like me you had to Google each one of those flowers, the zinnia is pictured on the right. Oh, I have so much to learn…
With growing fears around the environmental impact of herbicides, gardeners are turning towards more natural solutions to keep pests at bay. Brands such as Neudorff, SBM and Westland have all started promoting greener ranges, making the natural route far more accessible in 2017.
The ‘Grow Your Own’ Movement
As austerity has stretched budgets and people’s food shopping habits have changed (we are dropping the ‘big shop’ and visiting multiple stores for the best deals) the ‘Grow Your Own’ movement has flourished. It goes hand in hand with a greater awareness of what we’re putting in our mouths and our impact on the planet. Don’t be surprised if you see far more vegetable patches in gardens over the next few months, as well as an increase in community gardens with shared produce.
As we’re still at the start of summer there’s plenty of time to start sowing, ready for an autumn harvest. For guidance on what fruit and vegetables to sow now, head to the Royal Horticultural Society website.
Thanks to our obsession with nature and organic materials, decking is set to take the crown over the patio in 2017’s garden trends. With so many different options available, and a range of light to dark woods, as well as recycled materials, as well as providing a natural look you don’t mind seeing from the kitchen window, decking has earned its place in gardens this summer. What’s more, blending repurposed vintage furniture with solar lights and lightly coloured cushions will play into our obsession with bringing the indoors outside.
Investing in Health
As more and more research points to a link between green spaces and their health benefits, we can expect to see an upward trend in simply spending time outdoors. As a nation, we’re working harder to create more comfortables spaces to simply sit and be, as well as providing cover for high summer. A P-Series parasol or umbrella, for example, provides additional shade whilst also being durable, weather-resistant and easy to move. It allows home owners and business owners alike to create different options when it comes to relaxing in their own private outdoor space.
The number of UK adults who own a garden has sadly fallen by 3% since 2000, further compounded by the rise in people renting, rather than buying homes. As a result, a trend we’ve started to see recently (and one set to continue this year), is to grow upwards to conserve space – an idea often seen in dense urban architecture. This means climbers will be a common sight in gardens this summer, alongside stacked pots and hanging baskets.
Fighting Back Against Climate Change
It’s no secret that pollution levels are at an all-time high, and as mentioned above, space is scarce. This year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show sought to highlight how now, more than ever, we need plants and green spaces. The flower show’s exhibit, ‘The RHS Greening Grey Britain Garden’ demonstrated how gardeners can use any and all space available to them, whilst reusing materials to transform grey spaces into wondrous green sights. Expect, then, to see more greenery infused into our urban spaces over the summer, with RHS’ exhibit inspiring gardeners and designers to explore how people can live alongside nature – even if they are working with limited space.
A Little Outside, Inside
According to John Lewis’ recent annual shopping habit report, cacti are set to be a big trend this summer, providing an easy care solution to our desire to bring a piece of the garden indoors. IKEA have reportedly embraced the same philosophy with their Krydda range of indoor cultivators, allowing people to exercise their green fingers even if they don’t have an outdoor space to call their own. Letting additional light in with N-Series Venetian blinds is also an excellent way to brighten up your home, even on the days when you can’t make it into the garden.
There’s plenty to be getting on with in the garden this summer, in preparation for the warmer weather. By following the trends and getting stuck in early, you can afford to spend a little more time admiring your outdoor space, and a little less time sweating over it. Happy gardening!