At the start of the new year, you might want to refresh your garden. Scanning around, you realise that some new trends are emerging at garden shows and events around the country. You have bought your new Jack and Jill seat to enjoy your yard with your partner, and you want to make your land a special area to share together.
Research tells us that the approaches to gardening are evolving. It is no longer just about aesthetics, though it is still important to embrace the beauty of nature. Now, our outdoor spaces need to work for all those involved – whether it is the gardener, the local wildlife and the sustainability of the entire planet.
Spaces are getting smaller. Extensive gardens are a luxury from a time when housing was easy to find. Now, to fit more living spaces into a smaller area, owners and renters are creating micro-sized spaces for our outdoor living. People understand the need for some green in their lives to promote wellbeing but also to help balance out their carbon footprint.
Welcome to the trend of vertical gardening – or gardening upwards. If you have a balcony, you can hang pots up and across the railings using wall hangers. Do you have a small courtyard? Try using an old wooden bedhead, turning it on its side and arrange wall planters up the frame. Alternatively, if all you have is a window-box, then you can propagate a small herb garden, creating a terra cotta planter wall.
If you are ambitious, you can sort yourself a living wall using a kit you can get from your garden centre.
Another trend of 2020 brings green fingers to the average bod. No matter how popular houseplants grow to be, if you cannot keep them alive, then you are going to feel frustrated. There is now some garden technology that can help you keep them active and thriving.
First, you can purchase grow lights that will ensure your plants get enough light to grow. To support this grow light, you should get a plant light meter app, which will let you point your phone at your plant and let you know if it is getting enough UVs.
Are you feeling ambitious? Then you should invest in an indoor growing system, which will create the perfect environment for your plants. Alternatively, grab yourself a self-watering pot or a pot that has a virtual face that tells you when the plant needs watering or feeding.
If you are going to be entirely on-trend, then you are going to have to learn about sustainable gardening. This movement must gain traction, as the less chemicals we put in the environment, the more we will help support local pollinators. Without the bees and the butterflies, we are going to be in trouble.
If you create your compost, you will reduce your carbon footprint, provide nutrients for your plants and enhance the fertility of the soil. The good news is that you can commit to composting on a small or larger scale.
There are a host of books and articles on composting. It would be best if you did a little research before you get started.
The need to practice gardening sustainably continues with the need for repurposing and committing to DIY projects. Using up old resources and reusing materials is the perfect way to help the planet and reduce your environmental impact. There are countless projects available online, whether on YouTube or other social media. You could create a flow pot out of an old and beaten up bird bath; a planter out of a former letter holder or a wall planter from an old sink – or maybe even an old toilet.
Remember to reuse your products from the garden centre too. If you buy plants from the nursery, then you can reuse these to seed new plants or place over plants to protect them from frost or pests.
Finally, with another nod to the importance of wellbeing, you should try to include the sound of water into your garden. This tinkle of water can be therapeutic and relaxing. You can also provide a source of water for local wildlife, continuing the idea of creating a space outside your home that works for you – but also for the wider world too.
Anna is the marketing and office manager for Garden Benches – a premium supplier of high-quality wooden benches and other outdoor furniture.