There’s no denying that 2020 has been a challenging year. We’re spending more time at home, trying out new hobbies and finding new ways to involve our kids. Gardening has proven to be the perfect lockdown pastime, encouraging people to get outdoors, grow their own food, and connect with nature.
Google searches for gardening terms skyrocketed in the early days of the pandemic. Not only were people keen to find a new hobby, but they also wanted to grow their own food to overcome worldwide shortages. Suttons Seeds, located in Paignton, Devon, experienced a staggering boost in sales. After the first lockdown was announced, their sales increased by more than 20 times![i]
As we make the transition into 2021, the passion for gardening is sure to continue. Even as lockdowns become a thing of the past, people who nurtured a love for growing plants are sure to keep it up.
Here are some of the biggest garden trends for 2021 – and beyond.
Sustainable gardening has been a hot topic for a few years now, but it’s an even more significant trend for 2021. In fact, the Royal Horticultural Society named sustainable soil and gardening materials as their current number one trend.[ii] Gardeners are putting the environment first and choosing materials that are easier on the planet. In addition to soil and growing materials, eco-conscious gardeners are adding plenty of organic matter to their garden.
If there has ever been a time to invest in tranquillity and relaxation, it is now. That’s why so many people are transforming their back gardens into a meditation and yoga oasis. Water features, a simple structure, and fragrant herbs can all help to set the right mood. The soothing sound of babbling water and the soft tinkling of wind chimes can really help you get into a meditative headspace.
Here are some simple ways to add calm and zen to your garden:
Have you considered installing a ‘green wall’ in your kitchen or on your home’s exterior walls?
As we mentioned above, food shortages have people thinking outside the box to grow more food at home. If you’ve exhausted the space in your garden (or have no garden at all), modular containers can be a good solution. You can make use of even the smallest space by vertically stacking containers and adhering them to the wall in your kitchen.
If wall-mounted modular containers don’t work for your space, you could also try some fun and simple ‘hacks’ to build a substitute. How about stacking potted plants on a step ladder against a wall in your kitchen or lounge room?
Container gardening is experiencing a massive resurgence in light of the pandemic. Not only are people spending more time in their gardens in general, but now even those without a garden are getting in on the action. Container gardening is perfect for city living and those in flats, even on the smallest balconies.[iii]
Containers of all sizes and shapes can be used for a variety of plants and food crops. Of course, people have been growing herbs, flowers, and vegetables on their balconies since time immemorial. Many people immediately think of annuals as best suited to containers, but there are plenty of other options. Why not consider tropical plants, dwarf hybrids (such as olives or Japanese maples), or even citrus trees.
Most gardens are sprinkled with a riot of colour, with plenty of flowers in many different hues. While this might sound delightful to some people, if you prefer a crisp, clean look, a monochromatic colour palette might be best for you. You can carry this throughout your entire garden, or just give it a try in a container or a single garden bed.
As more and more people head outdoors to break ground, the demand for gardening instruction is hotter than ever. However, with most in-person instruction paused for the near future, novice gardeners are heading online to learn the ropes. A whole new programme of online gardening courses and one-on-one tutorials are cropping up online. You can also check out pop-up talks, lectures, and gardening podcasts. House & Garden has a great rundown of the gardening classes available online – check it out here.[iv]
With schools shut, clubs cancelled, and playdates discouraged, children are spending all of their time at home. Parents are looking for new ways to supplement their learning and keep them busy and happy. While plunking them in front of the telly is a common solution, why not enlist their help in the garden? In addition to the excellent health benefits, gardening is a lifelong skill that will serve them well into adulthood.
Nothing is better than relaxing on your Sloane & Sons garden benches as a bumblebee lazily buzzes past. However, the bees are in trouble. The global decline of wild bee populations has climate scientists and botanists worried. After all, with no bees, there can be no pollination, and with no pollination, our planet is doomed.
You can do your part by making your garden a haven for bees (not to mention wild birds, butterflies, and even hedgehogs – they’re endangered, too!). To do so, you’ll have to let go of some of your perfectionist instincts and allow the wild to creep back into your garden.
You can plant specific plants and flowers that encourage wildlife and insects to thrive. Choose single-flowering plants with open flowers, as well as long wild grasses.[vi] Some of the best flowers for bees include bluebells, flowering cherries, heather, rhododendrons, rosemary, thyme, and foxglove.
Which 2021 gardening trends are you looking forward to the most? Do you plan on implementing any of those listed above, or do you have something else in mind?
BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine (2018). Best plants for bees. [online] BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine. Available at: https://www.gardenersworld.com/plants/plants-for-bees/ [Accessed 17 Dec. 2020].
Dewar, G. (2009). Your picky eater: Evidence-based tips for the science-minded parent. [online] Parentingscience.com. Available at: https://www.parentingscience.com/picky-eater.html [Accessed 18 Dec. 2020].
Foster, C. (2020). Online garden tours and courses you can enjoy from home. [online] House & Garden. Available at: https://www.houseandgarden.co.uk/article/online-gardening [Accessed 18 Dec. 2020].
Perrone, J. (2020). How coronavirus changed gardening forever. [online] www.ft.com. Available at: https://www.ft.com/content/c3abc0bb-7ade-4ae1-8d2b-d3fa6be53416 [Accessed 17 Dec. 2020].
Vanheems, B. (2018). Grow an Edible Garden – On Your Balcony! [online] GrowVeg. Available at: https://www.growveg.co.uk/guides/grow-an-edible-garden-on-your-balcony/ [Accessed 17 Dec. 2020].
Walden, L. (2020). 5 big gardening trends for 2020. [online] Country Living. Available at: https://www.countryliving.com/uk/homes-interiors/gardens/a30412226/gardening-trends/ [Accessed 17 Dec. 2020].
Anna is the marketing and office manager for Garden Benches – a premium supplier of high-quality wooden benches and other outdoor furniture.