The new decade has just begun, and the garden trends for 2020 are already a hot topic as we look forward to seeing what the season has in store. Team HWPR has compiled the latest developments and trends in gardening for you and what to expect to see going forward!
According to the RHS, there is a whole section of gardeners between the baby boomers and millennials that they refer to as the ‘lost generation’ who lack knowledge and confidence when it comes to gardening. 2020 will continue to see the trend of easy gardening gain traction as the younger generation and families seek a low maintenance and hassle-free, instantly achievable look in their garden. Pre-planted containers, grown to maturity plants, as well as a wealth of technologies to give your green fingers a helping hand will be leading the way in 2020. From gardening smartphone apps to tell you which plants will thrive in your garden, to containers with built-in watering systems, robotic lawnmowers and smart weather stations, Team HWPR look forward to seeing what new innovations will hit the market in 2020 to make gardening effortless.
Green spaces have been diminishing for years, with the average garden size for consumers aged 25- 44 being only 12m² (Ipsos Mori). However, a revolution has begun with homeowners and renters in the more built-up areas of the country noticing that whilst their outdoor space may be limited, the gardening opportunities are not!
2020 will continue to see the trend of vertical gardening rise (no pun intended!) as it is perfect for small outdoor spaces. Gardeners are finding more and more space saving ways to ensure that even micro-sized spaces have a big impact. Courtyards and balconies will continue to bloom with stacking planters, hanging baskets, containers, living walls, creeping plants, climbers, window boxes and hanging basket symmetry all taking centre stage.
According to the RHS, popular foliage from the 80s is set to come back into fashion. Retro plants such as muscari, diascias, and Cassie’s personal favourites – hydrangeas – and the sweet-smelling nemesia will be bringing colour to gardens in 2020. These plants are long blooming, flexible and can be placed in flower beds, containers and are beneficial to wildlife so you can feel good about planting them too!
Natural planting schemes also featured heavily at RHS Chelsea in 2019 with easy-to-grow, wildlife friendly, low maintenance plants with a long season of interest set to continue this year. Foxgloves, verbena, aquilegia, geums, echinacea, grasses and cow parsley were abundant in the show gardens, complimented by green lush green foliage.
With the 2020 Olympics taking place next year, it is expected that Japanese gardening trends will also become increasingly popular. Japanese horticulture is renowned for creating a sense of calm and tranquillity, so plants such as acers, conifers, bonsai, azaleas, camellias and maples may become more popular, as well as garden ornaments, pagodas and lanterns making an appearance in gardens this year.
With over 40% of British animal species declining in the past 50 years as a result of habitat loss, we are losing our UK wildlife at an alarming rate. 2020 will see a definite trend towards naturalistic planting as gardeners adapt their style to incorporate varieties that will attract wildlife to their gardens. Plants such as lavender, rhododendron, honeysuckle, snowdrops and wildflower meadows will bring in bees, butterflies and insects.
Team HWPR’s gardens are awash with bug boxes, bee bricks and bird houses, to enable wildlife to feed, breed, shelter and hibernate, and we’re certainly not the only ones doing our bit. 2020 will also see gardeners installing an additional source of water, such as ponds and bog gardens in their outdoor spaces to encourage aquatic invertebrates and amphibians.
Also, HWPR is fully supportive of the growing trend that is seeing more and more manufacturers offer flower pots made from organic material, such as Woododge’s Feather Pots, made of 100% recycled plastic, and new range of pots made from eco-friendly bamboo, while Primeur’s Tierra Verde planters are crafted using rubber from recycled tyres.
We are seeing a strong shift away from chemical treatments towards natural products as consumers look to protect animals, insects, birds and pets. We particularly love ecofective’s environmentally sensitive feed, weed, clean and control products, as well as Johnsons’ Super Smart Lawn Feed – which contains a natural, healthy bacteria that feeds lawns, micronutrients to green-up grass and mychorrhizae which boosts root growth.
Homeowners no long want just a garden, but want to use their outdoor space as an additional room to bring the outside in. We predict that this growing trend will take hold this year as people want to make the most of their garden in every way possible – whether it be a play area for their children, a dining space with al-fresco furniture, outdoor kitchens with allotments and herbs, or introducing an outdoor structure to make a statement like pergolas, for entertaining through the summer months. Flexible, family friendly gardens are growing in popularity, with outdoor living products such as awnings, verandas, sunrooms and weatherproof soft furnishings seeing an increase in sales over the next 12 months.
Grow your own
The grow-your-own trend is set to become even more popular this year. It is not only cheaper, but is more eco-friendly and provides a fun, tranquil outdoor activity that is proven to improve mental and physical wellbeing. It also reduces each gardener’s carbon footprint as growing our own fruit and vegetables results in zero air miles, no industrial chemicals or pesticides, and is packed full of high-quality nutrients which are good for your health.
Whilst Cassie looks set to head back to her allotment following her maternity leave, and Marc and Kimberley embark on new GYO projects of their own, the number of modern gardeners and millennials who grow their own is set to increase even more in future years. With the rise in desire for organic produce, amateur gardeners have started growing their own allotment in any garden, balcony or yard space. Patio fruit trees in containers and raised vegetable beds are the premium option for those wishing to grow crops on balconies and patios, as well as kitchen windowsill gardens full of herbs which will continue to flourish.
Veganism is here to stay, and it’ll only become more popular. Vegans and organic gardeners will continue to drive demand for natural, safer products in 2020. With an estimated 3.5million vegans in the UK, eco-conscious consumers are becoming more aware of the ingredients and chemicals in plant feeds, conditioners and control products, so continue to hunt for organic fertilisers or soil conditioners to use to grow their plants, fruit and vegetables.
Indoor gardening has become more popular than ever across not just the UK but around the world. With social media continuing to play a big part and inspiration being shared online by millions, houseplants will continue to be big business. City dwellers today spend an average of 90% indoors, so ‘bringing the outdoors inside’ is the logical step for ‘plant parents’. The trend will continue as a new generation discovers plants’ ability to cleanse indoor air, reduce stress and improve mood, improve wellbeing and bring life to a room and enhance creativity while connecting us with nature.
The RHS believes that houseplants this year will be supersized, and we will be buying more of them – we certainly love the idea of a jungle theme, just see Kimberley’s house for evidence as she showcases her plants as part of her living decor rather than having them fade into the background.
Giants such as Monstera and Philodendron will continue to be popular buys and shared on Instagram daily, but we expect to see a rise in trailing houseplants such as ferns, curio rowleyanus, Hoyas and chlorophytum comosum to create a living wall indoors. The demand for succulents also shows no sign of slowing down due to being a low-maintenance houseplant and they look fantastic in groups.
Bottle gardening and terrariums are also seeing a resurgence with influencers leading the way with photos and how-to videos on Instagram. Creating self-contained gardens with little ecosystems with a range of plants, moss and pebbles are perfect for those with no outdoor space, making the perfect windowsill companion or table centrepiece.
Soil and growing media will take centre stage in 2020 as gardeners look for peat-free alternatives to grow their plants in. The announcement of a #PeatFreeApril campaign in 2020 has been warmly welcomed, with some garden retailers signing up to match the price of peat-free alternatives to that of peat-based multi-purpose compost, while working to educate consumers on the choice they have for their gardens.
A rise in greener methods such as composting food, grass cuttings and other waste will reduce carbon footprints, provide plants with nutrients, enhance soil fertility and can be achieved on a small or large scale. The no-dig method, popular with Cassie’s fellow allotmenteers, will continue to be adopted to limit damage to soil structure and wildlife.
Switching to natural methods of garden care and pest control, using native British-grown plants, utilising renewable resources such as rain water from water butts, and mulching with bark to improve water retention in the soil will continue as individuals desire to be greener and eco-friendlier. The natural garden care sector will continue to thrive as consumers, especially those with children and pets, seek solutions that are kinder to the environment and minimise the risk to wildlife.
Gardeners will also continue to remove single-use plastic from products to reduce their environmental impact and the introduction of taupe plastic plant pots into garden centres will increase pressure on local councils to recycle.
With gardening changing drastically over the past decade as people change the way they use their gardens and look to become eco-friendlier at the same time, Team HWPR cannot wait to see what 2020 holds and see if our predictions are correct!