The RHS Predicts This Year’s Gardening Trends

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The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has published its annual gardening predictions, just in time for the improving weather!

So what do they see coming in 2021? With an estimated three million more people going green-fingered during the lockdown period, it seems the emphasis is on ease and simplicity . . .

Comfort planting

Roses and hydrangeas won out in 2020 as gardeners turned to old, reliable favourites with big blooms and long flowering periods.

However, that demand is set to translate into shortfalls this year. Delphiniums, lupins, foxgloves and poppies instead likely to be top candidates for those wanting to create a cottage-garden look. 

Pick your own

Food growing in domestic settings increased substantially in 2020 with a return to staples such as potatoes, salad and onions. Plants associated with herbal remedies including aloe vera, echinacea and sambucus were also popular.

This is set to continue with raised beds — which aid with accessibility and promote faster growing — proving popular. While for those on smaller plots, tubs, troughs and windowsill crops as well as vertical growing systems are likely to become de rigueur.

Lazy lawns

Prized by those that have them, lawns have taken centre stage as a space to work, relax and play.

But the immaculate, striped lawn has given way. Gardeners have come to accept the inevitable wear and tear, and will turn a blind eye to a bit of browning in summer.

Some will seek out interesting and environmentally benign alternatives. Small-leaved clovers, usually mixed with grasses, will stay green without fertiliser and resist drought.

Starting small

The growing popularity of seeds — attributed to their low cost and with some harvested from supermarket produce for free — has seen many develop their skills in plant raising.

Production issues could also translate into more 9cm pots being sold over the usual 2-3L options .

Soil recycling

Gardeners have learnt to be more frugal when it comes to what their plants are grown in.

Home-made potting media was a necessity in 2020 as stocks dwindled. Growers are now more inclined to save money and help protect the environment by creating their own mixes. Methods include combining sieved soil with organic matter, re-using growing media in containers and even forgoing containers and planting in existing border soil. 

The RHS publishes monthly gardening advice on its website, which in April includes tying in climbing and rambling roses and sowing new lawns.

For more gardening tips and advice from “The People’s Friend”, click here.

Iain McDonald

Iain is Digital Content Editor at the "Friend", making him responsible for managing flow of interesting and entertaining content on the magazine's website and social media channels.