Key Gardening Trends for 2021
Here we are, as I write, in national lockdown again in the UK. But this time, there is a quiet resignation with folks, that, whilst so difficult for many, it is the only course of action to take. The need to ‘Stay at Home, Protect our NHS and Save Lives’ has never been more relevant.
However, let’s not dwell on that, I have important gardening related stuff to tell you which I just know you have been waiting to hear about. The Pantone Institute Colour(s) for 2021 are……. ‘Ultimate Grey’, a pale grey tone and ‘Illuminating’, a zingy yellow. Both colour trends we can translate into our gardens this spring and summer, have a lot of fun escaping the doldrums and enjoy creating our own rainbow of bright colours to brighten every day.
Firstly pots. I have got various collections of blue & turquiose stone pots, rustic terracotta pots and plastic terracotta ones and now I am going grey, along with my hair, and have decided to ring the changes for 2021 with our range of concrete effect containers to bring some modernity to proceedings. See Beton Low Square Concrete Effect Plastic Planter | 48cm Light Grey - Brookside Nursery .
Thoughts for filling my borders, pots and containers for 2021 are more along the lines of silvers and whites mixed with greys using the tactile textured leaf of Senecio Angel Wings and Cineraria Silverdust, for its long-lived form and interest. White flowers with yellow centres will enhance the colour palette like Geranium Designer White, Scaevola Surdiva White, Argyranthemum Grandaisy White and Diascia Breezee White; these all have a pop of bright yellow in their middles.
To complement the silvery greys and whites my choices for the ‘Illuminating’ yellows are Marigold Super Hero Yellow, Osteospermum 3D Double Yellow and Dahlia Happy Days Yellow. Whilst I’m at it I am taking the zing a bit further and going to add Coreopsis SunKiss which will flower profusely until late autumn.
As ever, trends are all very well, but the best approach in gardening, as in fashion, is to spend a little more on key pieces rather than go all out on fashion fads. Layering is key. Build up the layers in your borders with evergreen shrubs and trees for the backbone of the garden, perennials and bulbs for year-round interest and accessorize with summer annual colours in whatever takes your fancy to bring the whole look together.
Biophilia is perhaps not a word we are all familiar with but it has become more relevant over the past year without us even knowing. In its basic form, Biophilia is a philosophy of loving life and all living things. An inner need to connect with other living things, especially our families in recent times, is within all of us. The world over has reached out to loved ones on social media sites just to see familiar faces and hear their voices. How we long to hug friends and family and invite them into our homes and gardens on a whim… One day… One day.
The tangible bond with the earth has brought us closer to nature with more time spent at home embracing the simple pleasures of life with walking, birdwatching and importantly, gardening. Reconnecting with our gardens, feeling grounded and bringing our well-being into balance translated into a huge surge of popularity in 2020 for growing fruits, vegetables and flowers and will continue to do so in 2021. Garden centres and nurseries thankfully will be open, including us at Brookside Nursery, and being able to order online too will mean that many who have to shield can still have access to everything they need to use their outdoor and indoor space.
Outdoor space can mean a window box, a raised bed planter or even a pot or two where space is limited. For many of us lucky enough to have a garden the options are endless. To sow, to plant, to nurture and to grow a living thing is to believe in tomorrow and along with the vaccine, we all need to see a bit of light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel. Growing vegetables, soft fruits and herbs alongside our flowers means we get to harvest and eat our produce too.
Indoors this can mean growing herbs and microgreens on windowsills and balconies and of course the houseplant market is buoyant with specialist plants that can freshen the air, filter out pollutants and release oxygen. The scope is endless for hanging, dangling and being creative with houseplants!
Peat-free compost - As gardeners we are always keen to use compost that is more environmentally friendly and sustainable to save our remaining peat bogs on our precious planet. Using a peat free or reduced peat free alternative is high on the trend agenda for 2021. I am experimenting with various peat free composts. A good halfway house is to use a 50/50 mix but do your own research, read the labels and make up your own compost mixture to suit your plants requirements. Adding nutrients can be done as and when needed to enhance the efficacy of peat-free compost. Our Peat Free Coir Expanding Growing Pellets is a great way to start off your seeds
Going Tropical in the Garden – It is not looking likely that any of us will be jetting off to some hot sunny destination this summer so the next best thing is to create your own holiday fiesta feel in your own garden and grow a few tropical looking plants this summer and settle back to enjoy a staycation or getaway in your own backyard.
I am thinking of tropical, vibrant coloured flowers and exotic sounding vegetables. Cannas, Agapanthus, Coleus, Peppers, Lemon grass. Anything with a wow factor that is bright, gaudy, flamboyant, frilly, exotic and a little bit over the top. Plants with names such as Canna Tropicana, Coleus Campfire, Pepper Tequila, Dahlia Cactus, Basil ‘African Blue’ and Echinacea Sombrero ‘Sangrita’ all have that touch of the exotic and can be grown in UK summers. Order yours now on our website and start growing them on with a view to relaxing under your own sombrero or umbrella this summer.
Going Boho in the Garden - can be interpreted as having a relaxed feel to planting and thinking outside the box and creating your own garden haven and heaven in your outside or inside space. Think comfort, safety and privacy with a gardening approach that induces fluidity and a calm zen-like feel. I know, a bit boho, but fun too, so just let your creativity juices flow. Perhaps use an old picture frame, hang it on the fence or shed and fill it with precious items or paint pebbles collected from past holidays and line a path to your front door. Paint a mural on the side of your shed. Plant a wildflower border. Endless possibilities that don’t need to cost a fortune.
Well, if that hasn’t given you food for thought this January for the year ahead, I will end on my mantra for these unprecedented times to go alongside the government Coronavirus one which I will be abiding by: -
“Stay in the Garden, Grow-Your-Own and Stay Healthy”
Have fun and enjoy your garden in 2021 and I will be back with your February Diary for the Garden soon.
Alison, Your Brookside Blogger.