It is good to know what is set to be on trend in the world of gardening for 2020. While most years, we hear of some outlandish trends only achievable by the rich and famous, trends for 2020 seem to stem from the growing desire to live more sustainably and in harmony, not opposition, with nature, fuelled by the growing desire to be pro-active in the battle for climate change. My gardening trend predictions for 2020, based on industry knowledge and from what I see at a ground level as a gardener and gardening coach, are trends which are adaptable depending on your gardening space and achievable, even by novice gardeners.
Here are five garden trends for 2020 which can be incorporated into every garden.
The trend for planting wildflower meadows was huge a few years ago but not achievable for the average gardener. The concern over declining bee populations and greater awareness of supporting wildlife in general is leading the way in encouraging the planting of a wildflower corner of the garden. Annual and perennial wildflowers will attract all manner of insects from April to November time, with the added bonus of being very low maintenance.
Even if you cannot give a whole corner of your garden over to native wildflowers, think about planting pollinator friendly flowers so you are least giving support to beneficial insects in pockets of the garden, or plant up a or a wildflower window box which will do good and look good!
Rewilding the Garden
Closely aligned to the trend for planting native wildflowers and pollinator friendly plants, is the movement to rewilding parts or all of, your garden. In essence, this is about changing the mindset of perfectly manicured lawns and tightly trimmed hedges to allow nature to take over a little.
By letting your lawn grow a little longer in between cuts or by not cutting it all during the growing season, weeds will flourish and flower, a little like a wildflower lawn, and this will provide beneficial food and habitat space for all manner of wildlife.
The other added benefit is that conversely, by encouraging biodiversity in your garden, you have cut down your lawn mowing and hedge-cutting workload.
Growing Your Own Food
Whether it’s fear of the Brexit aftermath; the increase in popularity of vegan and plant-based diets or the desire to be more sustainable, people are talking more about growing their own food this year.
You don’t need to have a large garden to grow your own fruit, veg, salad or herbs, this trend can easily be adopted by those with small or tiny urban spaces. Growing veg or salads in pots, planting small patio fruits or adding herbs to vertical planting schemes means that gardeners are embracing the drive to become more self-sufficient.
By growing food in your own garden or balcony, you are reducing the food miles travelled from plot to plate and cutting out the plastic wrapping waste we throw away from supermarket bought food. By choosing not to use pesticides on the food you grow, you need not have concern over how your food is being grown. If you needed another incentive to get trendy with food growing this year, it’s economical too – you’ll actually save money.
Growing microgreens on your kitchen windowsill is quick, easy, rewarding and so good for you nutritionally! The trend for windowsill gardening is informed by both the desire of people wishing to grow their own food and the increase in urban gardeners who have no real green space to devote to growing food.
Microgreens are hard to buy in supermarkets as they grow so quickly and can be so small that there is no profit in supermarkets selling them fresh. They are in effect baby plants which are harvested at a week or two old so it makes great sense to grow them on your own windowsill which also cuts right down on your food miles.
Microgreens are the seedlings of veg or herbs which are packed full of more nutrients than their fully grown counterparts. In fact the US Department of Agriculture and the University of Maryland have affirmed that microgreens contain 4 to 40 times more nutritional benefit than fully grown veg which in itself is a fabulous reason to give windowsill growing a go.
The move towards reducing plastic use in the garden cannot really be considered a trend, it is more of a movement but what will be a trend this year is finding creative alternatives to replacing the plastic as we learn to garden more sustainably.
Social media accounts are full of people making seed pots from newspapers or used toilet rolls and while this is not new, the volume of gardeners who are now trying to embrace a new way to garden, is trend setting.
Sustainable gardening is a method of growing plants so that the garden is able to successfully sustain itself without requiring things like pesticides, for example.
Other ways to be sustainable around your plot are to reuse all the existing plastic pots you have so they are not being thrown into landfill; to recycle cardboard packaging to mulch veg beds; to harvest rainwater and become water-wise in your planting choices and to plant only plants which you know will thrive in your local climate, not what the magazines dictate.
By far though, the single biggest change you can make to embrace the sustainable gardening trend is to compost your garden waste and kitchen scraps. Composting garden wastes means less material going to the landfill and more organic material going back into the soil, which makes for a healthier, heartier harvest. Compost when used in the garden helps to condition your soil and retain moisture, which means less weeding and watering, and it encourages beneficial insects to work with you to keep your plants healthy.
Which garden new trends will you be trying to incorporate into your garden this year? I’d love to hear your ideas.