The new year is already upon us, and we’ve looked at the latest industry research, talked to our clients, and collated a list of some of the gardening trends we think are going to be big in 2018.
One of the overriding themes is all about making gardening more accessible to all, regardless of the outside space they have. Recent data suggests that the average British garden is getting smaller as demand for new housing grows. It is estimated that two million homes in Britain don’t have a garden – by 2020, 10.5% of all homes will not have a garden at all.
Increasing levels of noise pollution are also affecting our time spent in the garden – a report found that 48% of people said noise spoiled their home life to some extent.
Gardeners will be looking for innovative products that allow them to plant more in a confined area.
Containers, planters and vertical gardening will continue to be popular. The Compact Cascade Planter from Forest Garden offers three levels of planting space, without taking up too much room.
Re-Wilding the Environment
More emphasis is now being put on the impact gardeners can have on their environment and the wildlife within it. The key to this trend of ‘imperfect gardening’ is to let your garden become less manicured and err on the wild side.
To achieve this, you can choose an area of the garden, or just a border, and allow it to become overgrown. Alternatively, the odd weeds left alone, piles of debris or small ponds provide safe havens and food for garden wildlife. The decline of animals such as bees, hedgehogs and butterflies was a hot topic in the news last year, and as gardeners we are keen to do our bit in whatever way we can.
There has been a major shift towards biological pest control in recent years, too, as gardeners become increasingly wary of chemical-based products. Nemasys and Nemaslug contain millions of beneficial nematodes, which are a natural way to control a variety of common pests, including the gardener’s number one pet-hate: slugs!
GLEE 2017 saw the launch of a new range of ecofective garden care products that are pet, child and bee friendly. The products include Pour & Feed, Slug Defence and Lawn Feed – all of which use natural and organic ingredients to ensure they are safe for wildlife and are kind to the environment.
The increase in noise pollution, as mentioned above, has seen gardeners wanting a garden that is enclosed, quiet and private.
Last year, Forest Garden launched its new Decibel Noise Reduction Fence Panel – the first DIY panel of its kind on the market, designed to reduce nuisance noise levels such as road traffic and noisy neighbours by as much as eight times.
Battery powered tools continue to soar in popularity because they are quiet, powerful and easy to handle, as well as being more environmentally friendly than alternative equipment.
Cobra Garden has a range of battery products, from lawnmowers to hedgecutters, with new tools launching this year.
Despite the unpredictable weather, Brits remain keen to enjoy their garden as much as possible by transforming it into a functional extension of the home and embracing a Mediterranean-inspired lifestyle. Demand for luxury garden products that can be used for leisure, entertaining and dining will continue, with sales of outdoor furniture, barbecues and accessories set to increase 3-4% annually over the next three years.
Forest Garden is launching new ranges of Gazebos and Pergolas for the new gardening season.
The popularity of the British shed remains high, but the rise of small garden storage will see gardeners looking for compact storage units that are just the right size for a patio, next to the back door, or by the side of the house. In response to this, Forest Garden is launching its new range of small storage for 2018 (pictured above).
The Posh Shed Company’s Patio Store, Half Sheds and the Allotment Store are all beautifully crafted and are designed with maximising space in mind.
Multi Tools for Multi Tasking
As gardeners look for innovative products to allow them to grow plants and store equipment in small spaces, they are also looking for tools that take up as little room as possible. Enter the multi-functional, multi-change® tools from WOLF-Garten! With a choice of 14 handles, over 60 tool heads (and new ones launching this year), this is one gardening tool that has dozens of functions, from weeding, sweeping, edging, pruning, raking and more.
Lightweight tools are also on the rise, as both beginner and amateur gardeners seek tools that are easy to handle and store away. Wilkinson Sword offers loppers and shears that weigh just 450 grams, but still have the excellent cutting ability that you would expect from this trusted gardening brand.
Visiting public gardens is becoming increasingly popular as people search for inspiration and planting ideas to take away and use in their own garden. Between 2014 and 2016, gardens and country parks saw a 7% and 4% increase in visitor numbers respectively.
The National Garden Scheme includes over 3,700 privately-owned gardens in England and Wales that are open to the public, and the proceeds raised are used to support nursing charities throughout the country. In 2017 nearly 700,000 members of the public visited gardens that range from stately homes to allotments to schools. An increasing trend is for entire villages to open up their gardens on a specified day.
Colour of the Year
Colour trend-setters Pantone recently announced its Colour of the Year: Ultra Violet. Think ‘deep purple’ and very appropriate for the garden! Likewise, Dulux announced Heart Wood as its Colour of the Year; a dusky, soft pink which is found in plants throughout nature.
As for plants, Hillier unveiled new plants at last year’s gold medal-winning RHS Chelsea show garden, including Malus × purpurea ‘Crimson Cascade’ (pictured below centre), which was shortlisted for the RHS’s Plant of the Year award. Hillier, although famed for its trees, included plenty of small shrubs and stunning flower displays, ideal for smaller gardens. Planning is already underway for RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018, where the company is going for its 73rd consecutive gold medal.
Take a look behind the scenes at Hillier’s nursery here.
Don’t hesitate to get in contact if you require any further information on any of the products or companies mentioned in this newsletter; press releases, photography and specification details are available upon request. Additionally, we are always opens to providing products for trials, competitions or offers.
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