The popularity of gardening continues to rise, with research by the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) showing that lockdown in 2020 created another 3 million more gardeners. With people spending more time at home again in 2021 it is the perfect opportunity to make your garden, no matter what its size, look its best. But it is not just about looks. It is a fact that gardening makes many people feel happier, healthier and more in tune with nature. Just what we need in 2021. So what should you be planting in your garden this year? Squire’s Garden Centres tell us some of the key garden trends for 2021 to inspire you.
Bright Colours: Following on from the rainbows that we saw in many windows across the country in 2020, people want some cheer and joy in their gardens, and an injection of colourful plants does just that. “Don’t be afraid of colour,” says Sarah Squire, Chairman of Squire’s Garden Centres. “Go for bold, vibrant colours, and make your garden as colourful as you like. Retro plants such as Chrysanthemums, Asters and Dahlias are very popular right now.”
Grow Your Own: There’s no greater reward than growing your own fresh fruit and veg, and people are increasingly conscious of where their food is coming from. The most used gardening hashtag on Instagram* in 2020 was #growyourown, with #organicgardening at number three and #vegetablegarden at number five. So, whether you have a windowsill, balcony, patio or garden, everyone can try to grow something edible. Potatoes, chillies, tomatoes, herbs and strawberries are good things to start with.
Peat Free & Eco Compost: Demand for sustainable compost has been growing over the last year or so. Choosing the right compost means stronger, healthier plants and bigger, better harvests. And the good news is that there is now a wide selection of eco-friendly peat-free and reduced-peat composts to suit every gardening task – from growing fruit and veg, to planting up containers and hanging baskets.
Best of British: Native British plants create elegant and contemporary gardens. They may require less watering and less maintenance too. Plus, by buying British you’re helping to support local growers. 80% of plants at Squire’s Garden Centres are British grown, many very locally indeed. The classic English Cottage Garden has never gone out of fashion. It’s all about grace and charm, using traditional materials such as brick and paving, and densely planting with a mixture of ornamental and edible plants that look good and attract wildlife such as butterflies and bees too. Try planting classics such as roses, foxgloves, poppies, sweet peas and lavender, as well as vegetables, herbs and fruit.
Houseplants: Houseplants have massively increased in popularity over the last few years, and retro plants that were popular in the 1970’s are definitely back in fashion right now. Google Trends and Instagram research has shown that the following houseplants had the highest increases in searches in 2020, so will be very on trend in 2021: Snake Plant; Cactus; Peacock Plant; Prayer Plant; String of Hearts; Aloe Vera; Bird of Paradise; String of Pearls; Chinese Money Plant; Fiddle Leaf Fig
Wildlife Garden: Many people are pruning and mowing less, or leaving a patch of their garden wild to create a haven for birds, bees, butterflies and hedgehogs. To encourage wildlife into your garden, add wildflowers, bird feeders, a hedgehog home or bug hotel, and leave out fresh water if you don’t have a pond. Use less artificial hard landscaping and add more plants to create a biodiversity for wildlife to thrive.
Zen Garden: More so than ever, the garden will be a place to relax and escape in 2021. Plants such as acers, eucalyptus and bamboo will give a Zen-like feel to gardens, and expect to see contemporary metal sculptures for the garden as well as wall art.
The Mediterranean Garden: Missing the Med? Well don’t despair, you can bring a touch of the Med to your garden by including a selection of plants and herbs that will give you that laid-back Mediterranean vibe. Use architectural plants such as palm trees, cypress and yuccas to add height and drama. For beautiful scent plant jasmine or lavender, and add agapanthus, osteospermum or ceanothus for a splash of colour. As well as looking good they are low maintenance, requiring little watering. Plant in flowerbeds or in terracotta pots for that blue and ochre look so reminiscent of the colours of Provence or Italy.
White Garden: For the ultimate in sophistication and if you want your flowers to illuminate your evenings a white garden could be the answer. A quick look at Instagram will show you why this is so on trend. Choose a dark backdrop, deep green foliage or a dark fence, and add some eye-catching white flowers to fill the space such as delphiniums, rhododendrons, roses or scented jasmine.
Bring the inside out: Gardens are rooms to decorate, so just as you would invest in a new sofa or table for the home, make sure that your garden furniture looks as good and is super comfortable. “Corner and lounging sets made of weather-resistant weave or aluminum are practical and stylish. Some even come with a built-in fire pit, great for keeping warm and cosy, staying out in the garden longer, or even cooking on,” said Darran Oakley who is the director responsible for sourcing the Squire’s range. Expect to see more modular furniture that can easily change depending on the number of guests. And outdoor dining is a trend that continues to increase in popularity, with people buying bigger and better BBQ’s, and even pizza ovens for their garden.
Pictured top: the green wall was created using the Lechuza modular planter system