Spring is here and we’re celebrating with a look at what’s trending in the gardening world in 2017. Now is the perfect time to start thinking about what (and how) you want to plant for the year ahead, so in part 1 of our Best Garden Trends for 2017, we’ll check out the green (and colourful!) aspects of gardening that will prove popular this year – and you don’t have to have a garden to try them for yourself!
Bright and beautiful
Neutrals and darker shades may be king indoors this year, but outdoors it’s set to be all about colour in 2017. The soft and soothing whites and pinks of the last few years won’t just suddenly disappear, but expect saturated oranges, radiant yellows, deep reds and vivid purples to feature in 2017’s flowerbeds and pots. That makes it the perfect year to be Fleuroselect’s Year of the Zinnia.
Similar to daisies and dahlias (but different!), the late summer zinnia elegans is vibrant, adaptable and a hit with butterflies. It’s no secret that bee and butterfly numbers are dwindling, so now’s also a great time to add some native wildflowers to your outdoor space – not only is it an inexpensive and very low-maintenance source of colour, but it’s also a haven for insects, which in turn attracts birds. It doesn’t even have to be a large space – every little bit helps!
As well as cottage garden flowers, other on-trend blooms for 2017 include big and beautiful peonies, hydrangeas (including compact versions) and potted berries – perfect if space is limited. Cacti and other succulents are still in, both indoors and outdoors.
Grow your own
The popularity of organic produce has already been going strong for a while, and now we’re starting to pay attention to food waste and mindful gardening too. On top of that, there’s a shift towards people wanting more functionality from their plants. So edible gardening ticks all the right boxes (and it’s also hugely satisfying)!
If you’re lucky enough to have a big back garden, you can really get creative with landscaping (or ‘foodscaping’) a veggie and herb garden using natural elements or even planting an orchard (and if your garden is not so huge, you can even grow dwarf fruit trees with full-size fruit by using special pruning techniques).
But don’t be put off if you ‘only’ have a balcony, patio or even a kitchen windowsill! Many edibles grow very happily and productively in pots (we already mentioned berries), and the trend of vertical gardening is also a perfect way to make excellent use of a side wall or backyard (but more on that later…). Zucchini and tomatoes are great crops for sunny balconies and patios, as they are super productive, even in containers. Runner beans and climbing varieties of cucumber will be happy in a deep pot with a sturdy trellis in a sunny spot; a deep pot where it’s warm and sunny is also perfect for a bright red crop of peppers or chillies.
In cooler weather and climates, carrots and lettuces are ideal candidates for containers (just choose single pots or a wide pot for lettuces, so you can leave enough space between plants). And like herbs, spinach is very easy to grow, even in a pot on the kitchen windowsill.
Like many indoor living spaces, our outdoor spaces are getting smaller too. But as gardens are feeling the squeeze, one trending solution is to plant vertically. Depending on how much time, space and expertise you have (and how much effort you want to make), a vertical garden can get quite complex and even have its own irrigation system. But don’t be intimidated – vertical gardening can also just be a matter of hanging a few pots or attaching them to a wall or fence. You can buy trellises or vertical growing kits, or if you’re feeling a bit more creative and handy, you can design and build your own using untreated wood pallets, crates, piping or wire. Just always remember to make sure the construction is strong, sturdy and secure so that it can’t topple over, especially where there may be children or pets around.
Once you get into it, you can use vertical gardening to create separate spaces or privacy in your garden or on your terrace. Along with equipment, other things to think about are the location of your wall (whether it’s sunny or shady), what you’d like to grow and what conditions those plants need (which is where a kit might come in handy), and drainage, watering and fertilising.
And even if you don’t have any access to an outdoor space, you can get the same effect indoors with some hanging pots, shelves or even a full-blown green wall installation.
Until part 2 of our favourite garden trends for 2017, happy gardening!
Picture sources: pinterest.com; zinnias by Amy the Nurse on Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0; wildflowers by Judith Doyle on Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0; home grown vegetables by Pete on Flickr // Public Domain Mark 1.0