Trends from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show (2021)

Chelsea Flower Show is finally here! Postponed to autumn for the very first time, this years Chelsea made the most of the time of year, using autumnal colours and tones that aren’t typically seen. But the main part of Chelsea, one of the biggest reasons people from all over the country flock towards the most celebrated flower show… The trends. Chelsea Flower Show is great for many reasons – the talks, the food, and of course the displays. Every year gardeners from all around present their gardens and therefor set the newest trends in the gardening industry. Let’s take a look at trends from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021.

Meadows

As we saw from RHS Tatton Park earlier this year, rewilding and sustainability has become an ongoing theme within the display gardens. The gold-winning ‘Yeo Valley Organic Garden’ embraced nature and the ‘imperfection’ that came along with it. Garden designer Tom Massey and supported by Sarah Mead, allowed plants to grow as they would naturally occur. The garden also promoted support for biodiversity, using plants that were organically grown and chemical-free. Sarah shared some great tips for those at home who wish to adapt their garden and become more environmentally conscious. By packing flowers tightly together it minimalises the amount of sunlight getting to weeds, eliminating the need for weed killer.

Ponds

You might not think that there is much in common between meadows and ponds, but they both share the same biological problem. Much like wildland, we have also lost almost 80% of wetlands. Water brings so much to a garden, but aside from purely aesthetic reasons it also brings in wildlife. It is a place for birds to bathe, insects to hover and creates to take a drink. There are aquatic plants that can add a whole new look to the garden. From waterlilies, water lettuce and blue iris, many of which can be used as natural water purifiers. Water is a vital part of not just human life, but nature and life itself.

Artisan features

Alan Williams highlighted the trend of art becoming a part of the garden. As the award-winning designer of ‘The Parsley Box Garden’ and Creative Director of Form Plants he used sculptures tucked amongst the planting. Artisan features were used amongst many gardens, and these pieces were not your traditional stone sculptures. They included metal formations, a water feature and extraordinary wooden structures. The best part of these art pieces was the emphasis on local craftsmanship and materials used. The award-winning M&G Garden features repurposed metal pipes, something easily accessible and readily available.

Creative containers

RHS Chelsea has had many firsts! From it being held in September for the first ever time, to being the first year to introduce a dedicated container gardening category. This year certainly made up for its absence last year. From this new category, people were able to show what can be done in a small garden space. Not everyone has vast amounts of land or allotments, so a focus on smaller gardening practises is a great start.

Indoor gardens

Following the theme of smaller gardens and dynamic spaces, this was the very first Chelsea Flower Show to highlight houseplants with the brand new indoor gardens category! After postponing the show last year due to world events which saw us all spending more time inside it only seemed necessary. Gardening has seen a massive boost in the last year alone with more and more people seeing the positive benefits it has on mental wellbeing. There were so many designs that were able to utilise the space given and the movability that houseplants have.

Whether you were able to go to the Chelsea Flower Show this year or catch it on television, it’s clear that the trends set this year are here to stay. With a more conscious effort from the RHS to ‘get political’ by focussing on environmental issues and adapt to the new types of gardens, it is proven that this can be done with style.

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100 Years of Gardening Trends

Over the last century, gardening has taken shape into what we know it as today. Like many parts of culture, gardening has always been subject to trends.

But what was gardening really like back in the day? Was it any different to the casual pottering we do in our gardens today? Let’s take a look through the last 100 years of gardening trends to find out.

1910 – 20’s – WW1 Victory Gardens

Once the war began, many women worked in gardens as a contribution to the country. This mainly focused on growing produce to supply across the country as our food dwindled due to the war. Not only was this movement highly prevalent in the UK, but also across seas in the USA too.

1920’s – 30’s – Home Grown Bouquets

After the war, many Briton’s started growing and harvesting their own flowers to display proudly in the household, rather than buying them elsewhere. This trend is still around today, with many gardeners preferring their own blooms in a stunning indoor display.

1970’s – 80’s – House Plants

Back in the 70’s and 80’s, house plants truly came into trend. We’re now seeing a resurgence now, but this trend was first seen in the latter half of the 1900s!

1900’s – Today – Natural and Wild Gardens

From the 1900s to now, one trend has remained relevant. From as early as 1900, gardeners were influenced by what was called the Arts and Crafts movement, popularised by people such as William Morris. This new theme of gardening focused on a more natural, easy-going way of gardening.

The aim is to create a garden display that looks naturally occurring, incorporating a mixture of climbing plants, container displays, and rose bushes to achieve an impressive show throughout the year. Even today, you can see these designs in many gardens across the UK, where they look perfectly at home.

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What is Organic Gardening?

Like the word natural, the word organic gets tossed around a lot. But what does it mean to practise organic gardening? Organic gardening is essentially gardening without using synthetic products like fertilizers and pesticides. It involves the use of only natural products to grow plants in your garden. 

The benefits of organic gardening

Organic gardening comes with many benefits. Organic gardens cultivate an ecosystem that involves feeding the soil, encouraging wildlife, and getting creative with nature’s pest and disease controls. It’s cheap, it’s practical – and it’s good for plants, people and communities. Plus, growing organic fruit and vegetables is the best way to be sure that you’re supplying the purest, highest-quality foods to your family. 

How to start an organic garden

Good soil is key to organic growing. Fertile soil provides the home for millions of bacteria, which are essential for healthy plant growth. Soil also holds air and water which gives it a good structure (not compacted or waterlogged) and good texture (not too heavy or light). This allows plants to put down roots, to absorb water and nutrients, and encourage strong growth. 

Organic gardeners also withhold from using pesticides and use natural bug control methods. Many organic growers, and even some who are not, plant their crops in certain combinations in order to repel pests.

Throughout the year, organic gardeners collect their household waste and yard clippings to use in a compost bin. Compost bins are a cheap and easy way to create your own natural compost. This bin is turned regularly in order to facilitate decomposition. Early in the growing season, the organic gardener will work the compost into the garden plot, thus enriching the soil with the natural ingredients needed for a rich growing bed.

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Garden Trends for 2021

I think we all want some change in 2021. Gardeners are always actively working to make the garden more beautiful, mainly with relaxation and fun as the goal. If you fancy giving your garden some TLC in the new year, have a look at our top garden trends for 2021 and get inspired.

Garden Trends: Colour Schemes

Comforting Neutrals

With more of us spending a lot of time at home, 2021 will be a year of creating cocooning, cosy spaces. Dulux have announced that their ‘Colour of the Year’ for 2021 is “Brave Ground”; a warm neutral. So, why not use the trendy colours designed for the home in the garden? Creams and warm neutrals are the perfect colours for creating restful and relaxing flower displays that bring a sense of comfort to your outdoor space.

For trailing trellises and walls, we recommend an elegant creamy rose, or warm pastel begonias for your summer borders and pots.

Rich Reds

We predict that 2021 will steer towards the warmer tones of reds and plum. These rich saturated hues are effortlessly chic and will make for dramatic and luxurious flower beds and borders. There are so many ravishing red dahlias to choose from that are perfect for borders and for cut flower gardens.

Garden trends: Garden Styles

Balcony gardens

Since one in eight households (12%) in Great Britain has no access to a private or shared gardens according to ONS, British city-dwellers are getting more inventive with ways to grow plants. Growing potted plants on balconies is a great way for those living in a block of flats or a high rise building to enjoy a small piece of nature at home.

Windowsill gardening also a great way for growing plants in small spaces; grow herbs to add a little something extra to your cooking or fill them with colourful flowers. You might not have a big, sprawling space, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grow fresh plants and flowers!

Raised beds

Raised bed gardening has grown in popularity, and it’s easy to see why. Gardening in raised beds has endless possibilities and so many benefits.

  • Fewer weeds
  • Easier for those with mobility issues
  • Better water retention in areas that have super-sandy soil
  • Better drainage in areas with clay soils
  • More growing space
  • No soil compaction from foot tread
  • Warmer soil earlier in the season
  • Warmer soil for a longer season
Cottage gardens

Classic styles always stay on trend. The very familiar and popular modern-day concept of cottage gardening dates all the way back to the 14th century during Elizabethan times. If you’re looking to achieve this stunning, traditional style at home, consider planting roses, foxgloves, alliums, poppies, and delphiniums.

Grow your own produce

‘Grow your own’ has been one of the biggest growing garden trends over the past few years, but with so many of us looking for new hobbies to keep us occupied over lockdown, growing fruit and veg has become more popular than ever. For those looking to pick up the trend, dwarf fruit trees and rhubarb are perfect for growing produce in any sized space.

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White Garden: Best Plants for White Flowers

There is a timeless elegance in white flowers that will never fade. They brighten up dull spots, add contrast to colourful plants and add a subtle glow to the garden in the evenings.

Here are our favourite white bloomers to fill your garden with ethereal beauty all year round.

For hanging baskets:

These stunning flowers create a real eye-catching effect in summer hanging baskets. 

Scaevola Albanico ‘White’
Surfinia ‘White’
Million Bells ‘White’

For flower pots:

Our perfect pot partners bloom with masses of white flowers to cheer up any patio pot, porch or garden space.

Dahlia ‘Toto’
Heuchera ‘White Cloud’
Hydrangea ‘Confetti’
Echinacea ‘Milkshake’

For beds & borders:

For a carpet of snowy blooms or large and in charge feature plants, these are our top picks for white-flowering beds and borders.

Lily ‘Pretty Woman’
Dianthus ‘Confetti White’
Gypsophila ‘White’
Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’

For shrubs:

Add beauty year-round with these amazing pure white blooming shrubs.

Pearl Bush
Buddleia ‘White Swan’
Snowball Bush
Euonymus ‘Paloma Blanca’

Shop our full range of white colour themed plants and bulbs here.

Pretty Pastels for the Garden

To make a garden– a beautiful garden! You must choose garden colour schemes smartly. On a deeper level, colours can evoke certain emotions in us. Bright colours can make us feel more energetic and vibrant. Cool colours can make us feel calm, content, tired or melancholy and pastel colours can make us feel relaxed, refreshed and peaceful. In a garden space intended for peace, quiet and relaxation, pastels are the perfect garden colour scheme this summer.

Using pastels in the garden can create a space where we can unwind after a hard day and feel refreshed. A pastel garden can be placed almost anywhere in the yard. Pastel colored flowers look beautiful in bright sunlight, but also stand out in shade gardens and can brighten up especially dark areas.

Blues

Hibiscus Blue Chiffon

This award winning Hibiscus Syriacus has cool pale blue flowers, arranged like layers of ruffled chiffon. The centres are subtly marked with flashes of star-like burgundy-purple veins. A fabulous deciduous shrub which holds the RHS Award of Garden Merit, its quality’s guaranteed. A fine stand- alone specimen, or reliable addition to the shrub border, it will also make a great informal hedge or screen. It is a great choice for attracting butterflies to your garden.

Polemonium viscosum Blue Whirl

This beautiful clump forming Jacob’s ladder that produces clusters of small lavender blue flowers on shorter stems with fern like foliage. This compact perennial is perfect for patio pots or rockeries for creating a burst of cool colour.

Iris Sibirica Dear Delight

The Siberian Iris is a hardy perennial Iris which produces graceful flowers from May to July in an unusual tone of powder blue with white shading.

Pinks

Lily Elodie

This pale, baby pink Asiatic Lily is an excellent choice for bedding with very sturdy stems and upright flowers that will add plenty of elegant, pastel colour to your garden in the summer. For a lovely soft pastel display plant alongside creamy pink roses such as Joie de Vivre or our pink and white Dahlia Mix. These can be cut for a delicate and romantic bouquet.

Gladioli Adrenaline

Gladioli Adrenaline are a stunning blend of pale pink and white, they are sure to add glamour to your summer garden. We recommend planting Gladioli in groups at monthly intervals, starting early spring, to extend the flowering season for a showcase that lasts all summer long.

Lavender Rosea

A twist on the traditional lilac evergreen Lavender varieties, Rosea produces beautiful pale pink flower heads as well as the instantly recognizable Lavender fragrance.  They are ideal for planting in rows as illustrated or in pots around the patio and garden.

Yellows

Double Hollyhocks Yellow

Hollyhocks, otherwise known as Alcea, are a stable of many gardeners and synonymous with cottage garden displays. This beautiful Double Yellow variety produces stunning flowers in a sunny yellow shade. The flowers are perfect for attracting bees, butterflies and other nectar loving insects into your garden.

Dahlia Boom Boom Yellow

Unique pale yellow blooms that look amazing in the summer border. These Pompom Dahlias produce fabulous double spherical blooms which are sure to add a new dimension of shape and texture to any garden. Each flower head is made up of layers of silky, inwardly curved petals creating a perfectly formed sphere. Tall sturdy stems not only provide excellent support; but also provide the Dahlia with its iconic bobbing habit in the breeze – an uplifting and calming sight, especially in a hot sunny garden.

Rose Peace

In 1976, Rose Peace was voted the first ever ‘world’s favourite rose’ by the Rose Hall of Fame, and it isn’t difficult to see why. This exquisite variety of Hybrid Tea Rose produces elaborate, slightly frilled double blooms of creamy yellow, flushed at the edges with delicate pale pink. The Peace Tea Rose also emits a mild but delightfully sweet fragrance, as with other Hybrid Tea varieties.

Purples

Syringa meyeri Palibin

An upright deciduous shrub which produces dense clusters of sweetly fragrant, light pink and white panicles over attractive heart shaped foliage from late spring into early summer. When in bloom, the gorgeous flowers will bring butterflies to your garden.

Agapanthus Melbourne

A stunning new bi-colour addition to the Agapanthus range, with purple buds that open to reveal white flowers with a lilac purple stripe through each petal. Known as the African lily, these are drought tolerant and like well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight. They flower throughout August and September, boast masses of strappy foliage and tall 1m stems making these the ideal addition to the back of the border.

Petunia Tumbelina Priscilla

Tumbelina Petunia produce large unique double blooms in abundance during the summer months. The numerous flowers and its long trailing habit (up to 60-80cm) make it perfect for hanging baskets. Flowering from June through to October the fragrant flowers can create a wonderful display whether planted on their own or with other trailing varieties or colours. Priscilla is a lilac- purple variety with heavily veined petals.

ENJOY GARDENING THIS SPRING!