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.
A true staple of spring. Tulips are one of the most popular bulbous perennials in the British garden. With fresh green foliage, amazing colours and shapes, Tulips will brighten up any garden and provide weeks of cheerful blooms. In honour of our fashion-forward customers, we have narrowed down the latest trend setting Tulips to help inspire you before you shop in time for bulb planting season!
Use complimentary colours to create a spring garden scheme full of maximum contrast, resulting in dynamic and exciting displays with a more primal intensity.
Beauty and class all in one Tulip. These pure white blooms with delicately fringed edges will brighten up any spring garden when planted in pots or the border. Why not even plant them in groups for a sea of gleaming white flowers?
A stylish Triumph Tulip. Producing showy cream and violet edged blooms, this variety will bring a touch of rich colour to the garden. Perfect for borders or containers, or you can even cut the blooms as part of a beautiful indoor display.
Producing unusual, feather-like blooms, this outstanding double Tulip is a great feature for an eye-catching display. These bright white flowers will shine in the spring garden, whether they are planted in the border or in pots.
We’ve scoured the internet to find you the latest trends for your spring-flowering displays. Here are our favourite floral inspirations to liven up and shape your tulip displays this spring.
Bring vibrant orange, sunny yellow and fresh green shades to the garden to create a tantalizing tropical look bursting with exciting colours.
Yellow is a colour which shines like the sun and makes days that little bit brighter. Yellow flowers are a great way to express joy and positivity, so here are our favourite yellow bloomers to enjoy this spring.
In a garden space intended for peace, quiet and relaxation, pastels are the perfect garden colour scheme this spring. Pastel flowers look beautiful in bright sunlight, but also stand out in shade gardens and can brighten up especially dark areas.
Verbena Bonariensis were dotted around almost every show garden on display this year. Whether as a background plant for a wild border or used as a centerpiece plant with their long stems, these beautiful purple flowers were definitely in the spotlight this year. A fantastic summer border plant with good pest resistance.
One of our favourite summer flowering perennials were heavily featured this year, the Echinacea. Also known as Coneflowers, they will flower from summer through late autumn, often still in flower as late as October. They make a bright and bold addition to the modern garden, look larger than life at the back of the border, and are a great way to attract butterflies and bees to the UK garden.
The beautiful giant blooms of Alliums took a center stage this year. Large varieties were spread all around the show, whilst smaller flowering varieties such as Allium Drumsticksand the half-spherical blooms of Allium Miami were featured in this year’s show gardens. An easy to grow and versatile range of plants that can work in any garden.
1. Pollinator Pals (Alliums,Achillea, Agapanthus)
Alliums, Achillea and Agapanthus were strongly featured in the show gardens at this year’s show. The show had a strong theme of pollinator-friendly planting and when it comes to looking after wildlife in the garden, these varieties are well-loved by bees and other pollinators.
Agapanthus are great showy plants with exotic looking flowers, Alliums are easy to grow, stylish plants with tall stems and large pom pom heads of flowers and Achillea are a stunning flowering herbaceous perennial with each flower head containing of hundreds of long lasting, tiny flowers. So, it’s easy to see how these beautiful summer contenders have been a popular choice this year.
Another big trend seen around the show gardens is creating layers of a variety of border plants. Ass seen with the brightly colours florals in the ‘Let’s Go Fly a Kite Garden’, the subtle contrasting tones in ‘The Perfumer’s Garden’ and the wild themed grassy border in the ‘Baroque Garden’.
Creating a layered garden soothes the eye while enhancing other aspects of the garden. Planting a garden in layers considers both vertical and horizontal eye appeal but also the aspect in which we view the area and seasonal interest. Planting a garden in layers will ensure that the highest plants are at the farthest eye point of the garden with medium sized in the middle and the lowest growing at the front.
Repeated patterns, colours, forms and textures throughout a border can create unique patterns in the landscape.
3. Harmonising Hostas
A key trend that was prominent in almost every show garden at this year event was Hostas.
Originating from China and Japan, Hostas are one of the best perennials for shade in the garden, grown in either pots, containers or borders. Renowned for the amazing foliage they produce and have become a common addition for the modern garden designer. Hosta plants are a great perennial plant which is often chosen for their attractive shaped leaves and summer flowers.
Hostas are ideal to add texture and colour to a garden planting scheme. They can be used to complement other plants by adding a contrasting look and style that enhances the overall interest and aesthetic of the scheme. There is a huge choice of varieties available to buy, covering all shapes, colours, and sizes for all tastes.
Ornamental grasses made their presence known in many show gardens this year. A range of herbaceous perennials and grasses were featured in ‘The Mindful Garden’, such as Festuca. The silvery needles of Festuca glauca were featured in the monochrome palette of the ‘Every Cloud has a Silver Lining Garden’, and long and varied grasses were displayed in the ‘Trail of Thoughts Garden’ to represent the fading of memory with colourful flowers giving way to a grassier and more muted landscape.
Grasses have long since proved their value in the landscape, moving from what was once considered a craze to one that is a solid cultural shift. As gardens have shifted toward lower maintenance and nature friendly, ornamental grasses have fit every bill that today’s gardener demands — while providing the contrast, texture and form that designers crave.
Who can forget the ever-changing blooms of hydrangeas. The use of beautiful fragrant shrubs were used for structure in a variety of the show gardens this year. The once overlooked hydrangeas of the past are now the trend setting plants of today.
With immense flower heads, Hydrangeas flaunt an old-fashioned charm that is hard to resist. Unrivaled in the shrub world for beautiful flowers, they are easy to cultivate, tolerate almost any soil, and produce abundant blooms. Hydrangeas are excellent for a range of garden sites from group plantings to shrub borders to containers.
If you missed the Chelsea Flower Show last week, the gardens showcased everything from wildlife havens, wildflower fields to woodland wonderlands. To help you discover the top gardening trends from the 2019 gardens, we’ve compiled a guide to the best themes that you can get inspired by and recreate in your very own garden.
Here are some of the popular garden themes to inspire you…
Wildflowers made a huge appearance at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. Sprinkled with lovely blue Camassias, lupins and grasses, Mark Gregory’s Welcome to Yorkshire garden showcased the beauty and freshness of a perennial spring meadow in a garden setting. Here are some of our recommendations for adding some natural beauty to the garden.
The bright blue spiky flowers of this Esculenta make this beautiful hardy plant a perfect choice to naturalise in your gardens. Blooming in summer, these beautiful vibrant flowers will form clumps of bright blue linear leaves and leave you with a spectacular wild garden look.
With their mass of pea-like flowers, these Lupins are very easy to grow for beautiful flowers year after year. This variety showcases elegant violet-blue blooms above a base of star-shaped green foliage that is a true showstopper in the summer border.
This RHS Garden Merit Award winner is a true delight for a cottage garden look. This Foxglove’s stunning creamy yellow bell-shaped flowers are great for attracting butterflies and bees to the garden to liven up the summer garden.
Even in a small town garden, Finnish designer Tiana Suonio shows how to create a wildlife haven retreat. The theme of planting fragrant and diverse perennials was a recurring theme this year, with flowers to attract pollinators. Suonio creates a multi-layered meadow of plants from Lily of the Valley (Finnish National Flower) and strong Willows that can handle the demanding Finnish growing conditions.
The lovely tumbling branches of this Salix caprea will provide your garden will year round interest. Their silver, fuzzy catkins open up in the spring to become soft silky flowers with yellow anthers before lush, hanging foliage appears.
Within Suonio’s Finish landscape, the informal garden’s style featured meadow planting with daisies. Loved by butterflies and bees, the giant white daisy-like flowers of the ‘Snow Lady’ will create a sight to behold in the summer time.
Peonies were a delightful addition to the show gardens this year, providing a pop of summer colour. Our fragrant Peony Sarah Bernhardt will add a beautiful flush of candy-pink colour in their frilly, delicate blooms that is hard to miss.
The predominant colour for almost all gardens this year is green. From lush foliage to green flowers and tall grasses. Andy Sturgeon’s M&G Garden focused on nature’s regenerative power in a woodland landscape and used predominately green plants to get his message across and provide an ancient quality.
This stunning Euphorbia produces bright, upright stems smothered in bright green and yellow flowers. They create a fabulous and unique summer display when added to a herbaceous border or patio containers.
This bright and beautiful grass will create a gorgeous lush green garden look. This dwarf mound-forming variety produces masses of thin, spiky golden yellow leaves for a vibrant yet natural dash of colour in the summer garden.
These perfect naturalisers produce creamy-white blooms, densely set on very long stems. Whether planted in beds or borders, this Camassia variety are an amazing addition en-masse in any wild garden.
Unlikely materials, industrial features and rubble provided inspiration for a whole planting scheme this year with Graham Bodle’s garden. Pines, textured foliage and natural accents against the industrial landscape were added to provide a relaxing garden space. The M&G Garden features a delicate planting selection of fiery Geums, Primulas and Digitalis.
Bodle’s garden featured a myriad of fiery coloured Geums, so get the look with this beautiful orange Geum variety. The rich, vibrant blooms of Geum Queen of Orange are the perfect hardy perennials for attracting pollinators and will flower all summer long.
The Quarry Garden featured a flurry of foliage and grasses to give an effect of an industrial space being reclaimed by nature. This spectacular variegated grass has an unusual cascading effect with stunning bi-coloured leaves to add a touch of the wild to the garden.
Bodle paired the beautiful silvery-leaved Digitalis purpurea alongside the lovely Primula Candelabra as an arresting combination. Digitalis purpurea, a classic cottage garden favourite, will add a beautiful mixture of colour in the summer time for a display of natural beauty.
With wild trees and shrubs and a cool calm colour palette of green and blue, the woodland garden designed by the Duchess of Cambridge was designed to build a relaxing and calming space. With beautiful foliage and wildlife-attracting plants as a focal point of the Back to Nature garden, here are our woodland inspired planting recommendations.
The calming blue shades of the Vinca Minor‘s flowers makes a fantastic ground cover feature for creating a calm and collective atmosphere and add a touch of the wild nature of a woodland floor to the garden.
Kate’s garden featured a selection of ferns to enhance the feel of a woodland’s conditions. The architectural form and fresh green fronds of the ‘Lady Fern’ gives some height with their feathery shaped form. Also, this fern was awarded the RHS Garden Merit Award.
As a Winner of the RHS Award of Garden Merit and voted plant of the Centenary during the Chelsea Flower Show 2013, it’s easy to say this Geranium is a guaranteed gardener favourite. This Geranium variety blooms gorgeous purple flowers and makes ideal ground cover.