Five gardening trends for 2014
The best gardening trends are ones that get you thinking and are straight-forward to adopt for your garden or allotment. We’ve picked out the best and most easily ‘DIY’d’ of the hot horticultural trends for 2014.
Lights, camera, action
With one eye on using your green space for entertaining, outdoor lights maintain their popularity this year. Gardens are increasingly being seen and treated as an extension of a home’s living space, albeit an outdoor one. A garden is a place for relaxing, enjoying yourself, as well as eating and drinking and accessorising accordingly is becoming the norm. Whether it’s functional wall lights, subtle trail lighting, or quirky solar pot lights there is something to suit every gardener on sites like www.spaldingbulb.co.uk.
The key is to think about what will work best with the overall character and features of your garden. You also need to be careful not to over do it! There is a thin line between striking and overwhelming.
More and more of us are opting to live in a way that reduces our impact on the environment. Green and ethical shopping is already on the rise, as this article from The Guardian newspaper explains, and now gardeners are looking for ways to cut their carbon footprint.
In 2014 so called ‘real gardening’ is making a comeback. This approach is based on the idea that Mother Nature probably knows best and avoids the use of chemical pesticides, fertilisers and weed killers. Instead, the sustainable gardener opts for all-natural (or homemade) compost and natural pest control using clever planting and predators.
With this kind of gardening the priority is a natural look – nothing too neat, ornate, manicured or manufactured. Real gardeners prioritise the growing of herbs and veg over ornamental flowers. Where there are plants and blooms they tend to be functional to attract bees, butterflies and other insects to the garden and generally help increase biodiversity. A wild patch left unattended in a corner is a must.
Inspired by the Chelsea Flower Show and Royal Horticultural Society, the green fingered are flocking to grow superfoods in their gardens. The term superfood describes foods that are packed with nutrients and other beneficial compounds. Exotic plants like carob, coconut and quinoa are classed as superfoods, but so are beetroot, apple and kale all of which grow happily outdoors in the UK.
Rising awareness of the plight of the declining bumblebee is impacting the way we garden and what we grow. A bee-friendly garden includes flowers that are rich in pollen and nectar and readily available between spring and late summer each year. The more bee-friendly plants the better, but a good aim is to include at least two to three varieties for each flowering period.
Plants like pansies and double begonias may look nice, but they offer little for bumblebees and other pollinators. Some flower shapes are inaccessible to bees – for instance where the petals form long tunnels that are too small to feed from. Similarly, flowers with lots of tightly packed heads do few favours for bees.
Avoiding chemical pesticides is a definite – they might be labelled as bug killers but they also harm bees.
Men aged between 18 and 34 are becoming increasingly active when it comes to a spot of gardening. Although women still do the majority of the planning and buying for a garden, men are taking more of an interest than ever before and this is having an impact on garden styles.
– This article was written by freelance writer and mother of three, Kathryn Thompson. Follow her on Twitter: @katht35