7 Inspiring New Year Garden Trends 2022
Written by Lilidh Matthews | Sunday 2nd January 2022 | Reading Time: 4mins
2021 has taught us that plants and nature help to nurture our health and wellbeing.
There are so many more benefits to be gained from gardening if we open our hearts to plants and in 2022 more people than ever will be seeking the comfort that plants bring – it’s not just a hobby, it’s a passion!
1. Vibrant Colours, Shades of Green and Spectacular Seasonal Foliage:
Instagram isn’t going anywhere quickly and has re-ignited a passion for bright colours ranging from pinks to reds and oranges anything that fits in with the seasonal aesthetic. However, the calmness created by leafy green plants is something that still continues to draw those seeking simplicity and low maintenance natural connections through every season. Speaking of seasonality, the fact that RHS Chelsea Flower Show was held in the Autumn for the first time ever allowed entries into the 2021 Plant Of the Year Award that you wouldn’t have seen if it had been held in May. The winning plant was Cercis canadensis ETERNAL FLAME, with entirely unique foliage colouring within shrubs. All new growth throughout the season emerges deep red, changing to burnt orange and golden yellow as the leaves mature continually throughout the year.
2. Small Space Gardening:
For the very first time, container and balcony gardening was brought onto the gardening catwalk of Chelsea 2021 with an entire avenue dedicated to balcony gardening all creating their own aesthetics. From Alexandra Noble’s Balcony of Blooms which emphasises environmental considerations with planting that is drought tolerant, beneficial to pollinators to Michael Coley’s garden Sky Sanctuary aiming to provide a place of calm – It was a quiet place tucked away up high in the sky for contemplation and relaxation from the busy world around.
In 2022 we’ll continue to see innovative ideas for small spaces, particularly for container gardens which benefit from being able to be grown in any space no matter how small and if you have to move, you can just take it with you. People’s focus in 2022 will be to maximise the seasonal interest out of every pot – something Finding Roots happens to specialise in!
3. Immersive Nature – It’s about the detail!:
Gardens in containers benefit from being moved, so you can bring your herb plants into the kitchen but you can also take small harvests to incorporate your garden into your cooking. It is this interconnectivity and movement between different living spaces that links the home to the natural world. Even one (well-planted) container can create atmosphere, intrigue and portal you into nature – it’s not all about size, it’s about the detail! 2022 will see more people interested in learning about plants as well as the related wildlife and landscapes through courses. It’s been a trend increasing over the years, but gardens will continue to be wildlife-inclusive and naturalistic in design. More traditional ways of connecting with nature will be rekindled such as, making nature diaries or pressing flowers to record and remember experiences in the garden throughout the year.
4. Going Native and Thinking British:
From ensuring the introduction of fewer ‘alien’ plants to our shores and recognising the beauty in what we have to supporting our specialist family-run British growers. In May 2021, National Plant Health Week highlighted how it is the responsibility of anyone who purchases a plant to make sure it isn’t going to be a risk to our native Flora. You may not realise it, but there are some nasty plant diseases in Europe and the rest of the world that could mean destruction of landscapes that we know and love in the UK. By being aware of where you purchase plants from you ensure that we can support our growers in growing high quality, healthy plants and practising good biosecurity. We are incredibly lucky to have a wealth of knowledge in the UK from some very passionate growers and some beautiful Native species which are already adapted to our changing climate and wildlife!
5. Rewilding, Urban Landscapes & Tree Planting:
Despite some incredible charities and organisations across the UK that are planting trees, supporting wildlife and conserving habitats there is still more to be done. Celebrities such as Ed Sheeran are buying up land for rewilding – but what about the cities? More attention is being paid to urban landscapes especially for those who have lived through a lockdown in the city. No matter how small, residents want to make their green spaces even more attractive for themselves and to draw in the wildlife. This is noticeable with increased attention to national schemes such as the Great Bird Watch or the Annual Butterfly Count, but equally this year is the Queen’s Jubilee and she has championed Tree Planting. Whilst we can’t individually plant a forest of trees on our balconies, aligning as a country regardless of whether you live in the country or the city and planting in our communities will contribute to increasing our national canopy.
6. Sustainability in Plants, Plastic & Peat:
Customers are becoming more careful with their money and are demanding that the horticulture industry follows suit. In 2021, it was announced that from 2024 the use of peat will be banned, so in 2022 you will see retailers beginning to announce how they will phase out the use of peat in the plants they sell. The biggest change to 2022 will be around packaging – many retailers will start packaging their plants with natural, recycled and ethically-sourced materials due to a new plastic packaging tax. The tax will be enforced on all packaging with less than 30% recycled content. So you are likely to see a lot of UK Grown, peat free plants with ethically sourced containers and packaging.
7. Gardening for Health & Wellbeing:
Spending time in nature is good for you – it’s a fact – and has been proven to reduce stress, improve your mood and boost physical health. This is much easier with open green spaces, but in the city and when you don’t have a garden, it is still possible to develop environments around you that help to replicate the natural world and provide a sense of connection. Plants don’t just look pretty, some have holistic benefits too from emitting delectable fragrances throughout the day, or when you touch them, to being diffused into a tea, or used in cooking. Actually paying attention to the tiniest detail on your plants is good for you, because it means you are outdoors in the fresh air and oxygenating your body. Even actions as small as deadheading your flowers or watering your plants means you are physically in contact with your plants, boosting your immune system. Similarly when we spend time simply observing our plants or the insects on them it helps to improve concentration and allows us to enjoy the simplicity of the moment. A garden no matter how big or small is the ultimate sensory experience with scents, textures and harvests.