In the gardening world, all eyes are traditionally on the Chelsea Flower Show to offer hints on the gardening trends for the upcoming year.
This year was slightly different as the show took place in autumn, meaning there was a bigger focus on the seasonal variation rather than what’s hot in spring/summer. That’s said, there were still a few key insights on what trends are set to be big in 2022.
To find out how to get gardens ahead of the curve for next year, garden expert Shannen Godwin from J Parker’s, one of the UK’s leading plant and bulb companies, shares the insider knowledge of what we can expect from gardens in 2022.
Five garden trends for the upcoming year
1. Pantone colours
As always, Pantone’s colour description offers a strong indication of what themes we might see in gardens next year. Energy and elements are the main focus on their top colours, and this combines with 2021’s top garden trend of feel-good wellbeing. Pantone’s 2022 colour of Coral Rose is reminiscent of terracotta pots, while Sudan Brown and Coffee Quartz all add to this earthy vibe.
Patios with plenty of textured pots, earthenware and ceramics are set to be a key trend adding to a traditional sentiment to gardens, where the focus is on colour and feel-good rather than neatness and efficiency.
J. Parker’s has noticed this trend too, “We’re seeing a big uptick in sales of our patio fruit trees, which are a fantastic way to add colour, texture and interest to patio spaces and a chance to make the most of big, vibrant plant pots.”
2. Balcony blooms
Balcony gardens was a new category added to the Chelsea Flower Show 2021, and this is a trend that is set to get bigger and better over the next year as people make the most of any available outdoor space. With this in mind, practicality and productivity will become a big garden theme for 2022.
Shannen Godwin explains, “In the last year, there was a significant focus on creating bee-friendly gardens, while supply chain issues meant more people were looking to grow their own food. Those with balconies had to get really innovative to fit everything in their space, and this is a growing trend.”
Stackable planting, cascading window boxes and even hedging can help to create separate garden balcony zones. Rockeries are starting to become an exciting option for balconies showing that anything is possible. It’s just about getting creative with the space and making sure to add harmony where possible.
3. Nature is thriving
With the pandemic, gardens shifted towards a ‘nature’s healing’ theme and now is looking to move towards how nature is thriving. Many gardeners will use 2022 as a fresh start to their garden and a chance to hit refresh. As a result, white is set to be a prominent colour while air-purifying plants will grow in popularity.
“One plant that is flying off the shelves is aster. The bright, mood-boosting flowers have been popular for wellbeing-focused gardens, but they also offer air-purifying benefits and provide bio-indication when there are pollutants around.”
Other air-purifying plants looking to be big in 2022 include ivy and lady’s mantle.
4. Watching and waiting
With Chelsea Flower Show taking place later in the year, there was far more acceptance and enjoyment of plants as they fade. Each day, the show gardens with autumnal plants were treated to an ever-so slightly different display. This is a trend that will continue as we allow nature to work its magic and journey through every single colour variation before trying to remove dying plants.
If you want to experience plants in all their colourful glory (even in their dying days), plants such as hostas and peonies can be great for this. We may also see an increase in plant sketching and journaling as people document the whole life and colour cycle that each plant goes through.
5. Return of water features
For many years, gardeners have kept wildlife a priority in their garden designs with past trends, including swapping lawns for wildflower meadows, as well as adding insect homes and bird-friendly plants. Water features will be the next big focus for this while also combining with the Pantone 2022 colour of Cascade, a tranquil watery blue.
“The trend of xeriscaping (water-efficient gardens that minimise the need for irrigation) will continue as gardeners prepare for changing climates, and cleverly designed water features that look stylish but also serve as clever irrigation could be set to make waves in 2022.”
Another upcoming water feature trend is Mediterranean-inspired fountains with whitewash backgrounds to highlight the water feature and create an oasis of calm. Sensory gardens are still an essential aspect of landscaping, and gently trickling streams reinforce the wellbeing focus that gardens offer.
What’s exciting for gardens is that the rule book is being thrown away, and there is now more opportunity than ever to make a garden that’s unique. There doesn’t have to be a separation between vegetable patches and flowerbeds. Instead, it’s possible to combine all of the elements that people want in their gardens and use innovation to make the most of every available space.