With the focus very much on sustainability and reducing the damage to the planet that, as humans, we’ve been doing since the industrial revolution, it’s with great interest that we see this ‘on message’ trend coming through at the Chelsea Flower Show this year.
Throughout its 108 year history, 2021 is the first year that the exhibition was in the Autumn, rather than the Spring, it was always going to be a feast of muted autumnal colours, rather than the bold, colourful blooms of Spring that we’re all used to.
For the 30 million keen gardeners in the UK, the Chelsea Flower Show is a celebration of their passion and a chance to check out new techniques, ideas and designs they can apply to their own outdoor sanctuaries. The popularity of gardening has increased during the pandemic, with an estimated 3 million new gardeners getting into the hobby.
The key trends at the Chelsea Flower Show this year focussed inevitably on sustainability, climate solutions, conservation and mental health. The stunning array of show gardens all had the same message, even though their creations were as diverse as they were stunning.
There was a very clear message coming through regarding the conservation and ‘rewilding’ of our green spaces, with the development of ‘wildlife corridors’ of planting that will not only look good, but do good as well. Air purifying plants, flowers such as anemones and dahlias that are full of nectar and pollen and meadow grasses were showcased in stunning fashion.
Lazy lawn growth was encouraged – basically, cut back on cutting back, allowing the grass to grow longer, interspersed with clover and mixed grasses.
According to gardening expert Arthur Parkinson, author of The Pottery Gardener and trend forecaster, we’ve lost 80% of our wetlands over recent years. A very sobering statistic considering what ramifications it has on wildlife. Water brings a new dimension to the garden, by encouraging wildlife to drink and bathe, but also its movement and sound are conducive to mental health.
Repurpose and Recycle
There were some ingenious ways to recycle and repurpose old items within the garden space. Some of them were truly awe-inspiring. And no one will forget Tom Masseys Yeo Valley Organic Garden, which won the Peoples’ Choice Gold Award at Chelsea Flower Show this year, designed to support soil health and biodiversity and encourage pollinators.
Repurposing old steel dustbin lids into water features, turning reclaimed timber into amazing seating areas, growing succulents on an asphalt shed roof, the clever use of ‘healing plants’ such as aloe vera and herbs not only for medicinal use, but they look beautiful too.
Back to nature – as nature intended
The overall trend was, unsurprisingly, focused on treating our outside space, environment and wildlife with empathy. The trend is moving away from the immaculately mown lawn, regimented flower borders and concrete pathways. Rather more, the hard materials used were sustainable, natural, recyclable with pretty much zero carbon footprint.
It’s no longer ‘de rigour’ to have a beautiful garden without having respect for the environment. From soil choice to plant selection, the focus was very much on thoughtful support for wildlife conservation. The focus was on trying to support wildlife, with gardens becoming more ‘natural’ and less ‘manicured’, with ideas for growing hedges to support native foragers, support for the birds and bees, and encourage clover to grow through your grass.
If you’re interested in more information about the trends of gardening and sustainable garden supplies, then give us a call on 01453 547299 or take a look at our website. We are suppliers of garden supplies in and around Gloucester.