Ethnobotanist James Wong says drop the word “gardening” and favor hashtags like #plantdaddy, #plantparenthood, #crazyplantlady, and #urbanfarmer; and the RHS is not keen on ‘horticulture’, preferring ‘environment’. Natalie Porter, co-founder of the Young People in Horticulture Association, says we should ditch the name “bedding plants” and use the term “plant me on” for bedding plants and “show me off” for hanging baskets and planted containers.
There’s a new seriousness in garden thinking: Landscape designer Darryl Moore says we need to rethink attitudes towards plants beyond aesthetics. He says gardeners went in circles thinking they were green but woke up to climate change.
Moore’s book Gardening in a Changing World: Plants, People and the Climate Crisis (Pimpernel Press) states: “We all have responsibilities as gardeners in the broadest sense of the word, and our actions matter. A smarter way of dealing with plants prepares us for the challenges of the future. It should be a cause for celebration, not a chore.”
RHS has announced the online retail launch of the RHS Welsh Slate Collection, a range of garden features manufactured by Welsh Slate Water Features. This is part of a movement towards more natural materials for landscaping, driven by environmental concerns about carbon footprint. Other examples include wool products such as Dalefoot compost, Twool tree and shrub binders, and Hortiwool insulation pads; Rubber pots (instead of plastic) from Wildlife World.
Curated deliveries of plants and garden items are becoming more common. They are offered by Mind, Body & Soil, Muddy Trowel and the Rose Press Garden. The Good Housekeeping Institute recommends Appleyard, Bloom & Wild, FlowerBx, Patch and Waitrose.
The hot color
Color trend forecaster Pantone has chosen Viva Magenta 18-1750 as the color of the year: “A bold and fearless hue whose exuberance encourages a joyful and upbeat celebration and writes a new narrative.” Last year’s color was Very Peri, which attracted a lot of interest attracted plant lovers. Plant Spiraea japonica, Walberton’s Plumtasic or Buddleja ‘Buzz Magenta’ this year to create your own ‘Magentaverse’.
A beaver-friendly garden for charity Rewilding Britain won gold in Chelsea last year, but the naturalistic look isn’t for everyone. TV favorite Alan Titchmarsh says wild meadows can set unrealistic expectations for amateurs to have them blooming with wildflowers as they tend to sink into weed beds and dead zones.
The Tower of London’s Superbloom installation is one example: during the 2022 anniversary celebrations, the wildflower ditch meadow was far from in full bloom. Well manicured gardens and the craft of plant breeding are now being “denigrated” in favor of unkempt lots, says Titchmarsh. The dreamy bourgeois garden makeover that will add five figures to your property does not contain any bits that don’t look tidy.