4 new gardening trends to try in 2017

4 new gardening trends to try in 2017

Many recent studies indicate that time spent in and amongst nature plays an instrumental role in reducing stress and improving general health & well-being. Fortunately, due to modern advancements, it’s not necessary to go into the woods to spend time with nature. You can do so in the comfort of your own home, office or garden.

No longer are we limited by climate, rainfall, space, and soil conditions when it comes to growing plants. The advancement in modern techniques and technology enables virtually any available space to be transformed into a plant haven. Here are four new gardening trends to consider.

Vegetable seedlings

  1. Growing herbs & vegetables indoors

Indoor gardening techniques and equipment have improved in leaps and bounds over recent years. People are often choosing (or being forced) to live in smaller spaces without large gardens, whilst at the same time the demand for local and organic food has increased tremendously. Hence, many are opting to grow their own herbs, salads and other vegetables such as pak choi and chillies indoors. You can also grow your own herbal plants for infused teas, soaps or medicinal treatments. A windowsill is a perfect site for all this. You might also have a small balcony area that you can dedicate to these plants; or, failing that, grow plants under lights or use aquaponic systems.

Swallow greenhousecredit

  1. Greenhouses

If you do have some outdoor space, it doesn’t need to be large or expansive in order to grow your own food. You can have a Swallow greenhouse installed in your backyard or flat roof terrace. These greenhouses are specifically manufactured to help grow delicate plants that require specific conditions. They are constructed of timber that is heat-treated up to 215ºC, protecting the construction from rotting. Hence, you can be assured of the durability of Swallow greenhouses as they’re built to handle cold and damp weather conditions with ease. If you’re considering installing a Swallow greenhouse in your backyard or other potentially suitable space, pay a visit to the site greenhousestores.co.uk.

Cacti and succulent house plants

  1. Jungle and desert-inspired interiors

A trend that has been gaining momentum recently is grouped collections of house plants. If you browse magazines and interiors websites, you’ll see that many home-owners are using house plants to decorate their homes – arranged in wonderful assemblages of various sizes and shapes. Many have broad, glossy, architectural leaves and others cascade down from shelves and hanging planters. This gives quite a jungle-inspired feel and they’re currently all the rage.

The same can be said of cacti and other succulents. Again, they’re arranged in concentrated collections for maximum impact. Various pot colours & sizes – and using alternative containers such as up-cycled tins can add further interest. When decorating your home, consider these bold and intriguing house plants – for both the natural air purification benefits and to make a real interiors statement.

Click Grow house planting kit

  1. Hi-tech gardening tools

There’s some great new technology on the market for the both the experienced and aspiring gardener.

There is a growing range of apps available for your smartphone or tablet. There are plant identifiers such as the RHS ‘Grow Your Own’ which tells you what fruit & veg you can grow; when to plant and harvest and what pests and diseases you may encounter. There are also a number of podcasts that you can download and watch to improve your gardening knowledge.

The Parrot Flower Power plant monitor is a little device that you stick into your plant’s pot (either indoors or out) and it monitors and analyses the growing conditions. It sends you alerts to your smartphone via an app to let you know if the plant needs more or less light, water, warmth or even if it needs to be re-potted!

If there are rooms in your house that get little natural sunlight, you may find it a challenge to grow plants successfully. This dilemma has now been solved. There are now planting kits that come with integrated LED lights to ensure that your plants get all the light they need.

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Gardening for Wildlife

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Cottage garden with borders, paths and shed

Image credit: Kellan

Nothing beats sitting in your garden on a sunny afternoon, listening to the birds sing and watching other little wild creatures shuffle in and out of your garden. To encourage more wildlife info your garden, there are lots of tips and tricks you can implement so your garden is even more welcoming.

Starlings eating on a bird tableImage credit: pjs2005

Bird Tables

Having a bird table is a wonderful addition to a garden: you’ll have so many different bird species fluttering in and out of your garden throughout the year. There are many different types, from free standing bird tables, through wall mounted, ground feeding and small ones hanging from trees or fences. Place yours in front of a window so you can watch the birds even when the weather is chilly, and keep it stocked up with bird feed throughout the year to ensure you have your fair share of feathered visitors.

detailed view of a log pileImage credit: Martin Bamford

Log Pile

Piles of logs not only allow your wood to dry out for the best log fires in your fireplace, but they also allow biodiversity to thrive. It’s a great location for growing different mosses, and encouraging small mammals, insects and amphibians. Build it in a pyramid shape if you’d like to attract hedgehogs too, but never set it alight without checking for wildlife.

frog popping its head out of a pondImage credit: Dan Zen

Pond Life

Ponds are great for wildlife, and they’re really easy to construct. Make sure the edges are shallow: that’ll allow easy access for little creatures like frogs and newts. Install plants around the edges to shelter the pond life, and keep it clean with pond cleaners that aren’t made with too many chemicals.

Virginia creeper growing on a wooden fenceImage credit: Laura Bernhardt

Plants

Climbing plants are not only beautiful, but they also provide excellent nesting habitats. There are lots to choose from but good ones are roses, honeysuckle and clematis. If you have a bit more space, plant a hawthorn hedge, blackthorn or hazel: the hedge will provide nesting sites along with nuts and berries for wildlife during the harsh winter months.

Bee on lavenderImage credit: Alden Chadwick

Flowers

Encourage bees with pollen and nectar-producing plants like lavender. The Royal Horticultural Society can advise on the best plants, and you can also provide a dry nesting box for bees: one with a see-through window would allow you to watch them at work!

The garden is an amazing place for wildlife if you can create the perfect environment. With just a few easy steps you’ll have a garden bustling with life!

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Blooming Secrets!

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red flowers being sprayed with a yellow water bottle

It’s been a beautiful, sunny day and we’ve just spent the afternoon on our new allotment – digging, weeding, planting & pruning. It’s tough work as the site has been neglected for many months, but it’s great fun.

view of our garden

Having had a hot bath to ease those aching muscles we’re now relaxing at home – and are actually browsing the web doing some virtual gardening!

garden peas

We consider ourselves garden novices really. We have a small courtyard style garden at home & our newly acquired allotment. They’re quite different spaces. One is shady & damp – the other more open & sunny. Each has it’s own distinct challenges and indeed opportunities – and we’re always happy to get personal tips or improve our knowledge through books & websites.

'Caribbean Cocktail' flowers

The Blooming Secrets website is an ideal port of call.

tomatoes, beetroot and carrots growing in the ground

It’s best described as a personalised gardening service founded by John Toepfer and Susan Brandt – a brother & sister team who launched their site after John shared stories with his sister about the numerous questions he’d received from his neighbours asking for advice and help with their own gardens.

selection of herbs growing in zinc containers

You create a personal profile which is free of charge. It then recommends products based on interests, suitability, skill levels & growing conditions.

seeds in brown envelopes and seedlings and bulbs in plant pots

The website is easy to navigate, combining shop & blog which can offer information, advice and answer questions. The shop sells a large range of plants, seeds, tools and other accessories. Every month, there are be exclusive gardening offers to purchase.

watering can and other garden tools with a straw hat

The founders stated goal is to inspire people to garden and make a positive impact on our environment. This isn’t just lip service – the icing on the cake with this website is that a percentage of each purchase goes to a gardening or conservation organisation of your choice. You simply click your preferred option at checkout – blooming marvellous!

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Customise your Garden

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split level garden deck with seating area & raised beds

A lot of people say that they love ‘spending time in the garden’, but that seems like quite a broad hobby. Spotting those five words nestled in someone’s Twitter bio usually leads to the assumption that they’re pretty up on their horticultural knowledge, but ‘spending time in the garden’ could mean anything from sunbathing to growing your own vegetables. Nobody makes a point of saying that they ‘love spending time in the living room’, because that doesn’t tell anyone anything. There might be a grand piano or an aquarium in your living room for all we know!

woman reclining in a blue fabric hammock with a lake or sea in the background

The garden is really just another room of your house, and like the other rooms, what you do with it is entirely up to you. In many ways, it’s a lot more flexible than other rooms; a kitchen will almost always be used for food preparation, a bathroom usually has to contain a bath or shower of some sort, but a garden is almost entirely customisable. Want to pack it with plant life? Go right ahead! Want to put up a hammock so that you’ve got somewhere nice to relax on a hot day? No problem! Want to turn your back garden into a miniature jungle where your collection of exotic snakes can hang out? Hey, why not?

industrial sized stainless steel bbq with drawers, cupboards & work surfaces

The point is that ‘spending time in the garden’ needn’t be exclusively for the green-thumbed. Gardener’s World may not offer any advice on turning your outdoor space into a skate park, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give it a go anyway. Perhaps you’ll start a trend, and before long there’ll be a cluster of deck-toting skater boys on Twitter whose bios enthuse about how much they enjoy ‘spending time in the garden’.

young boywearing sunglasses & playing an electric guitar sitting on a shiny red beanbag in the garden

The garden should be a place that expresses your personality, somewhere for you to do what you enjoy doing and let the world take care of itself for a little while. If you don’t want to deal with all the looking-after that flowers and plants require, then don’t plant any! There are plenty of other uses for that space, and one of them is bound to be perfect for you. You could start a garden statue collection and become the curator of your own personal back yard museum, or just grab a few bits of garden furniture and create a neat little hang-out where you and your friends can share a few drinks when the sun’s out.

painted modern art canvas of a banana leaf on a whitewashed wall in a garden

It’s time to stop leaving the gardens to the plant people and start using them however we feel like using them. The ideas that this post has touched upon are just the tip of the iceberg, and no matter what your interests are, no matter what sort of person you are, rest assured that there is a way for you to enjoy spending time in the garden. It doesn’t take much to turn it into the best room in the house; gardens may not have a ceiling like all those other rooms, but that’s part of their appeal, don’t you think?

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This article was written by Joel Dear, who works as a blogger & copywriter for greensquares. They sell all kinds of fantastic garden products, including outdoor furniture, garden statues, and plenty more besides. Joel is also responsible for the greensquares Twitter page, although their bio makes no mention of ‘spending time in the garden’.