With almost 20 years experience in the horticultural industry, I definitely have my (green) finger on the pulse of the gardening world! During my role at highly acclaimed plant company, Thompson & Morgan, I was responsible for the introduction of around 300 plants and created many innovations for the garden space. Here are my predictions for what will be big in 2017!
Smiley happy flowers.
I’m sure many of you started out in the gardening world with a cluster of sunflower seeds in your hand! Furthermore, I bet you ached to grow the tallest in the neighborhood too! However, rather than growing the tallest, there are now many sunflowers for different situations,with fresh breeding going on behind the scenes too! Yellow is no longer the limit of the colour palette, there are also reds, rusty oranges and gentle pinks to choose from! The double-flowered types are hands down my favourites, and I find it hard to believe they are a sunflower with such an appearance. Look for out for ‘Super Ted’! A lax habit, hanging basket variety ‘Inca Gold’ is also refreshingly different, with stems studded with golden yellow sunflowers through the summer. Don’t forget there are perennials too; Helianthus maximiliani is clothed with sunflower blooms all the way up the stem, much in the same manner as a hollyhock, plus it smells of chocolate!
The ultimate living decor.
Whilst flower print fabric has become popular, you don’t have to stop there! There’s an ever-increasing trend to use houseplants in the home, and it’s the so-called hipsters that seem to be leading this movement, as cactus and succulent shops and instagram accounts spring up worldwide! Yes, I know many of us have known about the magic of indoor plants for years, but they’ve now reached the masses, which is fab as more people are loving plants and what they can do! Succulents are cute, pretty, colourful, shapely, and represent an easy care indoor plant for all levels of consumer! Many a shelf or kitchen worktop now has a carefully chosen succulent in a slate effect pot, the ultimate living decor!
Cottage Gardens EVERYWHERE!
As space remains at a premium, gardening is getting more clever. Those that dream of having a cottage garden can now create it, right on their balcony. New, compact, cottage garden perennials which suit patio pots are arriving in the market, so now you can create a cottage garden anywhere! Some of the poster boys for this movement are the awesome Scabious ‘Kudo’, with an unstoppable flower power, and the surprising Verbena ‘Lollipop’, a tidy choice over Verbena bonariensis! I also adore short Delphinium ‘Flamenco’, with double flowers, that actually don’t blow apart on a windy day! These are all perennials too, and will last 2-3 years in their containers, so represent less maintenance than an annual mix.
The loss of colour.
Despite years of bold, bright and colourful flower choices, consumers are moving towards white, and are using it as a this punctuating colour. The glow of a patch of white flowers can break up the shiny effect of bedding, and can also liven up a pastel hue border too. White blooms also glow in the moonlight, giving you a few extra hours of joy from your garden, even when the sun goes down. There are many shades of white too; from the shimmering of Antirrhinum ‘Royal Bride’ to the creamy look of Calendula ‘Snow Princess’. ‘Pope John Paul II’ is a recommend Rose with crystal white petals that smell as good when dried as fresh!
No such thing as garnish.
As we all become more health conscious, we are searching for new sources of vitamins and minerals. There’s somewhere you may not have looked before..! I’ve been obsessed with edible flowers for a few years now; they are decorative, fun to grow, tasty, and are good for you too! Pansy and Viola are not only pretty, but they host levels of Vitamins A and C too! Jazz up cupcakes or salads with the array of edible flowers; from the citrus crunch of a begonia to the soft, fruitiness of a peony floret!