It’s the classic January flex when we start looking forward to the end of winter and the re-awakening of the garden.
Things generally look pretty drab out there right now and let’s be honest, how many of us are actually going out to do anything meaningful? Not me. I’m trying to observe the age-old wisdom of ‘don’t walk on the grass at this time of the year’.
Other than trips to the compost bin, nipping out to top up the bird feeder, hanging out clothes on the odd day when it’s dry and windy, or an opportunistic cuppa on the patio. Most of us are just looking at the garden rather than being in it. So, now’s the time to get planning. Glass of favourite drink in one hand, leftover mince pie in the other (don’t mind if I do) and stand by the window surveying the scene, imagining how it will be in five- or six-months’ time. But also thinking back to three or four months ago when those little frustrations about the layout or the planting were really niggling you. You felt it was too late to do anything about it. Well, get ready to deep dive and interrogate what you’d like to change. Now is the time.
And as additional food for thought, let me throw in some of the trends for next year, as reported in the Garden Media Group 2024 Garden Trends Report. It’s fair to say that some are a continuation of habits we’ve been talking about and adopting over recent years. Like an increasing sensitivity to pollinator plants, growing our own produce at home or in community, the increase of vertical planting – whether hanging plants for interiors or small outdoor spaces – where you can literally grow a whole garden.
These all speak to our awareness of the climate emergency and how a restructure of our garden habits and greening our living spaces contribute in little ways to calm our anxiety, feel closer to nature, and make a difference.
There are two colour trends which I’m very excited about. One, because I love colour in the garden, and the darker end of the spectrum of foliage colour has always had a place in my heart. And two, because it presents a challenge. To step outside the comfort of our cozy boxes and lean into something that might feel at first counterintuitive. ‘Goth gardening’, amongst other things, celebrates deep purples, nearly black flower colour and foliage. Some of our most popular plants – dahlias, hellebores, sunflowers and hollyhocks boast dark coloured varieties.
The colour of the year, ‘cyber lime’, will take a little getting used to for many of us, myself included, I’m sure. However, it partners well with a range of colours that are already at home in our gardens – fuchsias, bright oranges, yellows and shades of pink and purple. And if partnered with the goth colours mentioned earlier, they just pop. So you too could be popping, right on trend with next year’s colours in one fell swoop. Boom!
This time of the year for me is equally about a mental recharge. I spoke about the challenge of cyber lime. I like to challenge myself to do something new every year in the garden. Previously it’s been to find a squirrel-proof bird feeder, upgrade my compost bin to one I can spin, create a small pond (that was really good fun and so easy), plant a tree. My personal challenge for 2024 is to sow more seeds, early on, including ones a dear friend gave me. I can’t afford to fail at this one. She’ll be asking for a progress report.
The view from the house looking out at the winter garden is the perfect vantage point to start your 2024 reboot. There are many options, so many ways you could shake things up. All I’ll say to that is check your enthusiasm against the likelihood of pulling it off and sustaining it. Less is more, as they say… Unless it’s being poured or served or unwrapped.
Get in touch:
What do you think might be trendy in the gardening world in 2024? Get in touch to tell us your thoughts by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org