2020 RHS Gardening Predictions:
Houseplants get supersized:
As houseplants migrate from shelves and windowsills to more central locations in the home, buyers will increasinglyseek larger, show-stopping varieties. These include Alocasia with its giant leaves and contrasting stems and Monsterawith its deep green, patterned foliage. However, buying smaller 6-9cm plants and growing them on remains a popular pastime for many.
Soil steals the limelight:
Gardeners will increasingly consider what their plant is grown in, turning to more sustainable growing media such as wood fibre and green waste compost, sowing cover crops to increase nutrient levels and quality, and adopting the ‘no dig’ philosophy to limit damage to soil structure and wildlife. New research showing the benefits of soil bacteria Mycobacterium vaccea on the immune system could also see the welcome return of mud pies, helping to tempt younger people into the garden.
Back to the 80s with nemesia and diascias:
Eighties favourites nemesia and diascias will see something akin to a resurgence owing to their flexibility as a bedding, basket or container plant, compact size, long summer flowering period and sweet scent that attracts bees and butterflies. New breeding programmes that have resulted in a wider range of sensational colours such as the dark and mysterious Nemesia ‘berries and cream’ and more delicate ‘Wisley vanilla’ only add to their appeal.
A more natural aesthetic takes hold:
An increasing awareness of the decline in wildlife means gardeners will look for ways to support them, growing more and a greater variety of plants, accepting the presence of some damage and not being too tidy, for example, by leaving seedheads as shelter and food for visitors. Bee hotels, wildlife ponds, log piles, plants for pollinators and compost heaps will continue to increase in popularity. Clipped box and fine turf may well fall out of fashion as this more natural aesthetic takes hold and gardeners shun pesticide use to deal with problem areas and creatures such as box tree caterpillar.
Grow your own heats up:
Food growing becomes an obvious route for many in helping to support the environment, by reducing plastic use and countering food miles, as well as building connections in more communal settings. Chillies remain the number one choice owing to their ease of growing, colour and varieties boasting names such as ‘Etna’ and ‘Meek and Mild’. Beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, soya and other legumes also become a staple of the vegetable plot, pushing out more traditional choices such as parsnips and calabrese.