Our Favourite Gardening Trends of 2021

September 7, 2021 Tom Luck

Winter may have crept into spring, and autumn seems to have shoved summer eagerly aside, but that hasn’t stopped 2021 from being a great year for our gardens. With a record amount of people reconnecting with the great outdoors, this year has seen many new and exciting gardening trends spring not only into our gardens but our homes and outdoor spaces as well. So here are our favourite gardening trends of 2021.

1. Bold Seasonal Displays

2021 has definitely been a year in need of bright colour. Seasonal displays are a wonderful way to liven up your garden and celebrate those big, bold blooms. @finkpinkart shared her PlantBox vertical garden with us on Instagram and we think it’s bloomin’ great! She planted her living wall in May, stacking it almost entirely with lobelia, and watched her vertical garden grow throughout the summer.

“It’s right next to our seating area so we get to watch the bees coming and going, it’s just lovely.”@finkpinkart

2. Grow Your Own Food

Growing your own food is enjoyable and satisfying, and that’s before it has even hit the plate! You don’t need a huge amount of space—a kitchen surface, beside the back door or an unused windowsill can all be turned into a personal fresh food aisle. There are lots of delicious fruits, veggies and herbs that make great home-grown crops, many of which are suitable for first-time growers. Simply let your taste buds be your planting guide.

Growing your own food is an excellent way to reduce food waste and support the environment. By slashing food miles to food metres, you are reducing the reliance on long-distance transportation of food, which guzzles fossil fuels and emits large amounts of carbon dioxide. Check out our Top 5 Reasons to Grow Your Own Food.

3. Family Fun

Since we’re speaking about growing your own food, Gillian wanted to educate her children about nature and encouraged them to engage with the great outdoors by creating two vertical allotments using PlantBox. One was stacked high with salad vegetables, the other with 32 strawberry plants. The children were super-excited to watch their home-grown crops grow day by day and to be able to pick their first strawberries of the season. With home-grown strawberries that good, we’re not surprised!

We loved sharing the family’s progress on our social media over the summer. It was so heart-warming to see the children enjoying every step of their growing journey and to see them being inspired to get creative in the garden. We can’t wait to see what Gillian and her children decide to grow next summer.

Top tip: The strawberry plants contained a mixture of early, mid and late crops, so the whole family could enjoy a summer of freshly-picked fruit—what a great idea!  

4. Gorgeous Evergreen Displays

Gardeners and non-gardeners alike have been embracing the year-round colour of evergreen living walls. Evergreen displays not only look incredible, they are easy to achieve and maintain. Another great thing about evergreen displays is that they work equally well in the home as they do outdoors, and won’t fail to fill any space with a full, lush green look. This look can be adapted to taste, too—heucheras add that splash of much needed colour, while grass-like sedges provide a more rural, rugged appearance.

5. Wildlife-friendly Planting

Plants give the local area a double boost of biodiversity. In addition to the plants themselves, they attract and feed bees, butterflies and birds. In order to further support our pollinators, gardeners have made sure their displays include pollen-rich flowers or have grown their own fruits, veggies and herbs, whose flowers offer lots of little, insect-sized snacks of nectar.

These seemingly small choices can have a huge impact. They help to supply our super-important friends with essential food and shelter in the urban wastelands of our towns and cities. With green spaces shrinking, the need to plant more leafy havens and pollen pitstops has never been greater.

6. Health and Wellbeing

Our busy little pollinators are not the only ones benefiting from a boost in biodiversity: Caring for plants does wonders for our wellbeing, too. It’s no surprise millions of us turned to nature during the pandemic. We love that so many people flexed their green-fingers for the very first time in 2021 and unearthed a new passion in the process. 

As well as giving our minds a much-needed break, the responsibility of caring for plants can give a real sense of purpose, pride and achievement. It’s highly satisfying to successfully nurture a plant from seed to flower or, when growing your own food, from plant to plate.

Simply spending time around plants calms, uplifts and restores us. As well as lowering stress and anxiety, studies have shown plants reduce symptoms of depression and improve concentration and productivity. Discover how nature can improve your mental health.

7. Eco-friendly gardening

People are increasingly looking for ways in which to help support the planet—the garden has been no exception in 2021. There are a few simple changes you can make in the way you garden to support the environment. These include swapping to a peat-free compost, cutting out harmful chemicals in favour of natural methods and organic products, and planting native plants to encourage local wildlife by providing them with a valuable habitat and source of food.

8. Cleaner Air

You might not realise it just by looking at them but plants have a massive impact on the air we breathe. Plants act as round-the-clock filters by absorbing high levels of nasty pollutants. This has been a main reason why more and more people have been choosing to cram their homes, work desks, balconies and, in some cases, any available surface (inside and out) with a potted friend or two.

Within 24 hours plants will absorb high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)—airborne toxins released from everyday plastics, carpets and furnishings. Plants also recycle carbon dioxide, a well known cause of drowsiness and concentration loss, and their leaves trap airborne dust particles and absorb the toxins they carry. Fresher air improves our health and increases our productivity. 

9. No Garden? No Problem!

Thanks to the pandemic there has never been a greater widespread desire to move out of the city and into the countryside. While this remains a dream for some, others have taken it upon themselves to bring the countryside to them and they haven’t let not having a garden stop them. Just because there isn’t room for a lawn, raised beds or potted plants, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for lots of living, breathing plants.

From barren balconies to lofty woodland realms, bare brick walls to vertical allotments, concrete courtyards to countrified chill-spaces—these are just some of the examples we’ve seen of switching the concrete jungle for an urban one. 

10. Living Walls

Of course we can’t talk about our favourite trends of 2021 without mentioning living walls. Revolutionising gardens and urban spaces alike, adding a touch of the rustic has never been easier thanks to stackable vertical gardens like PlantBox, which allows you to pack large amounts of plants into even the smallest of spaces. 

PlantBox makes caring for your vertical garden easy—go weeks between watering and know exactly when and how much to top up—and helps plants to thrive, whether in a sunless, plant-stripping north-facing garden or the desert-like conditions of a south-facing garden.

A RHS Chelsea Sustainable Garden Product of the Year 2021 Finalist, PlantBox is made from 100% recycled materials and is designed to best fit your home. PlantBox is ideal for balconies, roof gardens, courtyards, conservatories and is even suitable indoors. £1 from every PlantBox goes to the PlantBox Trust, a charity which provides access to nature where it is needed, so you are transforming more than your own space. Find out more.

Discover More Gardening Trends at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021

The (very long) wait is almost over! For the first time ever the RHS Chelsea Flower Show will this year be held in September. PlantBox will be exhibiting at the Show and you can find our friendly, green-fingered team at stand 293. Watch live demonstrations of how PlantBox works, learn how the 100% recycled stackable vertical garden rethinks and revolutionises plant care, and discover the numerous benefits plants have on us, our local wildlife and the environment.

But that’s not all! This year PlantBox can be found at not just one or even two but SIX sites throughout the Show. Keep an eye out for more exciting announcements in the coming weeks. We look forward to seeing you soon.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021 Dates: 21—26 September

Tickets are on sale now at the RHS website

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PlantBox is featured in the Guangzou Eco City Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show - winner of Best in Show 2021!