1. Edibles – we’re becoming ever-increasingly aware of the impact of transporting and packaging food and as a result, the grow your own food movement gains more and more traction each year. Add to that the worry that food prices may increase over the next few years and the fact that more and more people are trying a plant-based diet and growing your own food where possible seems an attractive solution.
The beauty of producing your own food means you can experiment with ingredients that are expensive to buy or are difficult/impossible to get hold of elsewhere. And on a level that to some may be sub-conscious, being at least a little bit in control of feeding yourself means taking back the reins at a time when distrust of large businesses and those in charge seems pretty high. Check out www.ronfinley.com for inspiration on how to become a rebel grower. Interest in all types of edibles is growing; vegetables, fruit, herbs and edible flowers, even if you only have space to grow indoors or on a balcony there are ways to grow at leadst some of your own produce.
2. Indoor growing - interest in houseplants soared during 2017. No self-respecting interiors lover rested easy until they’d curated a top-notch houseplant collection and posted a beautifully styled ‘shelfie’ on Instagram. This interest looks set to continue in 2018 as novice growers become confident in their abilities not to kill cheese plants and Ceropegias and graduate on to more unusual and challenging varieties.
Those already proficient people who can keep their alocasia alive and their orchids re-flowering will be looking towards new challenges such as kokedama, indoor water gardens and growing gadgetry. Over on Twitter, James Wong (twitter.com/botanygeek) and Beth Otway (twitter.com/pumpkinbeth) are both posting pics of their trials involving different styles of indoor gardening, with stunning results.
3. Blurring the Line – Moving on from the houseplant trend is the idea that we should be bringing the inside out and the outside in. It’s almost a cliché now to bemoan how disconnected we are from the natural world but it is absolutely a fact. There seem to very slow stirrings occurring which signify a backlash against a culture where everything is geared towards consuming and chasing the next exciting thing.
If we all begin to slow down and appreciate the here and now a bit more, we will naturally want to ground ourselves in the world around us. The need to surround ourselves with plants indoors goes hand-in-hand with the need for us to live more outdoors. The trend for outdoor kitchens, outdoor rugs, outdoor sofas, etc. that has already been in full swing for a few years will continue unabated as we look to create living rooms outdoors.
Particularly of interest will be the threshold space where the exterior and interior meet. Those with their finger on the pulse of garden and interior design may notice that as indoor spaces become more green, there is an effort to achieve a coherence between the indoor and outdoor planting in terms of style and colour. Balconies, conservatories and the areas around bi-fold doors will all be looking to compliment the style of their outdoor brethren in 2018.
4. Learning – I was incredibly lucky that my first introduction to plants was through my grandparents and great-grandparents, so I had a direct link to the knowledge of people who were born as much as around 120 years ago. Other links back to this era of knowledge survives in the form of books but we have very much lost the ability to learn from face-to-face interactions and physical demonstrations. In order to grow plants successfully we need to learn how to do it and 2018 will be the year when horticulture finally starts catching up with the rest of the world.
We have been too reliant on TV programmes to promote knowledge at a time when the whole face of the media is changing. We need podcasters, bloggers, vloggers and youtubers to supplement traditional media platforms in disseminating knowledge and to help us all get growing. Check out podcasts like the Sod Show, On the Ledge and A Way to Garden for excellent growing advice.
And of course, don’t forget to check out the Roots and All podcast here.
5. Colour – all good things must come to an end and I’m there with Scandi and hygge and anything that’s woolly and neutral. 2018 for me is about being bold with colour both indoors and out. I’m still in love with the washed out beauty of flowers like Dahlia Café au Lait and I’ll never get over the frothy charm of Ammi majus, but I’m determined to start mixing them up with stronger colours like raspberries and browns. I can see reds making a resurgence over the next couple of years, particularly the darker, gothier shades, mustard yellows, dark greens, anything with a bit of a punch.
I may even find there’s a place for corals, but let’s not get carried away… There’s no need to eschew the pastels, it’s more that everybody’s welcome in this year’s garden. Think of arranging your flowers like a 17th Century still life and you’re there.