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The RHS have shared their predictions on what will be big in the world of gardening and horticulture in 2023.
As with all areas of life, the RHS predicts that many of the UK’s 30 million gardeners will be looking for more sustainable techniques to use while gardening. They will also garden with nature in mind. They suggest people will be looking to improve soil health, to conserve water and to encourage wildlife.
Other predictions include non-traditional lawns, green landscaping and welcoming weeds.
The RHS’ 2023 gardening predictions:
1. Thriving houseplants
Winter cold spells aside, the climate is generally warming, meaning we will be using our central heating less across the year. This is good news for our houseplant friends as they don’t like the dry and hot air from our central heating.
2. Regenerative gardening
2024 will see the ban of peat-based bagged compost in the UK so, ahead of this, gardeners will be seeking out more eco-friendly alternatives to make the swap easier. These include composts made from wood.
Comfrey and winter beans can be grown as green manures to help fix nitrogen and other nutrients into the soil. Comfrey ‘Bocking 14’ can be grown and used directly as a mulch or made into a sustainable liquid feed that supports the growth of newly planted crops.
3. Gardening tech
Inline with all other areas of life, apps and social media is increasingly popular and useful when it comes to gardening, as people share tips and notes. The RHS will be expanding their range of digital services offered in 2023 to meet demand.
4. Herb gardens
Instead of buying packets of cut fresh herbs in single-use (and hard to recycle) plastic packets, grow your own. They’re relatively easily and can be done on windowsills from March to April, and outside from April to August.
5. Innovative climate-resilient gardens
2022 saw the hottest summer we’ve had in years, with temperatures reaching 40.3C. Gardeners are keen to future-proof their spaces for a more extreme climate. Gravel gardens and xeriscaping (gardens designed to minimise future watering) will be popular, but it doesn’t mean you need to radically change your entire garden. There are swaps gardeners can make to retain the same feel, such as fragrant choisya for hydrangeas and phygelius for fuchsia.
6. Changing lawns
After the drought of the summer, it was near impossible to keep lawns green. Longer grasses not only help biodiversity, but they’re less water intensive. Look to ‘tapestry lawns’ made up of low-lying, intertwining flowering plants such as yarrow and selfheal, as well as mini wildflower meadows. Plants previously thought of as weeds, including dandelions, will also be embraced for their ability to blend into their green surrounds.
7. Green landscaping
Green walls, hedges and ponds are all set to increase in popularity as an alternative to hard landscaping, not only as a more affordable alternative, but to avoid the rising issue of flooding it can cause.
8. Dried and pressed flowers
Dried flowers have risen in popularity again over the past few years as a more sustainable alternative to fresh. Pressed flowers are also making a comeback in the form of posies, wreaths or garlands.
9. Embracing nature’s unloved
The RHS Garden Advice service is receiving more and more enquiries about how to encourage a greater abundance of wildlife in order to fend off more troublesome species – including wasps that will predate caterpillars, slugs that can help recycle decaying material and aphids that provide food for favourites such as ladybirds, lacewing and hoverfly larvae.
Guy Barter, RHS Chief Horticulturist, said: “In 2022 the charity predicted the rise of red-fleshed apples which this year benefited from extreme summer temperatures making them sweeter and even more rich in colour, and confident planting with the RHS’ Flower Shows celebrating a riot of reds, purples and yellows.
“Next year we expect gardeners to garden more than ever with nature and the environment in mind, a trend that has been swelling year on year and is set to become the main concern of Britain’s gardeners.”