Revealed: The 5 Gardening Trends You'll Really Dig In 2021

Cottage-style gardens and pick your own veg patches will be in demand this year, predicts the Royal Horticultural Society.
Cottage-style gardens are big news for 2021, according to RHS.
Cottage-style gardens are big news for 2021, according to RHS.

With holidays off the cards for the time being, people are looking to their gardens for a little slice of paradise.

In 2021, cottage-style gardens filled with delphiniums, lupins, foxgloves and poppies, as well as pick your own veg patches, are set to be big, according to a trends report from the Royal Horticultural Society.

Shaped by the events of the last year and with an estimated three million people who have newly turned to gardening as a hobby, the charity predicts a return to quintessential garden design and a make-do approach that will influence how plants are grown and nurtured.

Guy Barter, RHS’s chief horticulturist, says last year ushered in a period of experimental gardening, however lawns and big blooms remain an important draw for UK gardeners “as people continue to seek out the familiar during these less than familiar times”.

Here are their top five 2021 gardening predictions.

1. Comfort planting for that cottage garden look

Roses and hydrangeas won out in 2020 as gardeners turned to old, reliable favourites with big blooms and long flowering periods.

But this year it’s looking like delphiniums, lupins, foxgloves and poppies will likely be top candidates for those wanting to create a cottage-garden look, says RHS. We’re getting major Little Women vibes and we love it.

2. Lazy lawns

Prized by those who have them, lawns have taken centre stage as a space to work, relax and play. But the immaculate, striped lawn has given way as gardeners turn a blind eye to a bit of browning in summer – because let’s face it, watering your lawn isn’t that great for the old H2O conservation come summer.

Instead of a football pitch-worthy lawn, RHS predicts people will seek out interesting and environmentally benign alternatives such as small leaved clovers which, usually mixed with grasses, will stay green without fertiliser and resist drought. Plus, the bees love it.

3. Starting small

Seed packets will prove even more popular this year, says RHS. Thanks to them being low cost and easy to access, we’ll see more people develop their skills in plant raising. Production issues could also translate into more 9cm pots being sold over the usual 2-3L options, says RHS, with gardeners enjoying the process of watching plants grow. Sounds like self-care to us.

4. Soil recycling

Gardeners have learned to be more frugal when it comes to what their plants are grown in. With soil stocks dwindling in 2020, growers are more inclined to save money and help protect the environment by creating their own mixes, suggests RHS.

This might mean combining sieved soil with organic matter, re-using growing media in containers or even forgoing containers and planting in existing border soil.

5. Pick your own

Growing fruit and veg at home increased substantially last year with a return to staples such as potatoes, salad and onions and plants associated with herbal remedies including aloe vera, echinacea and sambucus.

The gardening charity predicts this is set to continue with raised beds, which promote faster growing, proving popular. Those with smaller plots can get more from tubs, troughs and windowsill crops, as well as vertical growing systems.