Garden fashion: People, British plants and performance products

Fashion is not just about clothes. There are garden fashions too. Plants and planting styles that gardeners of all sorts fall in love with and get carried away by. Genus visits to flower and gardening shows this year revealed a few discernible trends.

The first is for people.  As community gardening and growing becomes more important and well established, it seems garden design is turning towards more relaxed planting, less of an emphasis on grasses, and a greater interest incorporating plants and shrubs with individual merits and properties that serve community wellbeing.  Plants with multiple functions providing food, fragrance and fertility fit into this category, which probably accounts for all the beans we have seen included in so many displays.

Two other important trends are connected with plants.  Home grown plants, local British flowers and wild flowers reflect the demands for slow growing, sustainable and artisan products that have been a feature of the food and food growing sector for a number of years.  Events such as the increasingly popular British Flowers Week ringing the changes.  There is too a feeling of nostalgia and a revival of old fashioned plants, albeit in the form of new varieties, such as carnations, pinks, fuchsias and dahlias.

Products continue to feed home design trends for vintage and upcycled items such as antique garden tools, paint washed garden furniture and upcycled planting containers on the one hand, but on the other there is also a push for innovation and performance with new products for gardeners including three bladed gardening shears, ergonomic recyclable wheelbarrows, sustainable British wool-based twine replacing imported jute, and of course our own performance gardening clothes!