UP THE GARDEN PATH

UP THE GARDEN PATH

Louise Tomlin takes a look at gardening trends for 2019

Due to a technical glitch when the previous issue of Fencing and Landscaping News was printed, my tribute to Simone Gallon was printed again instead of the piece I wrote for the October/November issue. So this means you get a double dose of Up the Garden Path this time, which is either good or bad news for you, depending on whether you like reading my garden musings or not. Please see page 65.

I thought that with the coming of a new year, it would be a good idea to have a look at what a couple of the trends may be in gardening for 2019, I find it’s a great way to escape the winter blues for a while dreaming about summer gardens.

A theme that may well be trending next year is one that has been in and out of favour over the last couple of decades, but has never really gone away and that is drought resistant plants, or Mediterranean style gardening. We had such a long hot summer this year that it seems pretty obvious that some of us may well have had casualties in the garden, as we struggled to keep our precious plants alive in such hot and dry conditions. This could lead to a rise in popularity for plants that don’t need watering daily or that thrive in parched conditions. Of course the good old British climate may well throw us a curveball and we might get one of those ‘wettest summers on record’ sort of years, who knows!

Plants that thrive in hot and dry conditions typically have leaves that are grey-green or silvery, like the ones you see growing in Mediterranean countries. These light colours reflect harsh sunlight and often have lots of tiny hairs on their surface, which helps them retain water, I’ve chosen to illustrate this type of planting with a photo of a Gold Medal winning garden by Alan Rudden, I saw at RHS Hampton Court this year, called Santa Rita Living. It shows typical planting for arid conditions. Just looking at it should bring a tinge of warmth to you. It shows Agave, Stachys and Agapanthus, all combining beautifully and all plants that are readily available to buy in the UK.

I hear on the grapevine that another possible trend for 2019 is coloured foliage on plants and shrubs. Well this isn’t a new idea, but it’s something I think we should make more room for in our gardens. There’s nothing wrong with prettily coloured blooms, but sometimes we overlook how beautiful the effect of certain colourful foliage is when it is juxtaposed with other colours like flowers in the garden. Here’s a particularly zingy colour combo that I think will get your attention – golden Jasmine with a lovely lavender next to it. Try to tune in to leaf colour when you next visit the garden centre or nursery, it will make you realise there are so many more options for colour in your garden than you thought. It can also bring bonus colour effects as the heat of summer dwindles and autumn takes over with all the exciting changes that brings.

A final tip is that we will hear more and more mentions of a particular ‘buzz’ word and that is pollinators. I’m sure many of you will have noticed how we are all being urged to be more nature or wildlife friendly. This will gain momentum as the phrases ‘good for pollinators’ and bee and butterfly friendly’ get bandied around. This is no bad thing; we need to encourage our flying friends by planting nectar-producing flowers to help them do their job to keep our environment healthy and diverse. Here’s a lovely shot with Achillea, Echinacea and Cosmos, to mention just a few plants in a mixed planting that is very insect friendly.

 

Wishing you all a happy and healthy gardening new year in 2019.