2020 Garden Trends

Lichen on a branch

Everybody loves lichen

I’ve spent 2 months fulminating about this year’s garden trends and it can be summarised in 2 words: more nature

I am late to the New Year’s party, missing out on all those 2020 Gardening Almanacs and Things I Will Water Properly This Year guilt lists. Instead, I have been thinking, about where gardening is headed in a time of climate and ecological emergency.

Firstly, climate. Stockholm has just experienced its warmest winter ever, 5.6°C above average.

So, we will need to garden like there’s a climate emergency. This means

  1. Plants that can adapt to extremes, so drought-tolerant and flood-tolerant.
  2. Gardens that can adapt to extremes. This means permanent living ground cover and perennial plants that require much less watering once established.
  3. Trees. Lots of trees. They’re beautiful, productive and resilient.
  4. It would be a good idea to grow your own food, as a global crop failure before 2029 looks extremely likely. Like, a really good idea…
  5. Perennial vegetables, 2020 will be the year of the perennial vegetable

Secondly, ecology. One in seven UK species is at risk of extinction. One in seven. It’s not looking good in the rest of the world either.

  1. So, every garden should be a wildlife garden.
  2. This means a priority for native plants. 90% of our insects are adapted to only eat the plants that they co-evolved with. 96% of our terrestial birds depend on insects (figures from Doug Tallamy).
  3. On the back of native plants, we’ll see a dramatic increase in the use of native wildflowers in “ornamental” gardens.
  4. And finally, the glorious rise of the edible ornamental! AKA edimental

All of these tally up to the ultimate 2020 gardening trend being the forest garden. Actually, I’m fairly confident things won’t move that quickly and that I won’t be making any guest appearances on Gardeners’ World. But still, all things will change, whether we engage with that change or not.