These are the plants, people and products that will be shaping the way our gardens grow in the coming year, from the big names to watch at Chelsea to shrubs and British-grown flowers
Watch this space for designer Jo Thompson, one of the few high-profile female garden designers in the UK. Her beautifully planted show gardens have put her on the radar at the Chelsea Flower Show over the past few years, and this year she’s designing the big one – for Chelsea Show Sponsors M&G. Her design features a woodland retreat with a stunning natural swimming pond at its heart.
Another up-and-coming garden designer is 30-year-old Matt Keightley, also exhibiting at Chelsea this year with a garden for Prince Harry’s charity Sentabale. Last year he rose to fame as a first-time exhibitor at Chelsea, where his show garden won the coveted People’s Choice Award. This year, his garden is an ambitious evocation of the landscape of Lesotho, where Sentabale is based. rosebank.co.uk
Matthew Wilson is one of the UK’s horticultural Jack-of-all-trades. A talented plantsman and garden designer, he is managing director of Clifton Nurseries in London, as well as finding time to be a panelist on Gardener’s Question Time. In 2015 he squeezes in a Chelsea garden too. Sponsored by the Royal Bank of Canada, it takes an ecological slant, looking at water-wise gardening incorporated into a stylish garden layout.
The trend for growing your own continues, and now everyone wants a slick outdoor kitchen area where they can prepare and cook the food they grow. The modular A la Carte Kitchen from Gaze Burvill is made from steamed European oak with stylish grey ceramic work surfaces. Comprising sink, fridge and storage compartments, the oak-fronted units are softly curved in their signature ‘wave’ design.
Recyling or up-cycling will be big business in 2015, with imaginative use of old materials, furniture or fabrics in new ways. If you have the time, there is no limit to what you can find for the garden, from old paving stone and brick to ironmongery and outdoor furniture. For anyone angling for something truly unique, Vintage Archive brings together a collection of quirky one-off items for both interior and exterior, from old cinema chairs to Victorian copper planters.
Garden rooms and outdoor offices will continue to grow in popularity as people expand into their existing space rather than choosing to move. A huge range of innovatively designed buildings are available now, such as the quirky Armadilla, made by father and son team Archie and Ross Hunter. Constructed from insulated sustainable timber, the Armadilla comes in two sizes and is delivered fully assembled to your plot. Prices start at £8,300.
No, it doesn’t sound sexy, but shrubs are back in fashion. Think less 1970s shrubbery and more cleverly integrated planting design, with shrubs and small trees mixed seamlessly into the herbaceous border to give structure during the winter months. R.V. Roger sells a wide variety of mail order shrubs and trees from miniature fruit trees to evergreen stalwarts like box.
Anything locally grown or produced is bang on-trend at the moment, and cut flowers are no exception. Flower farmer Georgie Newbery, a tireless promoter of seasonal British-grown flowers, grows beautiful cut flowers on her farm in Somerset to make into stunning bouquets sent out by post. Picked, arranged and dispatched the same day, they are a far cry from foreign flowers that spend days in refrigerated trucks before hitting the supermarket shelves. commonfarmflowers.co.uk.
Like its equivalent in food, the slow-gardening movement has been bubbling away for quite some time, but this year sees it rise. People are taking a long-term view of the garden, rather than a quick-fix makeover, so tree-planting will increase, as well as sowing plants from seed. Chiltern Seeds has one of the widest range of annual, perennial and vegetable seed in the UK.