Flourishing houseplants, bountiful herbs and dried flowers are among the gardening trends set to bloom in 2023, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has predicted.
The annual predictions, based on horticultural trends and gardener inquiries, focus on planet-friendly gardening. According to the RHS, next year will see green-fingered enthusiasts dabble in innovative sustainable techniques, encourage more wildlife onto their patches, and be more water-wise following a summer of droughts.
‘In 2022 the charity predicted the rise of red-fleshed apples which this year benefited from extreme summer temperatures making them sweeter and even more rich in color, and confident planting with the RHS’ Flower Shows celebrating a riot of reds, purples and yellows, ‘ says Guy Barter, RHS Chief Horticulturist.
‘Next year we expect gardeners to garden more than ever with nature and the environment in mind, a trend that has been swelling year on year and is set to become the main concern of Britain’s gardeners.’
Take a look at the trends below:
1. Thriving houseplants
Unusual exotics, including Cymbidium and Dendrobium orchids, are tipped to thrive in 2023. As a warming climate causes us to dial down the central heating, the RHS predicts houseplant lovers will be trying new varieties for the first time.
‘The hot and dry air of centrally heated homes isn’t good for most plants, so more unusual exotics will perform better in a cooler home,’ the world renowned gardening charity explains.
2. Regenerative gardening
Creating the right habitat for wildlife to find shelter and food is key, but for 2023, the RHS predicts more gardeners will ‘seek out environmentally-friendly wood-based compost alternatives’. With peat-based bagged compost set to be banned in the UK in 2024 — and the RHS pledging to be peat-free by 2025 — many of us will turn to seaweed and biochar feeds instead.
‘Comfrey and winter beans can be grown as green manures to help fix nitrogen and other nutrients into the soil and provide habitat and food for wildlife,’ added the charity. ‘Comfrey “Bocking 14” can be grown and used directly as a mulch or made into a sustainable liquid feed that supports the growth of newly planted crops.’
3. Gardening goes tech
Gardening will go digital in 2023, with the RHS predicting that horticultural enthusiasts will be sharing online what’s happening on their patches, participating in virtual courses, and planning and planting using apps. Whether you’ve got the greenest of thumbs or just like the occasional flower, this will also give the added benefits of mapping plant health problems and shaping research projects.
To help households click correctly, the RHS has announced it will be expanding its range of digital services in 2023, building on the popularity of the RHS The Garden magazine app. Everything you need will be at the touch of the button.
4. Herb gardens
Fresh, garden-grown herbs are an absolute must for any kitchen gardener. According to the RHS, searches for herbs were up almost 600 per cent this autumn, compared to 2021, with sought-after varieties including classics such as mint and coriander.
The charity explains: ‘Herbs are a cheap and easy way for people to add extra flavor to meals. Most herbs are easy to grow from seeds, providing another cost saving, and can be grown indoors from March-April and outside from April-August. Many culinary herbs are hardy and perennial and will improve year on year.’
5. Climate-resilient gardens
‘Following the heat and drought of summer, gardeners will be looking for ways to future-proof their spaces for a more extreme climate,’ the RHS predicts.
‘Gravel gardens and xeriscaping (gardens designed to minimize future watering) will be popular, but a changing climate doesn’t have to mean a totally different look for gardens. There are a few swaps gardeners can make to retain the same feel, including fragrant choisya for hydrangeas and phygelius for fuchsia.’
6. Changing lawns
Lawns are big on the agenda for next year, with gardeners expected to let borders grow long for pollinators. A tightly-clipped, weed-free lawn isn’t particularly wildlife-friendly, which is why a big trend for 2023 is ‘tapetry lawns’. Easy to try, this is made up of low-lying, intertwining flowering plants such as yarrow and self-healing and mini wildflower meadows with native plants like yellow rattle and cornflower.
Plants some people think of as weeds — like dandelions and nettles — bring great benefits to insects. Instead of pulling them out, the RHS predict people will embrace them for their ‘ability to blend into their green surrounds’.
7. Green landscaping
According to the RHS, the soaring costs of hard landscaping will see gardeners turn to plants to add structure to their patches. Searches for Myrtle on the RHS website were up over 500 per cent this autumn, meanwhile green walls, hedges and swimming ponds are all set to surge.
8. Dried flowers
Dried flowers continue to reign supreme as one of the hottest home decor trends – and they’re not backing down. For 2023, expect to see dried and pressed flowers make a charming addition to rooms in poses, wreaths or garlands. Traditions, skills and crafts on the up include natural dyes, scything and foraging.
9. Embracing nature’s unloved
‘Even more traditionally unpopular species are being embraced by gardeners for the unexpected benefits they can bring,’ says the RHS.
‘The RHS Garden Advice service is receiving more inquiries about encouraging a greater abundance of wildlife to their gardens to fend off more troublesome species – some of which have themselves been labeled garden pariahs in the past. These include wasps that will predate caterpillars, slugs that can help recycle decaying material and aphids that provide food for favorites such as ladybirds and lacewings and hoverfly larvae.’