Sustainability and a growing awareness of wildlife are two of the key gardening trends identified by the Royal Horticultural Society for 2020, with gardeners in a position where they can make a substantial impact regarding environmental issues.
According to RHS's newly published report, gardeners will increasingly take note of what their plants are grown in, introduce planting schemes and cultivating techniques that benefit the environment, and grow much more of their own produce.
Sustainable wood fibre and green waste compost will become the preferred growing media, also in vogue will be growing cover crops to increase nutrient levels and putting in place a 'no dig' policy to maintain the structure of the soil.
Youngsters might also be tempted outside to help their parents by the prospect of mud pies having beneficial effects. Apparently Mycobacterium vaccea, a bacteria found in the soil, will assist their immune system.
Gardeners will adopt numerous ways of encouraging wildlife including growing a greater variety of plants that are pollinator friendly and there'll be less emphasis on tidiness. bearing in mind that a pristine garden may look beautiful but it leaves little shelter or food, such as seedheads, for insects.
Most gardeners realise that ponds are great for wildlife, but so are log piles, bee hotels, and other wildlife care products that provide habitat for garden birds, insects and mammals. Natural will become the new normal as clipped box hedging, manicured lawns and pesticides become increasingly frowned upon.
Growing your own food will reduce plastic waste and the distance food needs to travel. So there won't be any let up in the demand for allotments where chickpeas, lentils, soya and other 'exotic' produce will increase in popularity at the expense of vegetables that we have traditionally grown.
These gardening trends reflect general concerns and, as the RHS's Chief Horticulturalist so rightly points out, as we enter 2020, gardening will take on an ever more important role in helping us to create a healthy and happy life. I don't think that anyone would disagree with that sentiment.