Tamsin Westhorpe is a garden writer, author, lecturer, and curator of Stockton Bury Gardens in Herefordshire, and a friend of The Woodee.
In her new monthly blog, Tamsin focus's on 'the room outside' and all things gardening. To kick off the year, she shares with us what she thinks the trends of 2024 will be and what we need to look out for.
What’s in store for gardeners in 2024
When it comes to predicting clothing fashion, I might not be the best person to ask! My idea of an in-vogue wardrobe is a pair of gardening trousers, a bobble hat, and some sturdy boots. I’m far happier predicting what will be on trend in our gardens.
Here’s my predictions:
- Indoor plants. Houseplants will continue to be a game changer for those without gardens. With so many high street houseplant shops opening, such as little Dobbies, they will remain top sellers. During the pandemic many new gardeners became houseplant parents, so growing these plants has been an important entry into gardening. I also predict that familiar houseplants will be placed on balconies and in small, sheltered gardens in the summer.
- Finding the beauty in imperfection. So many gardeners are eager to create gardens that work with nature so allowing attractive and favoured weeds to pop up in the herbaceous border will become a trend. Imperfect fruits won’t be rejected – instead they will be cherished for their character and the visiting insects that used to be regarded as pest will be in some cases admired.
- Taste over quantity. With the cost-of-living crisis our gardens offer us free entertainment and taste. You might not be able to afford to eat out as often, but everyone can have a go at growing tasty and unusual edibles. Adding that Michelin Star twist to dishes with herbs, edible flowers and unusual veg is bound to be a trend. More unusual crops will be favoured over heavy croppers.
- Top colour. I’m always interested in looking at which plants cause excitement at RHS Cheslea Flower Show. It tends to follow that in the year after they will be on trend. A rose that has been given lots of press coverage is ‘Dannahue’ – it was named after TV presenter Danny Clarke and £10,000 of its sales will go to the charity Grow2Know. It’s the most enchanting peach colour – I’m convinced this calm colour will be just what we are all looking for in 2024.
- Garden retreats. Creating that cosy corner outside where you can escape the stresses of life will be a trend. I see comfy seats surrounded by climbers and tall growing plants and a surface that you can walk bare foot on – real grass would be my preference.
What to do in the garden this month - January
I am a great believer that we should all garden throughout the year. Fairweather gardeners often find themselves overwhelmed in the spring whilst the hardy amongst us will be prepared. Anything can happen with the weather in February but if it remains sunny and crisp, I’ll be pruning, weeding (yes, the weeds are already up) and sowing seed. It’s a case of watch where you tread in the borders as spring bulbs are emerging and the snowdrops are out.
Wisteria needs pruning, lift and divide snowdrops in the green, start chitting your early potatoes and clean that greenhouse.
Get out and enjoy those scented winter shrubs and why not sit out under the stars around your warm and toasty Woodee?