See the future at Chelsea

By Kay Montgomery Time of article published Jan 16, 2015

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Johannesburg – South Africa’s wealth of plants – much admired in the world of gardening – will be on display in a large Chelsea stand designed by the Kirstenbosch-South Africa team.

This is the 40th consecutive year that South Africa will be represented at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show.

If you are a passionate gardener and want a once-in-a-lifetime inspiration for your garden this year, join the 22nd annual six-day tour (May 17-24) to support the Kirstenbosch-South Africa exhibit at Chelsea .

Based in London, a highlight of the tour is a 7am early-entrance pass to Chelsea, a tour of the show and a champagne breakfast at the show.

On days when we are not at the Flower Show, the tour includes a visit to former British deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine’s Thenford House garden at Loseley Park, and Folly Farm, country home of Jonathan and Caroline Oppenheimer.

Roof-top restaurant evenings with BBC gardening writers and tickets to the West End Theatre’s High Society classic production are included in the schedule.

The highlight of the week is the annual tour to Prince Charles’s estate, Highgrove (to be confirmed in February). Contact Gill Durrant on 083 261 3961 or [email protected]


International trends

What do trend trackers predict for gardening this year? And are those trends to be seen at the Chelsea Flower Show?

The 2015 USA Garden Trends Report was recently released by the Pennsylvania-based Garden Media Group.

“Unearthing the Best Life” identifies a host of consumer trends which they believe will shape the garden and outdoor living industry in the coming year.

“Now, more than ever, the garden is an extension of yourself,” says trend spotter, Susan McCoy. “What you cultivate and grow, either inside or out, reflects your personality and the healthy lifestyle you have chosen to live.”

Eight emerging trends were all to be seen at the 2014 Chelsea Flower Show.

1 The new consumers

Young men and millennials (people born from 1990 onwards) are two groups identified as brand-new gardeners set to make increasing waves.

In South Africa and the US, millennials are a bigger group than the Baby Boomers. Millennials in the UK spend $1 500 (about R15 565) annually on gardening, almost four times the average in the US. Young men in the US spend $100 more than average on garden plants and products.

2 Meadow gardening

A desire to work with nature rather than against nature will continue throughout 2015. Creating meadows and planting up natural habitats using indigenous plants increase diversity, balance and ecosystems.

3 Well-being from outside in

Health is a top priority. “People aren’t just gardening for beauty, they are gardening to nourish their communities, the environment and their own wellbeing”, says McCoy.

Raspberry, blueberry and youngberry are all now available at local garden clubs. Planting up bird and bee-friendly gardens will become popular as they increase overall health and wellness for self, society and the planet. Plants are now valued as (clean) air filters, oxygen machines, and well-being.

4 Garden-tainment

The party is moving outside. Garden-tainment is quickly becoming a way to personalise outdoor spaces. Plants will play a key role whether it’s potting up containers and terrariums, cooking fresh food from the garden or redecorating the patio.

By using ready-made containers, colour-themed plants and edible food, a dull space can be decorated quickly before a party.

5 Bite-sized decadence

Whether in a small-space garden or on an apartment balcony, compact plants will pack a lot of punch with rich colours and textures as major focal points.

“Bigger is better when it comes to containers”, says Susan Cohan of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers.

6 Colour pops

This year, trending colour palettes – ranging from teal to orange and pink – show off personality in flowers, plants and outdoor products. Popular shades of pink include such varieties as bubblegum, pink dust, mauve, blush and fuchsia.

7 Neighbourhoods become agri-hoods

Gardeners are transforming the neighbourhood into “agri-hoods”, complete with food gardens, urban chickens, bee-keeping, bee-foraging landscapes and lawn-less landscapes.

Interested in seeing this year’s Chelsea Flower Show? Join the Chelsea Flower Show in London on May 16-23. Contact Gillian on 083 261 3961.

Saturday Star

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