January gardening tips

Fancy having the best garden around this year? Our resident expert Adam Kirtland predict 2024’s hottest garden trends

In January last year, I aimed to see if I could try and forecast what the biggest trends would be for gardening and growing in 2023 and… was not far off! Vastly different from being the Nostradamus of the flower world and I certainly can’t guarantee that the future of gardening is all in my brain, but I do hear from lots of you every month and other gardeners about what they’re loving. Using all those secrets, I’m again trying to anticipate what’s going be in for 2024 and what you might want to do with your gardens. So, let’s dive in! 

Again, and again and again!

Far from being a new thing, I believe that perennials will be a huge consideration again for most gardeners this year. For those that are not familiar with the term perennial, essentially these are plants that will give you years of pleasure, growing, blooming, and dying back each year, before coming back often bigger and better year after year. We have all been growing perennials for years, whether you knew the word before now or not – but what is so special about them right now?
There are two reasons for this: long term gain and naturalistic style. Although they can potentially be more expensive initially, in the long run perennials will provide years of enjoyment and pay for themselves over time.

Groovy for gravel

Sustainable gardening is a constantly emerging trend in gardening, but rather than this now being just a ‘trend’, gardeners need to seriously consider how they garden and how the changing environment continues to impact on what they do. Right now, we’re all rather chilly in the middle of winter and before long it’ll be the height of summer and the temperatures will likely be higher than ever before.
Gravel gardens are the way forward for a lot of gardeners, as they use much less water than conventional or traditional gardens and they can be just as beautiful too. Think about wafty grasses, beautiful Mediterranean style planting and so much else to offer – these are far more than a flat expanse of tiny pebbles!

Dark or bold… or both?

In the horticultural world, the upcoming year is poised to witness a shift towards the mysterious allure of dark colours. A trend is emerging that embraces the rich and velvety hues of deep purples, blacks and midnight blues in plant selections, and I find myself increasingly drawn to the drama and sophistication that these darker tones bring to outdoor spaces. Not only do these shades create a striking visual impact, but they also serve as a great backdrop, helping to accentuate the vibrant greens and brighter colours that we have come to expect from plants and flowers.
My own choices with spring bulbs have been darker than previous years and the subtle beauty of tulips such as Queen Of The Night and Black Hero are a remarkable sight, and when paired with lighter colours they both help to accentuate each other.

Do you see these happening in 2024?

Well what a year our gardens could have in 2024! Let’s create superb gravel gardens full of beautiful dark perennials which are a haven for not just us and our family but for wildlife and insects too. When we look forward to what might happen across a new gardening year, it is always exciting to think that so many new trends, ways of doing things and beautiful plants will be grown all the way across Birmingham and beyond. Here’s to 2024 and some spectacular gardens!

Next Month:
February is a big month in the garden and it’s when we can really get some serious seed sowing going on. I’ll be sharing my top seeds for the year and some secret favourites that you won’t want to miss…

You can follow Adam on Instagram @viewfromthepottingbench or listen to Adam’s podcast Tales from The Potting Bench for more gardening inspiration. You can also read Adam’s blog at viewfromthepottingbench.com