FRONT OF SHOW
More than ever, house-proud Brits are turning
their hand to gardening to make a statement
with their homes.
With social media spurring greater opportunities to show off, there has never been a more popular time to put gardening skills front of show – quite literally.
In a bid to stand out on the street and become the envy of their neighbours, the nation’s focus is shifting towards front doors, with every visible space being transformed into the ultimate crowd- pleaser for the public. In doing so, Brits are spotlighting novel ways to create instant impact and maximise space out front, while adding value to their property in the process.
Customer enquiries for planting in pots and containers, and how often to water, saw massive growth in 2018, with Wyevale Garden Centres’ social media engagements up 178% for posts relating to hanging baskets, pots and planters.
With space at a premium, these products are the perfect fit. The growing population of savvy ‘urbanised’ gardeners are ensuring every plant has earned its place, with specially selected smaller ranges of climbers, shrubs, roses and vegetables allowing them to reap the rewards in the little space they have.
A quarter of Londoners claim that not having enough space is their single biggest problem when it comes to gardening…
…so it’s no surprise that city-dwellers in the capital are on average three times more likely to feature window boxes at the front of their home compared to residents in other areas of the country.
Climbing versions of the famous David Austin roses have seen a surge in sales thanks to their ability to flourish in a pot or container, while smaller clematis varieties by Raymond Everson are being introduced as an attractive frame for the front door.
Cheer up your front door
Ensuring first impressions count, the prized space by the front door is seen as more than just a ‘welcome mat’ to your home. It is an open portal to your personality, to be nurtured, styled and celebrated.
Over 45% of gardeners now use plants or trees to dress their front doors and enhance the entrance to their homes.
As a result, sales are soaring for plants that can be bought in pairs.
Twin bay trees remain a favourite for adding structural impact, and new container-friendly bamboo varieties such as the red-stemmed Fargesia ‘Red Dragon’ are coming this year. Increased volumes of evergreen box and topiary – in all shapes and sizes - are also being introduced to meet with growing demand.
Ornamental trees, including viburnums, are also on the rise, credited to their attractive foliage, flowers and berries. Japanese maples are proving popular for year-round appeal, with Acer ‘Bi-Hoo’ and ‘Sango-Kaku’ favoured for their vibrant stem colour in winter.
Trend-led features that can be updated at different points in the year are turning front doors into social media sensations. Wreaths are making their mark not just for Christmas but as a colourful addition year-round, while hanging baskets are fast-becoming the nation’s go-to for front door dressing.
Often perceived as a more traditional feature, the beloved baskets are making a comeback with the younger generation and now feature in nearly 40% of front gardens across the UK.
Hanging baskets and pre-planted pots have seen a 32% increase in sales since 2016, with particular growth across ready-planted baskets.
Not just for blooms, hanging baskets are also being transformed into miniature fruit and veg patches that both look good and taste good. Gardeners who are lacking in space and/or sunshine out back are finding innovative, convenient ways to ‘grow their own’ outside the front door. New ranges of space-saving containers and baskets have been introduced, such as flower pouches, flat-sided hanging baskets and wrought-iron wall planters.
Three surprising plants you can grow in a hanging basket or pot: