A key theme for 2022 is of course an emphasis on being kinder to our planet. In this article, we explore five sustainable gardening trends that we expect to gain traction in 2022.
1. Zero waste
Reduce, recycle and reuse is a mantra heard frequently, but 2022 sees these apply to your garden even more so in terms of sustainability.
Reduce: Think about anything new you bring in to your garden, whether it be furniture, planters or décor and, rather than purchase new, get creative and consider how you can repurpose items for your garden with our ideas below.
For larger ticket items such as power tools, consider hiring them for the day or borrowing them from a neighbour.
Reuse: Loads of household items can be repurposed outside in the garden. Start simply and sow seeds in old egg boxes, plastic food trays or even make your own newspaper pots.
If you are handy at DIY, old pallets or Millboard decking offcuts can be repurposed to make all manner of items, such as planters, herb trugs, bird boxes or tables… the list is endless.
Upcycling furniture has long been an interiors trend, but how about outdoors in your garden? Even some interior furniture can be given a lick of paint and reused outside: an old table can make a great addition to a greenhouse or potting shed and old roll top baths or ornate sinks can make wonderfully quirky planters, adding an instant dose of character.
Recycle: Don’t throw away! If you have tools, outdoor toys, furniture or even plants that still have some life left in them but you do not need any more, rather than throwing them away, consider donating to a local community project or giving away to neighbours.
2. Home-grown cut flowers
If the past two years saw the world of growing your own fruit and veg boom, 2022 sees the rise of home-grown cut flowers to adorn your inside living spaces.
Growing your own cut flowers is kinder to the planet for a number of reasons; it saves on the pesticides often used to grow flowers commercially and it reduces the miles shop-bought bouquets need to travel, and well as the resources needed to keep them fresh for purchase.
Some relatively easy flowers to get started with are sweet peas, tulips and sunflowers. They are all fairly simple to grow and look beautiful.
Take a look at the Gardeners’ World Cut Flower Growing Guide to create a plan for the best time to sow and cut home-grown flowers.
3. Wild gardens
This year, wild gardens will see an even bigger boom as an easy alternative to swathes of tidy grassed areas. Bohemian by nature, wildlife meadow areas offer a relaxed vibe and provide a wonderful haven to wildlife, a welcome contrast to thirsty, labour-intensive, manicured lawns.
They are relatively straightforward to create, too. Wildflower mixes are available to purchase from most garden centres, ready to sow in March. Most options simply require you to scatter the seeds across the required area, cover slightly and watch the flowers burst to life in the spring.
For an even easier approach, why not try letting your lawn grow wild in a small area or leave an area un-weeded. The ‘No Mow May’ campaign from PlantLife is rapidly gaining traction, whereby you encourage biodiversity such as flowers, bees and butterflies by not mowing at all for the month of May. You can even carry on throughout the summer months with ‘Let it Bloom June’ and ‘Knee-High July’.
4. Permeable Places
With flooding so rife, rainwater gardens and permeable places are a big trend for 2022 as we see more and more creative ways to manage stormwater.
Rainwater gardens are a relatively shallow area of ground which receives excess rainwater, then planted with plants that are happy with occasional waterlogging.
Permeable surfaces also nicely complement rainwater gardens, with Millboard decking being fully in line with Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems. This is because of the small gaps between the boards allow water to drain through without impediment.
5. Home composting
Often reserved for the more seasoned gardener, home composting continues to become more popular for the masses throughout 2022. A simple, inexpensive and natural process, composting turns garden waste and appropriate food waste into a fertiliser to use on the garden, saving on the emissions and energy used to transport and manage the waste elsewhere.
According to Recycle Now, ‘composting at home for just one year can save global warming gasses equivalent to all the CO2 your kettle produces annually, or your washing machine produces in three months’.
To get started, take a look at the Gardeners’ World guide to composting at home.
Here at Millboard, we are pursuing a sustainable path. Every day, we consider the impact that our actions will have on the future of life, living and livelihoods, and strive to make choices that are fair and considerate.