Purple, locally grown and edible seem likely to be some of the flowery trends we’re going to be seeing this year. The forecasts for what will be hot in 2018 are suggesting a move towards outdoor living and ecologically inspired gardens, while florists will be creating floral displays suspended from ceilings at the most on-trend weddings.
Here are some of the predictions for the next year in flowers…
The marigold (Tagetes, the African and French marigolds), has been named as flower of the year for 2018 by the Fleuroselect Home Garden Association. This is a marketing campaign to raise the profile of a particular flower (sunflowers and zinnias have been featured in previous years), so gardeners are likely to see these zingy yellow and orange flowers popping up in garden centres and magazines. Tagetes is a familiar bedding plant, often sold in six packs for pots and borders. They are also useful as companion plants, try under planting your tomatoes with French marigolds to help deter whitefly.
Although the flower of the year comes in shades of yellow and orange, the colour of the year is in fact a purple. Pantone has chosen ultra violet for 2018. Search for the hashtag #pantonecoloroftheyear on Instagram and you’ll find plenty of floral photos, suggesting this is a colour trend already being embraced by florists. If this trend is picked up in garden plantings too, it could be good news for pollinators. Bees are especially attracted to purple flowers – alliums, buddleja and lavender are all great bee plants.
Cut flower trends
Over the last decade the cut flower industry has seen a shift from perfect, uniform blooms flown on from farms across the globe, to a more natural look, focused on locally grown flowers. The local farmer-florist is forecast to continue its growth in popularity, as more flower buyers opt for seasonal, scented bouquets. The #Britishflowers movement and Flowers from the Farm website, bring together small-scale growers in the UK, helping to build this new approach to floristry.
Weddings in 2018 may well draw inspiration from the colour of the year. There are also likely to be floral arrangements suspended above the tables at receptions. These hanging flower displays began to be popular at weddings last year and make an impressive statement, especially when they are paired with simple table arrangements. Flower crowns and wreaths have also seen a rise in popularity. Of course all this could change… depending on which flowers are chosen for a wedding due to take place at Windsor Castle in May.
flowers in the garden
In gardens there may be a renewed interest in wildflowers to complement the move towards ecological design. Small-scale meadows are becoming popular, especially with the say no to the mow campaign which encourages gardeners to leave an area of lawn uncut. The long grass and wildflowers that thrive under a no mow regime provide habitat for invertebrates visiting the garden, and bring diversity and beauty too.
The other big garden trend this season is set to be outdoor living. Creating an area in the garden for cooking and eating is forecast to be big for spring and summer. Pots of seasonal flowers will brighten up these areas, encouraging you to linger outdoors and enjoy the colour and scent they bring.
Flowers in the kitchen
Edible flowers saw a huge surge in sales last summer. Punnets of marigold petals, heartsease and nasturtiums were on sale at farmers markets and supermarkets. They added floral glamour to dishes in restaurants across the country. This trend looks set to continue, as flower farmers grow more organic blooms for local chefs. Home growers can easily produce their own edible flowers, many will grow happily in pots and are perfect for small gardens.
Flowers on television
There’s to be a new gardening programme later this year, one that should appeal to flower fans. The annual Royal Horticultural Society contest to find the most beautiful, flowery towns and villages in the country, Britain in Bloom, is to get its own tv series. The show will follow communities as they prepare for the judges’ arrival. It’s great to know that a competition that celebrates and encourages flower growing is going to be given air time.
Whether the trend forecasters are right remains to be seen, but it looks like we’re going to be enjoying a flower filled year in 2018.