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Blossoming Trends: Primrose's Annual Garden Report 2022

Welcome to our 2022 edition of Blossoming Trends, the first annual garden report from Primrose.co.uk, including commentary from our resident gardening expert, Evie Lane.

We researched sales data from Primrose.co.uk to reveal what’s thriving — and what’s withering — in the gardening industry.

From our favourite flora and fauna of the last year to the upcoming styles set to bloom in 2022, discover our complete findings in the Blossoming Trends report.

Inside our report

  • 10 most popular garden plants, houseplants and trees
  • The generation which spends the most on gardening
  • The most popular accessories for your garden
  • Budding upcoming trends — and what’s dying out
  • Expert tips to get the look for your garden in 2022

Petunias flourish as our favourite flower

Adding bright and beautiful blooms to your garden has never been easier with petunias, and it’s clear that many gardeners agree. Our sales data reveals that the petunia is our favourite flora, selling more units than any other plant.

Perfect in plant pots, among shrubs or in flower beds, petunias can be easily grown almost anywhere outdoors. They also come in a choice of striking colours, from hot pink to intense purple to rich red.

10 most popular plants that shoppers loved in 2021

We reveal the top 10 most popular plants, according to our sales figures. While petunias do take the top spot, cherry blossom trees aren’t far behind, followed by geraniums as our third best-selling plant.

We reveal the top 10 most popular plants, according to our sales figures. While petunias do take the top spot, cherry blossom trees aren’t far behind, followed by geraniums as our third best-selling plant.

  1. Petunia
  2. Cherry blossom tree
  3. Geranium
  4. Apple tree
  5. Fuchsia
  6. Verbena
  7. Bush rose
  8. Clematis
  9. Wisteria
  10. Lavender

Our gardening specialist Evie explains, ‘It’s no surprise that UK gardeners opted for well-known, long-established plants in 2021. With such a turbulent year, many of us wanted stability and turned to the trusted, traditional flowers that we know and rely on, like petunias and geraniums.

‘Shades of purple were common too, such as with the popular verbena, wisteria and lavender. Perhaps this was the beginning of the Pantone Colour of the Year 2022, Very Peri, as we began to embrace more originality and creativity in our gardens by adding a pop of purple.’

Kalanchoe is the most loved houseplant, making 19% of all houseplant sales

Stepping inside and looking at our most popular indoor plants, we can reveal that the kalanchoe (also known as widow’s thrill) is our all-time favourite.

Our research shows that the low-maintenance, flowering plant outsold more than 30 different houseplant types and made 19% of total houseplant sales.

The top 10 best-selling houseplants in 2021

  1. Kalanchoe
  2. Monstera
  3. Philodendron
  4. Peace lily
  5. Parlour palm
  6. Areca palm
  7. Croton
  8. Devil's ivy
  9. Weeping fig
  10. Pteris

Evie says, ‘It’s interesting that most of our favourite houseplants are tropical or subtropical, since not many of us could travel in 2021.

‘For many of us who were missing island hopping across white-sand beaches and soaking up the sunshine, a tropical houseplant could have been a way to bring the holiday back home.

‘Surrounding your home with lots of leafy houseplants is a great way to reconnect with those tropical locations while enjoying the other benefits of plants, like improved mood and better air quality.

‘We can expect the houseplant takeover to continue in 2022, as Pinterest recently predicted that we will choose plant-based interior design to stay connected with nature — another good reason to invest in plenty of houseplants!’

Our 10 favourite trees are 'symbols of new life and future happiness'

It turns out that our favourite tree is the Japanese cherry blossom, which outsold traditional UK favourites like oak and birch. The cherry blossom also sold more than plum, cherry and fig trees combined, giving you an idea of how popular this pink flowering tree is.

 

  1. Cherry blossom
  2. Apple
  3. Plum
  4. Cherry
  5. Fig
  6. Acer
  7. Magnolia
  8. Sorbus
  9. Pear tree
  10. Crabapple

Our gardening specialist Evie says, ‘Cherry blossoms are known for their delicate, beautiful blooms which normally only last for a fortnight.

‘The cherry blossom represents renewal and reminds us that life moves quickly, so we need to make the most of it. It’s a fitting symbol for 2021, which is perhaps why the cherry blossom is our favourite — a trend we can expect to continue in 2022.

‘Fruit trees also proved to be very popular, with six varieties making our top 10. This can be interpreted that we’re looking forward to an abundant, plentiful life in the future, as we grow symbols of health and happiness in our gardens.’

Millennials spend the most on their gardens, while Gen Z spends the least

Whether they’re enjoying the mental health benefits of the outdoors or hopping on the houseplant trend, we found that many more young people are turning to gardening today.

Our sales figures show that green-fingered millennials spend the most on their gardens, with those aged 25-34 spending more than any other age group. Millennials are closely followed by the oldest generation, with those aged 65 and over spending only slightly less on their gardens.

At the other end of the scale is Gen Z, who are spending the least on gardening. However, as house prices reached an all-time high in 2021, according to the ONS, it’s less surprising that the youngest generation aren’t spending as much on their gardens — they might not own their own garden to take care of!

What’s budding for 2022? We cultivate upcoming garden trends for the year

To reveal the upcoming garden trends for 2022, we analysed over 5.5 million unique online searches from our site’s database. Our research shows the top flourishing trends and those that are dying out.

‘2022 is the year to get creative with your garden, combining nature with technology’

Our site search data shows that the biggest trend for 2022 sees gardeners going back to nature, but incorporating modern technology and trends found online.

Evie says, ‘In 2022, we’ll be fusing nature with contemporary design, but in a way we’ve never done before. We’ll get creative with our gardens, combining nature with hints of futuristic style — plus pops of periwinkle and silver chrome.

‘As technology continues to grow, we’ll incorporate it in our gardens, too. From smart sprinklers to gardening apps to chrome water spheres, there will be many ways that we combine tech with nature.

‘Growing technology will even influence our colour choices in the garden, from flowers to plant pots. We’ve already seen Pantone Colour of the Year, Very Peri, which is representative of “how colour trends in the digital world are being manifested in the physical world”. We’ve seen a similar trend too, with more gardeners searching for periwinkle plants and accessories.’

Five tips to create the look in your garden, based on rising trend data

Here are our five top tips to create the trend in your own garden, with more insights from our site’s database.

1. Create a natural backdrop to frame purple plants and chrome accessories

First, you can expect to see many garden structures made from organic materials. Searches for hazel hurdles are up by 451%, the largest-growing trend in garden décor. Rattan screening searches also increased by 173%.

Invest in organic materials to build your garden’s fences and borders, allowing you to create a natural backdrop that perfectly frames your periwinkle flowers and plants, as well as any futuristic, chrome accessories.

2. Plant plenty of purple flowers, including forget-me-nots

As Pantone announced their Colour of the Year as Very Peri, it’s unsurprising that forget-me-nots are set to be the most on-trend flower for 2022. Searches for the beautiful blue and purple petalled plant increased by a huge 2,104%, making it our most-wanted flower.

Plant lots of forget-me-nots to fill your garden with pops of purple and blue, acting as a striking contrast to natural materials.

3. Grow contrasting climbing plants beside natural garden accessories

Another way to creatively combine nature with contemporary design is with colourful climbing plants. Again, you should opt for flowers with blue and purple petals to create a beautiful contrast against your natural garden accessories.

Popular plant choices include lilac wisteria or the stunning Chilean potato tree, which you can grow around a wooden obelisk. According to our data, wooden obelisks are one of the most budding garden décor trends for 2022, with searches increasing by 107%.

4. Choose blue and purple planters for an extra pop of colour among your plants 

Continue the trend of mixing nature with contemporary colours by adding more touches of blue and purple shades among the nature of your garden.

One way to do this is by pairing your growing flowers with brightly-coloured planters. We found that our site’s searches for ‘blue trough’ increased by 398%, suggesting this is a rising trend that many gardeners will enjoy in 2022.

5. Add modern, silver chrome water features, like a sphere or water blade

Our database reveals that water features are the most popular decorative feature, selling more than solar lights, statues and outdoor mirrors combined.

Water features are perfect for adding a futuristic touch to your garden. A silver chrome design really stands out against your natural backdrop.

Plus, they’re set to stay on trend throughout 2022, with more modern designs becoming the focus. Site searches for ‘sphere water feature’ and ‘water blade’ are trending, increasing by 56% and 41%, respectively.

If you want to know more about the plant and garden decor trends of 2022, see our complete top 10 lists below.

For all our trends, we compared internal search data from 14th December 2019 - 14th December 2020 to 14th December 2020 - 14th December 2021 to reveal the biggest upcoming garden trends.

The top 10 blossoming plant trends for 2022

  1. Forget-me-not +2,104%
  2. Generous Gardener rose +511%
  3. Kalanchoe +454%
  4. Pink China +407%
  5. Yarrow +288%
  6. Kentia palm +253%
  7. Calla lily +227%
  8. Primula beesiana +224%
  9. Chinese rice paper plant +217%
  10. Bird of paradise flower +179%

The top 10 growing garden décor trends for 2022

  1. Hazel fencing +451%
  2. Blue trough +398%
  3. Rhubarb forcer +201%
  4. Rattan screening +173%
  5. Speed planter +148%
  6. Wooden obelisk +107%
  7. Sails +63%
  8. Sphere water feature +56%
  9. Picnic table +45%
  10. Water blade +41%

‘Colder gardens with artificial plants and white accessories are on their way out’, says gardening expert

Which trends won’t feature in our 2022 gardens? We turn to our site’s data and our garden specialist to find out.

Evie says, ‘In 2022, we want contemporary style for our gardens, but without the colder feel that modern design can bring.

‘With our site’s searches for ‘artificial’ down by 55%, we can expect to ditch artificial plants, swapping them for the real thing. ‘White’ has also decreased by 44%, suggesting we’ll be injecting colour into our gardens and avoiding the cooler look.

‘One other trend that seems to be dying out is decorating with rocks. Searches for ‘rockery plants’ and ‘pebbles’ are down by 63% and 55%, respectively. This also supports the idea that we want gardens bursting with leafy greens and pops of colour, rather than the typical greys and beiges which you get with decorative stones.’

What withered in 2021? The top 10 garden decorating trends which are dying out

Our research reveals the top 10 biggest declining searches over the last year for garden decorating and accessorising. If you still love these that just means you're forging your own garden design and decor path, and there's nothing wrong with that.

  1. Hanging basket plants -73%
  2. Sun lounger -66%
  3. Rockery plants - 63%
  4. Artificial -55.3%
  5. Pebbles - 55%
  6. Summer house - 53%
  7. Trailing plants - 52%
  8. Love seat -47%
  9. Decking - 46.7%
  10. White -44%

Now you’ve reached the end of our Blossoming Trends report, why not start planning your garden’s look for 2022? With everything from plants to water features to garden furniture, Primrose.co.uk makes it easy to stay on-trend while growing your garden.

Want to read more gardening stories? We have everything from hidden flower meanings to tips to create your own Royalcore garden at Primrose.

Methodology

All data and sales figures have been collected from the internal Primrose.co.uk database.

‘Best-selling’ statistics were recorded from 14th December 2020 - 14th December 2021.

‘Trends’ research compares year on year internal site searches from the period 14th December 2019 - 14th December 2020 with the period 14th December 2020 - 14th December 2021.