January 2020

Well another year and a new decade has arrived. Here’s to believing that 2020 will be a great gardening year. Many key indicators are pointing in that direction – reasonable rainfall for most of KZN, exciting new plants being introduced on a regular basis, a real green or environmental consciousness awakening amongst many of us humans and no doubt that wonderful feeling of satisfaction when growing your own garden plants. It’s always interesting reading all the gardening trends or fashions at the beginning of every new year.

Here are few of the key pointers for 2020 that caught my eye.


• Vertical or wall gardening to add an extra dimension to the landscape and improve space utilisation. Besides vertical gardens, pots and wall planters with cascading plants will be used to break up blank or stark wall space.

• DIYing and repurposing of old or broken garden objects, features and ornaments. Perhaps this is garden re-cycling?

• Adding water to the landscape in the form of water features and ponds. This assists in creating more complex ecosystems that attract numerous forms of wildlife to the garden – frogs, birds, insects and reptiles.

• The utilisation of what are called “double duty plants” – an example is a shrub that can be used as a hedge or screen that also has highly fragrant flowers. In other words, plants with multiple attributes are more rewarding than those with just a single reason to use them in the garden.

• The term “low maintenance” crops up again and has been doing so for seemingly ages. It makes total sense as water becomes scarce and labour costs escalate. Reliable, easy to grow plants will increase in appeal even if they might not be the most aesthetically pleasing.

• No digging or no tillage planting along with composting to improve soil health and encourage micro-organisms. Re-cycling of all organic matter including kitchen scraps is gaining momentum all the time.

• The pantone colour of the year for 2020 is “classic blue” whilst back to nature greens are said to be fashionable as well.

It will be interesting to see which of these forecasts actually prevail in our local gardens. Historically speaking many trends have been evident, especially at shows and in open gardens. Here’s an opportunity for all of you gardeners to become fashionable and famous. From my side 2020 is going to be filled with new challenges and opportunities.

I’m hoping to be able to showcase new and exciting plants at all Blackwood’s stores, improve plant quality and presentation and add plenty of additional information to the Blackwood’s website. In conclusion a big thank you to all for supporting Blackwood’s whilst indulging in your garden.