As we open our shiny new 2018 calendar, we’re starting to think about the season ahead, and what it might bring for us here at Burgon & Ball - and for our gardens. The fabulous inspiration of RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May, Year 2 at our allotment (hopefully incorporating the lessons we learned in Year 1!) and a flurry of gorgeous new products to launch in the autumn.
So we thought we’d ask some of our team about their gardening wishes for 2018. What do they really wish for in their own personal oases? What would they like to see under the tree this Christmas, so to speak?
Well, the responses ranged from the very modest (white Cupcake Cosmos seeds – this from Nicola, our head of design), to the frankly unachievable (“a lawn like they have at Beautiful Downtown Bramall Lane” – this from area sales manager and devoted Sheffield United fan Paul).
Between us, we’ve come up with some great ideas for the plant breeders and plant finders out there. We’d like, please:
- Tulip bulbs that come back every year without being lifted and stored. Not just the everyday varieties, you understand, but we’d also like the most exquisitely beautiful tulips to be blessed with this kind of hardiness - the frilly-edged and the multi-petalled and the crazy-coloured. (A wish from Heather, our MD.)
- A plant that lights up in the dark. How pretty would that look? It would certainly help, too, to mark the way when popping out to the compost bin with a caddy of kitchen scraps at this gloomy time of year. And it would be the perfect plant to tend with our brilliant FloraBrite tools. We could garden all day and all night, too! (A wish from national accounts manager David.)
- Trees that shed their leaves miraculously only into the compost bin. Now, we know that really is quite a big ask! But come the autumn, it would certainly save quite a lot of time for doing more interesting things – like planting up gorgeous pots of spring bulbs. (A wish from head of sales Ruth.)
Other requests included some that are relatively achievable. Area sales manager Jason, for example, wished for flowers that don’t fade and die. Well, regular deadheading with our RHS endorsed Ergo Deadheader will dramatically extend the flowering life of most plants. And head of design Nicola, having moved house this year, wished for an RHS endorsed curved pruning saw to tackle the leylandii in her new garden. It should make short work of cutting those down to size!
Help with achieving a smooth velvety lawn was a common wish. Many of our team wished for a luscious lawn with no bare patches, moss, or weeds; no waterlogged areas, tuftiness, larval pests, or pet damage… the list went on. A shortcut to a beautiful emerald green sward, if anyone can invent such a thing in 2018, could be an extremely popular and hugely lucrative idea, it appears.
Effective ways of tackling garden pests were also high on the wish list. From a method of slug and snail control that doesn’t involve actually killing anything, to a beautiful plant that will deter the neighbourhood cats from investigating the flowerbeds, and even to weed-repellent compost to keep weeds out of our pots – ways to keep those nasties at bay easily, effectively, and without damaging the wildlife in our garden, seem to be the holy grail of gardening.
Just to show that not everything we wish for is a flight of fancy, we also have a couple of wishes which may well come true in 2018. Nicola wishes for a fiddle leaf fig tree to decorate her new home. An Instagram favourite, the fiddle leaf fig is a gorgeous plant that’s very much in style, bringing vivid colour and captivating curves to any room. We could suggest one of our artisanal indoor pots to complement it, but it rather depends on how ambitious Nicola feels, in terms of scale. Fiddle leaf figs can grow up to six feet high – or more!
And finally, Blades fan Paul wishes for a nice freezing winter to kill all the bugs that eat his plants and vegetables. That one may well be on its way in the next few months. We’ll have to wait and see.
Speaking of which, what of those gorgeous new products coming in the autumn that we mentioned earlier…? Well, watch this space! We can’t wait to unveil a whole new crop of gardening gorgeousness in 2018 – and you’ll be the first to know.