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Gardening Through Time - 1950's to 1970's

Gardening Through Time - 1950's to 1970's

Let's take a nostalgic walk down the gardening path and see how our much loved hobby and passion evolved with the new luxury a brave new world presented after many decades of hardship and horror. 


The 1950s was a time of great change. The UK got back on its feet and the economy improved at a rapid rate. As a byproduct of this change, cheap food became far more plentiful so vegetable growing quickly fell out of fashion. In turn demand for allotments, a previous necessity for many, fell away, and gardeners concentrated instead on growing things of beauty. Roses, Gladioli and bedding plants became the new trend. We would be fascinated to hear from those of you that can remember the red, white and blue flower beds for Coronation year in 1953! An effect you can replicate today with trusty white alysum, blue lobelia and small red salvias. 

Let's not forget the impact television played in inspiring the nation, charging forward with the legend that is Percy Thrower leading the way. 


The dawn of the Garden Center arrived. Gone were the days of simply selling plants with no frills. The explosion of new style garden centres provided much much more – it wasn't just a quick trip to get some plants and supplies anymore, it was a day out! All the plants, supplies, tools and garden ornaments you could ever need and the all important café for a quick cuppa or even lunch or afternoon tea were all under one roof. We have America and Mr Edward Stewart, the founder of Stewarts garden centres in Dorset, to thank for this revolution. He had the foresight to spot how successful garden centres were in the States and transformed his family nursery into a thriving modern enterprise. 

New plastic pots meant that plants could be potted into containers and sold throughout the year. Gone was the narrow time span to sell plants – everything from trees to roses could be kept going for customers to buy at any time.


Who remembers 'The Good Life'? TV gold for sure, but so much more than that. It was indicative that self-sufficiency was back! An anticapitalist trend, undoubtably fuelled by the previous decades summer of love, meant that Allotment plots were in demand again.

As the world became smaller our taste buds craved new sensations, flavours and tastes, so growing courgettes and squashes, chillies and sweet peppers became very popular, as did the need for a wider variety of herbs.

Flowering plants changed from the bright and bold or the 50s and 60s to a paler more pastel palette.

Advancements in new propagation techniques provided plants and bulbs cheaper than ever. Plants such as the beautiful moth orchid which used to be rare and incredibly expensive were suddenly far more affordable and available thanks to micro-propagation.

We hope you have enjoyed our journey through time together. Maybe its inspired you to create a garden theme from your favourite decade? or maybe just introduce little pockets of time within your current gardening plan.

Happy gardening,


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