This tool is often linked to Old Father Time and the Grim Reaper, as well as the handsome male topless star of Poldark.

But next year the scythe is expected to become one of the must-have items for Britain’s gardeners.

It is an environmentally-friendly alternative to a polluting lawnmower for eco-conscious gardeners wanting to cut a lawn that has been allowed to grow too long, or to trim back a wildflower meadow.

The prediction is among several issued today by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) about the gardening trends in its annual forecast of how and what the nation’s 30 million gardeners will be growing in 2022.

The predictions are based on enquiries from the RHS’s half-a-million members and the informed views of its in-house experts.

RHS expects strong colour plants to return after some dark years.

Next year the scythe is expected to become one of the must-have items for Britain’s gardeners

Next year the scythe is expected to become one of the must-have items for Britain’s gardeners

These are the other trends in gardening for 2022

Bokashi: Japanese method of making indoor compost using bran and fermentation

Battery-powered secateurs: This is the perfect product for people with weaker grasps. 

Colours: In flowering plants, such as salvia, Crocosmia, and Canna, oranges and violets can be found. 

Hand-picked posies: You can use bouquets purchased at the store instead 

Chokeberries: Great for your health

Perennials: Dahlias, zinnias and Cosmos for instance are better than annuals. 

‘Fast-track gardens’: Troughs and baskets that have been pre-planted 

‘Snow white’ apples: Ironically, Apples with red flesh such as ‘Tickled Pink’ are high in healthy anthocyanins

Pomegranates: Some varieties are able to grow outside in the UK 

Meanwhile any gardener wishing to look ahead of the curve, or practice one-upmanship over the garden fence is well advised to drop the word ‘Bokashi’ into their conversation.

According to the RHS, it’s becoming more popular for turning scraps from kitchen – including meat – into compost. The method was developed in Japan and has been adopted by many green-fingered people who want to decrease their dependence on plastic bags.

Japan is a big fan of this technique. The scraps from food, including fish and meat, can be made into compost indoors.

RHS offers training on the use of scythes in their Harlow Carr garden, Yorkshire.

In 2015 Scythes were in the news after Aidan Turner, a Poldark actor and hunk, used it in a scene where he was bare-chested.

Explaining why it expects scythes to become a popular purchase, the RHS said: ‘Scything is easier than a mower on wildflower patches and minimises the need for petrol or diesel powered tools.

Guy Barter, chief horticulturalist at the RHS said: ‘Scythes are a tricky thing to use which is why we are offering training.

‘They require a fair amount of upper body strength and they’ve got to be razor sharp, but work very well once you’ve got the knack.’

He added that the lawnmower’s ascendancy is likely to remain secure as he said: ‘You would not want to mow half an acre with a scythe.’

Scything and other labour intensive gardening methods are making a comeback. But, there will always be time-saving options for people who have a tight schedule.

After a couple of dark years, the RHS forecasts the return of plants with strong colours, particularly oranges, purples and yellows

The RHS predicts that plants will return to strong colors after a few dark years.

However, instead of being powered with petrol engines, battery-powered garden equipment will likely be the norm, with pruners expected to have a major impact.

The ‘Good-Life’- style self-sufficiency ethos continues, the RHS say with a greater interest expected in making home-grown posies and bouquets, rather than buying them in from florists.

The popularity of red-fleshed fruits is expected to continue to grow, with apple especially leading the pack.

According to RHS, Chokeberries are gaining popularity due to their health-giving properties.

Similar story is told about the serviceberry. Some writers liken it to a mix of a strawberry or a blueberry.

Explaining why so-called ‘Snow-White’ apples with red-flesh are piquing the public’s interest, the RHS suggests that they are prized for their high levels of anthocyanins, which are being sought out for their anti-inflammatory and anti-viral qualities at a time when we increasingly fear infections.

It is a tool often associated with Old Father Time, the Grim Reaper and in recent years the handsome topless male star of Poldark

It’s a common tool associated with Old Father Time (the Grim Reaper), and, in recent years, the handsome male topless star of Poldark.

Other labour saving gardening products tipped to do well next year are pre-planted baskets and troughs as well as self-watering pots, the RHS said, which will ‘provide more opportunity to sit back and enjoy the garden’.

Others battery-powered tools, such as leaf blowers and electric mowers are quieter than those powered by petrol.

According to the RHS, annual flowers are less popular than those that flower in the summer, such as cosmos and dahlias.

The RHS tips everlasting flowers and sea lavender are great for decorating winter displays.

Mr Barter said of the interest in brighter colours such as oranges and purples ‘They are more exuberant colours and we could do with a bit more exuberance in these times.’

He added: ‘With a return to more normal weekday patterns in 2021, the UK’s gardeners are adapting their approach to tending their plants; drawing on quick fixes where necessary but all the time working to ensure their plots are planet friendly and an inspiring place to work and play.’