We have seen many different trends making their way to centre stage this year, including an indulgence in yellow blossoms, the return of Lupins, and water features making a comeback, but we have sifted through the masses to only the most interesting and inspiring trends.
- Vertical planting: this trend is already quite prominent in smaller British gardens, perfect for transforming a small green space in urban or city homes with suspended flowers or living floral walls. Recently, however, this technique has taken on more structure and texture, using tiered constructions made from building materials, showing depth and interest rather than flat green walls. The rise in innovative ways of achieving vertical planting in a more interesting way is sure to prove itself a wonderful method of enhancing small garden spaces in towns and cities.
- Ecological gardens; as knowledge of our impact on the environment increases, ecology has become a prominent theme in modern garden designs. Using nothing but recycled and recyclable materials for garden design, as well as recycled plant material, may sound like hard work, but creates a beautifully intimate and environmentally friendly green space. The option of using modern energy-harvesting technology as part of your garden design is now available, as well as choosing plants specifically to cope with high levels of pollution in city spaces.
- International influences; gardens this year have taken influences from all over the world and created international microcosms within small British garden spaces. Traditional marble work inspired by the Moghul gardens on garden walls creates an intimate reference to North India, and similarly ancient Japanese art has been used on walls or to create a small path through the floral garden. Others use touches of middle-eastern and traditional Islamic designs to celebrate the intermingling of cultures in Britain and to revel in the art and design of faraway cultures.
- Metalwork has become a central component of many garden spaces, with some using bold and abstract shapes amongst plants and flowers that create a modernist design while subtly referencing the intertwining of nature and industrialism relevant to city spaces. In more rural places, the metalwork creates a classical rococo feel, reminiscent of Marie Antoinette’s adored gardens surrounding the Palace of Versailles. Whether it’s a sequence of metal spines to create a collective thread running through the greenery, or a series of steel structures and grates that highlight purple and red flowers sprouting from beneath, or even a full bronze statue at the garden centre to bring a transient quality to the space… metalwork is back, and more inviting than ever.
- Sculptural benches; in many garden spaces, seating has been ignored and designed for practicality rather than aesthetic, and mismatched chairs can often distract from the overall theme of the garden. Now, seating is becoming more of an art form, with structural benches designed to complement the garden design. Some have modern designs, with a sculptural bench referencing the DNA helix, set among colourful and vibrant flowers, while others use timber to create benches and stools that emerge from the sweeping and bright flower beds.
Hopefully these 5 innovative trends have you inspired to revisit your garden design, whether that’s trying something new and modern with metalwork, bringing foreign influences into your rural space, or making the most of smaller city gardens with vertical planting and a focus on ecology.