Design Director at Bowles & Wyer, James Smith, reveals the 5 emerging trends we can expect to see in garden design this summer…
TREND 1: HOME SWEET HOME
Having been forced to spend much of the past year at home, many people have invested in their gardens – whether it’s a complete garden re-design, new outdoor furniture or perhaps an outdoor kitchen and bar! Even for those of us who haven’t been able to spend much money on our gardens, we are all taking more pride in our outdoor spaces – fences are being painted, paving is being cleaned and lawns are being kept tidier.
Spending time at home is a trend here to stay – with uncertainty around many travel destinations, I expect the great British garden to work extra hard this year, providing the rest and relaxation we all need. If we’re lucky, we may even get the sun to go with it! So continue to see the garden being the centre of summer entertaining as people make the most of their investments.
TREND 2: SUMMER ENTERTAINING
Although many of us will return to pubs and restaurants as restrictions are eased further, I think it will take time to get back to our previous ways of socialising. Many of us are now accustomed to staying at home and are comfortable in our surroundings, plus there’s the benefit of being a cheaper night out!
So expect to see gardens set up for socialising this summer – with comfortable furniture and interior styling making its way to the outdoors. We’re seeing an increase in popularity for outdoor speakers to bring music outside, as well as the need to make more space for entertaining with the introduction of mini bars, grills, and outdoor kitchen areas.
TREND 3: AFTER-HOURS
With gardens acting as our hub for socialising and entertaining, there’s even more focus on how our gardens transform after dusk. Bringing lighting schemes to gardens is a growing trend, as it can totally transform the atmosphere of a garden – and of course is practical too. We’re seeing requests for festoon lights and mood lighting elements to make gardens a space for socialising after-hours too.
And don’t forget those chilly evenings – blanket boxes have become a piece of must-have storage for gardens this summer!
TREND 4: CONNECTING WITH NATURE
More than ever, we’re considering our garden as an extension of the home. Its value from a mental health and wellbeing perspective has been widely recognised in the last year, and has encouraged new uses of our garden spaces. You can expect to see more opportunities to connect with nature, such as dedicated spaces to grow herbs, vegetables and fruit and more experimentation with different and unusual planting combinations.
For some, gardens have also become the new gym! What better way to keep fit, healthy and active than to do it in the great outdoors and be surrounded by the greenery of your garden? We’re seeing growing popularity in outdoor exercise equipment to meet this new need.
TREND 5: FAMILY FUN
Whilst for some the garden has become a place to retreat and relax, for many it needs to be somewhere for all the family to enjoy. With more time at home together, we’re seeing increased requests for features such as paddling pools, hot tubs, trampolines and outdoor play equipment.
Expect to see fire pits taking centre stage this summer too – not only to provide some much needed warmth on summer evenings, but also as a focal point for the family to gather round. There has long been evidence on the mesmerising and soothing effects of flames, and it provides a natural centrepiece for long evenings spent together.