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The Top 10 Garden Styles for 2020

Atelier Vierkant

The Top 10 garden styles for 2020 to kick start the New Year. Fresh design, styles and ideas for the garden in 2020.

What garden styles can we expect to see in 2020 according to The Society of Garden Designers?

 

 1: Belgian Design

Mia Witham Garden Design
Mia Witham

Belgian design style, often described as luxurious simplicity, is expected to come to the fore in 2020. Mia Witham of Mia Witham Garden Design says: ‘I am seeing some great garden products coming out of Belgium, which are typically high-end and have great form. I particularly love the beautiful clay pots by Atelier Vierkant, the woven fibre fencing and screens produced by Forest Avenue and the striking garden lights by Wever & Ducre. I’ll be using a lot more of them in 2020.’

 

2. Less is more

Garden by James Smith - Bowles & Wyer

Garden by James Smith – Bowles & Wyer

James Smith MSGD, Design Director at Bowles & Wyer, thinks the philosophy of ‘less is more’ will become more prominent, saying: ‘I really want to focus on creating more pared back design schemes, but with high attention to detail and finishing.’

Tracy McQue MSGD of Tracy McQue Gardens shares this philosophy, saying: ‘I’m looking forward to planting multiple grasses and a simple palette of perennials to make the lightest of design touches to a very rural project I am working on in Scotland. It’s important that my design ties in with the extended and wild landscape.’

 

3. Edible Forests & Romantic Veg Plots

Eva Nemeth; garden by Libby Russell
Image credit: Eva Nemeth; garden by Libby Russell

With more people using foraged food for cooking, Mia Witham thinks that edible forests could become the new vegetable garden. She says: ‘I’m currently designing an edible forest for a chef in Suffolk. It is carefully designed, semi-wild ecosystem of plants organised in layers with trees making up the canopy layer, shrubs providing a middle layer and perennial plants covering the ground. It’s an exciting concept and unlike a traditional vegetable plot where annual plants are mainly grown, edible forests require minimum input for maximum output.’

Libby Russell MSGD of Mazzullo + Russell agrees, saying: ‘Productive gardens are still very much on trend’. Libby, with her design partner Emma Mazzullo MSGD, mixes fruit and vegetables together with cut flowers to give a romantic flavour to their productive gardens. ‘As long as there is a very clear underlying design in the garden you can overlay so many layers, provided they create beauty and romance’ says Libby, who sees romantic gardens having a revival in 2020.

 

4. Re-purpose & Recycle

Mark Laurence garden design
Garden by Mark Laurence

 

Tracy McQue thinks there will more of a spotlight on repurposing of existing materials and recycling garden materials where possible. Mark Laurence MSGD whose consultancy creates adaptive landscape for a changing world, echoes this saying ‘repurposed items give a garden an individual look’, like this heating coil repurposed into a water feature.

 

5. Planting for Wildlife

Tracy McQue garden
Tracy McQue /Paul Johnston

 

Creating sustainable, wildlife-friendly and beautiful spaces needs to be at the forefront of everything we do no matter what size or location of the gardens we are designing, says Tracy McQue. She believes that the materials and plants we include, where we source them from and how we re-use elements already in the garden are becoming more vital considerations.

Jane Brockbank MSGD of Jane Brockbank Gardens shares this ideal, saying: ‘People are much more interested in making gardens that are good for wildlife. Awareness of the climate crisis and the loss of bio-diversity has grown enormously, even over the last year, and we are all taking our gardens far more seriously in regards to the important part they can play.’

Libby Russell of Mazzullo + Russell echoes this, saying: ‘Our planting is evolving to use many more ‘wild’ plants that are great for bees, birds, pollinators and invertebrates but without losing glamour or impact. Single roses, species plants, seed heads and grasses are all valuable.’

 

Tracy McQue garden design
Tracy McQue

Mandy Buckland MSGD of Greencube says she is incorporating ‘meadow areas, native hedging, gaps in fences for hedgehog movement and of course nectar rich planting’. While Tracy McQue advises that water features are integral to the wildlife-friendly spaces, and ideas such as bee-friendly boundary hedges are simple to incorporate into any garden.

Continuing this theme, Jane Brockbank says: ‘We are very interested in using shrubs in a more naturalistic way and we will be looking at how shrub communities work in the wild and take those principles to make them work in more designed settings, much like the ‘new perennial movement’ but for shrubs!’

 

6. The Patterned Garden

Jane Brockbank garden design
Jane Brockbank

Pattern and texture will be creeping back into our gardens in 2020. ‘Cold minimalism is beginning to look pretty tired now,’ says Jane Brockbank ‘and it also begs the question – “how does this contribute to the wildlife locally and in the garden?”‘ Jane brings pattern and texture into her designs by creating faceted planting zones and by blurring the line between the hard landscaped and soft planting areas in the garden, using gravel planting to create the transition between the two.

 

Greencube Landscapes
Mandy Buckland

Mandy Buckland of Greencube Landscapes thinks the trend for creating an outdoor room will live on and we will move away from regular formatted paving. She says: ‘There are lots of outdoor ceramic tiles on the market now. We are installing them as garden ‘rugs’ or design features within landscaped areas to create pattern, contrast and textural changes. It is much the same decorating a dining and living room in the house.’

 

7. Curvilinear Forms

Mark Laurence Garden Design
Mark Laurence

After almost a decade of symmetrically ordered urban gardens, Mark Laurence thinks we’ll see ‘a turning away from the linear, contemporary town garden to something wilder and more curvilinear.’ Mark says: “Curvilinear forms appear more natural in a garden environment and they connect us back to the flow of natural forms in the landscape.” It’s a distinctive move aways from the style of crisp, linear raised beds set against horizontal timber trellis that we have become so familiar with.

Following a similar path, James Smith of Bowles & Wyer has been experimenting with sculptural wall claddings in wood, metals and stone in organic, naturalistic patterns. He says: “I think wall claddings will gain momentum in 2020. They are perfect for maximising vertical surfaces in tight city gardens.”

 

8. Render Revival

Mark Laurence garden design
Mark Laurence

‘Look out for Monocouche renders in 2020,’ says Mark Laurence. These renders are a rare application in garden design, having been used predominantly by the housebuilding industry. Mark says: ‘Monocouche renders are low maintenance, weather resistant and hard wearing plus they have great texture  but they need professional application. A different look can be achieved with conventional render using mineral pigments (which are applied whilst the render is still green) and layered on in colour washes and absorbed into the surface, keeping the render breathable. I think the red or yellow ochres tones work very well in a garden setting.’

 

9. Outdoor Play

Greencube Landcapes
Mandy Buckland

‘Young families want to encourage their children to get outdoors, prizing them away from laptops, tablets and TV’s,’ say Mandy Buckland of Greencube. ‘We have been asked to integrate outdoor play in many of our gardens in recent months and have been incorporating blackboards, sand pits, hammocks, balance beams, climbing frames and even mini wildlife ponds. We design them so that they are integral to the garden layout, repeating the material and use or colour.’

James Smith of Bowles & Wyer agrees, adding: ‘Gardens will increasingly become important for families, to connect at social gatherings and for mental health – a welcome antidote to technology and screens.’

 

10. Ways with Wood

Greencube landscapes
Mandy Buckland

‘It’s not a new material but I think there will be a focus back on using timber next year,’ says Tracy McQue. ‘In the past it has been viewed as a material to use at ground level or for basic fences, but there are many elements in the garden that clever design can incorporate timber into. We use a local Scottish wood supplier when we can and I love the possibilities it gives us when we’re creating a new garden.’

Mandy Buckland of Greencube agrees, adding: ‘There appears to be a continuing rise in popularity of charred timber for decking and the use of Shou Sugi Ban – the ancient Japanese wood burning technique.’

Are you feeling inspired and looking to be in style for 2020? Now’s the time to start thinking about your garden for the summer, get in touch with us to see how we can help with your garden style this summer.

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Garden Design Trends 2018

Spring is nearly here and it’s the time of year that people start to think about getting in the garden. The Society of Garden designers share their predictions on the key garden trends for 2019.

Climate change gardening

Gardening for a changing climate is set to be a key trend in 2019. Sue Townsend creates ecological gardens to cope with the extreme weather conditions experienced by the UK recently. She advises to grow the right plants for the conditions of each garden, to store water and to collect excess water for dissipation through the soil.

 

climate change garden
NATALIA ODESCALCH

House Plants and Hanging Plants

Sculptural and architectural plants will dominate in 2019. Joe Perkins MSGD says “the continuing rise in popularity of houseplants is being translated outside with exotic-style plants with architectural leaves and stems making bold statements inside and out.” Joe also predicts that we will be seeing more hanging plants in our gardens.  Not traditional hanging baskets, but plants with foliage, colour and texture which can be used as accessories as an addition to pots and planters.

 

hanging plants
Gardens by Joe Perkins MSGD. Photo credit: Natalia Odescalch

Interior meets exterior

Both Darren Hawkes and Barbara Samitier think a colourful approach it with the best jewelers in san diego jewelrystoresd.com to interiors will creep into the garden in 2019. Hawkes predicts the arrival of bold print, clashing colours and large-leafed plants, advising to “take kitsch into the garden” by introducing bedding plants in bright coloured planters or letting Pompon Dahlias take centre stage.

Meanwhile, Barbara Samitier expects industrial and reclaimed materials and encaustic tiles will be used increasingly in urban gardens.

 

indoor outdoor living
Garden by Barbara Samitier MSGD

Teenage hang-outs

Karen Rogers thinks the growing demand for teenage garden hang-outs will gain momentum in 2019. Rogers incorporates secluded garden buildings or separate seating areas featuring outdoor fire pits or fireplaces in her designs. She says: “These spaces require clever screening from neighbours as well as good lighting and planting that absorbs as much noise as possible.”

Wild and loose

Nature will take the fore in 2019, says Louise Harrison-Holland of Blue Tulip Garden Design. We’ll see ongoing support for wildlife corridors in the wider landscape: “The move toward a slightly looser, wilder style of garden design will help support this initiative.” She predicts hedging will become the number one choice for garden boundaries next year.

 

wild and loose planting
Gardens by Louise Harrison-Holland MSGD

Colour: 

Vibrant hot colour

According to Sue Townsend, sizzling jewel colours are set to make a return to our gardens in 2019. Townsend predicts vibrant, hot colours combined with sultry purples and blues, while Barbara Samitier expects a move away from the blue and pink colour palette in favour of orange and yellow hues.

Jon Sims expects the rise of porcelain in garden design will bring the demand for indoor colour, outdoors. Replica stone will be replaced by hard landscape materials with bolder colours and patterns.

For a garden that suggests luxury, Joe Perkins recommends combining red and purple alongside greys and blue-greys in plant foliage. He too has spotted a trend in younger garden enthusiasts looking to style their outdoor space as they would an indoor room, using bright coloured accessories or furniture if needed you can get finance from cashcrazy.co.uk. Joe cautions that simplicity and repetition are the key for success here.

 

dahlias
Pompom dahlias from Darren Hawkes

Landscape materials:

Crazy paving

Crazy paving, charred timbers and gabion walls are expected to dominate in 2019. Sue Townsend says: ‘“Crazy paving and stepping stones using large irregular slabs– the bigger the better– are making a come-back.” Townsend foresees the continued popularity of porcelain paving which looks like real stone but has a non-slip quality.

Log walls and multiple metals

Barbara Samitier confesses to being obsessed with log walls, saying, “They can act as a feature wall, a boundary or a screen while providing a necessary habitat for insects and a wide range of wildlife.” She also expects we will be seeing more metal in the garden as it’s “such a versatile material that lends itself to so many applications.”

Samitier designs metal arches and pergolas for many of her current projects. She’s incorporated metal walkways, mirrored stainless steel and perforated Corten steel in her gardens for walls and pergola roofs.

 

log fencing
Garden by Barbara Samitier MSGD

Gabion walls

Both Louise Harrison-Holland and Barbara Samitier are introducing more gabion-style walls and structures into their garden designs. Louise predicts stone work will be used in a less structured way in 2019. She says: “I have noticed a move away from stark modernism towards a style that still retains a strong geometry but is tempered with a choice of materials in softer tones.”

External MDF

Prepare to see more charred timber cladding in gardens this year. Jon Sims experiments with Shou-Sugi-Ban and is also introducing rough shutter-faced concrete into his projects. He foresees a greater use of external MDF in gardens as it offers numerous options in terms of colour and shape. It’s durable, too.

 

external mdf
JOHN SIMMS

Planting:

Wild and perennial meadows 

Many designers experimented with wildflower and perennial meadows in 2018 and this trend is set to continue into the new year. The good news is you don’t need a large plot to incorporate one into your garden.

Sue Townsend explains: “I’ve really enjoyed creating small-medium sized meadows in many of the gardens I have designed this year. The most exciting venture was sowing my first perennial meadow. In a few years, it will provide interest from April to late November with relatively little maintenance.”

 

meadow planting
Planting by Sue Townsend MSGD

Louise Harrison-Holland echoes the sentiment: “A wilder style has been helped along by the increasing use of instant wildflower meadows. I see designers trying to recreate this look with a mix of herbaceous perennials and grasses that have a more permanent structure, helped by the increasing use of shrubs in planting borders.”

For more information about the Society of Garden Designers and its members, take a look at the SGD website.