Even the smallest patch of ground outside is worthy of our time.
Gardening is fun, physical, good for our well-being, adds value to our home and connects us with nature. Whether it’s a tiny home garden with a shed or a botanical masterpiece. When we take a few minutes to nurture an outdoor space, it nurtures us in return.
Here’re 5 trends for the season to get you thinking. Remember there’s more to this than getting a handle on current styles, it’s a window on where people’s heads are right now, in relation to their gardens. So pick up some inspo and start venturing outside, even just to take a look.
It seems the greys and the neutrals are waning. And the most popular choice in garden centres right now is terracotta. It’s a brilliant material as it’s porous and temperature resistant. Visually it adds richness and warmth to any scheme from English country to arid Moroccan. And it’s not just for your planting pots. It brings a warm texture to walls too.
To emphasize the terracotta, plant flowers near it which bring orangey hues such as Coppertop Sweet Viburnam or Dahlias.
Terracotta’s affordable and available at yard sales and reclamation yards in its more aged form, which is also lovely. And any broken bits help plants pots to drain, so no waste.
2. VERTICAL GARDENING
For those who live in flats or have smaller gardens, vertical gardening is a technique that goes beyond the ground space to make the most of the vertical space too. Upward structures with bold planting can increase the sense of scale in a garden. Shelving, hanging baskets, trellises and living walls expand your area and bring balconies and yards to life and if you don’t get the sun, fill your planters with decorative shade-loving shrubs and plants such as ferns and Fatsia Japonica, and consider the other senses, evergreen jasmine gives you lovely green foliage all year round with little white flowers and a delicious aroma in the summer months, doing as well in a small space as any other.
3. SUSTAINABLE GARDENING
We’ve all talked about it for years, but now we’re actually doing it. We’re actively planning alternatives to a standard paved or decked area with a lawn, realising a mixture of ground can be created that’s more suited to efficient drainage. We’re rethinking lawns too. Sprinklers are falling out of favour even without a hose pipe ban, we’re also considering the power used to keep the lawn cropped.
Instead, mini meadows are on the rise and replacing turf with low-maintenance gravel beds where a wider range of plants can be grown.
In addition to water butts and home composting, we’re incorporating wildlife habitats into gardens with perforated wooden bee posts and other insect houses. And in smaller ways too by choosing upcycled flower pots and ornaments rather than new ones.
4. DRIED FLOWERS
Put visions of 90s potpourri in bathrooms out of your mind immediately, please.
The modern take on dried flowers is way less chintzy and much more dramatic. They save a fortune in cut flowers, are better for the environment and bring texture and scale in an interesting way to the home. But it all starts in your garden. Grow Craspedia, bold grasses, eucalyptus and lavender. And enjoy your own garden all year round
Growing vegetables is considered a luxury but it needn’t be. There’re lots of techniques to look into such as the No-Dig method, championed by Charles Dowding, which creates carbon and fungi-rich soil that holds moisture, producing disease-resistant, organic fruit and veg.
If you’re new to this you could try something simple, to begin with. Not only do herbs look pretty and varied and bring a lovely herby aroma to your space, but herbs are a cheap and easy way to add extra flavour to meals. Most are easy to grow from seed, providing another cost saving and can be sown indoors from March-April and outside from April-August. Many culinary herbs are hardy and perennial and will improve year on year. Imagine how virtuous and productive you’ll feel when you pop that fresh coriander on top of your curry. It just takes a reclaimed terracotta pot, some peat-free soil, and a spot in your vertical garden where the little seeds will get some sunlight along with a regular splash of water, from the water butt of course.
Estates East Team