Garden Trends 2021

As Spring gets under way, what are the garden trends coming to the fore in 2021? Is the way we use our gardens changing thanks to the pandemic? We have to say, most of this year’s garden trends are not really new. We have talked about them before. However, the pandemic has accelerated changes that were already on their way. Stocks of all types of garden furniture and accessories have been flying off the shelves and it seems we now have a national shortage. This doesn’t affect us here at Juliettes as all our luxury garden furniture is specially made to order. It does show how our gardens have become a more integral part of our everyday lives.

Luxury Garden Sofa
With more time spent outdoors, luxury garden furniture takes centre stage

We have used our gardens more in the last 12 months than we might ever have believed possible – for working, schooling, exercising and entertaining. On days when we would normally be huddled indoors, we have wrapped up in hats, gloves, scarves and fleecy blankets for coffee in the garden with friends and family. Even as things get warmer here in the UK, we still have travel restrictions and a natural reluctance to get too close indoors. The garden trends we are seeing show that, as a nation, we intend to make the most of our gardens, whatever life (or the weather) throws at us.

garden trends 2021, Modular Designer Outdoor Garden Seating Sofa Set
Modular garden furniture is a flexible way to make the most of every space

Employ a Professional

Whether you follow garden trends or not, a luxury, high end garden takes planning and skill. We are assuming that many of you already have someone who maintains your garden. Maybe you are keen gardeners yourselves. Either way, the green-fingered bit is taken care of. When it comes to a garden re-design or a brand new plot, many more people are realising the wisdom of consulting a professional designer. We work closely with skilled garden designers to provide the expertise on landscaping and planting, using our talents to create breathtaking seating, relaxing and dining solutions for our clients. Our thanks to Tom Massey Studio for the fabulous images of some of their inspirational garden designs.

Luxury gardens don’t happen by accident
The Yard House – Tom Massey Studio © Landscape Associates

With gardens getting so much more use, the quality and durability of any outdoor furniture has become paramount. We want furniture that lasts, that will look good for seasons to come, will keep its colour and will stand up to the rigours of family life, entertaining and a more outdoor lifestyle. This means high quality materials and the use of innovative fabrics, resistant to UV light, rain, pool and seawater. Today’s synthetic rattans can be indistinguishable from the real thing but are far more durable and easy to maintain. They are miles away from the cheap patio furniture of yesteryear.

garden trends 2021, Floating Armchair Sun Lounger
Floating Armchair Sun Lounger
On the patio, on the poolside and even in the pool, quality modern fabrics take it in their stride

No matter what size garden we have, it has become an extension of our indoor living space. An extra room, if you like. There is a blurring of lines between our indoor and outdoor spaces so that almost everything you would have indoors, you will now find outdoors, right down to the fridge and the kitchen sink.

Outdoor kitchens, bars and party zones mean effortless outdoor entertaining © grilloliving.com

Garden Zoning Trend

In order to work as an extension of our interiors, gardens are becoming multi-functional spaces. Zoning is important to make sure each function has its place, without everything becoming cluttered. Think carefully about the space you have and how many zones will work within it. You may want nothing more than a place to relax, with a couple of super-sized, comfortable outdoor sofas. You may want to add a spectacular dining area, an outdoor playroom, a party space complete with bar, or an outdoor kitchen with a barbecue and pizza oven. We are also seeing a rise in outdoor gyms and yoga studios – either completely outdoors or in a dedicated garden room. If you have the space, a grow-your-own patch is another trend that shows no sign of diminishing. However many zones you include, the garden should flow so that all areas are easily accessible.

Garden Trends, zoning, Designer Italian Teak Garden Dining Table Set
Outdoor dining has become even more important in the last year

Layering

Again, this is all to do with our gardens becoming an extension of our indoor lives. We are no longer content with just a table and chairs and a couple of cushions. This garden trend sees giant floor cushions, throws, outdoor rugs and cosy blankets for chilly evenings. Sales of outdoor cushions grew by around 70% last year, and this year you’ll be lucky if you can find one on the high street. These are all a great way of adding texture and interest as well as a splash of colour. They are small, inexpensive and easy to change out next year for a completely different look. Just make sure you stick to neutral colours for your larger items of garden furniture. We are also seeing an increase in extra large lanterns, vases, jugs and planters (with or without plants), adding height as well as texture.

Egg Chairs – This Year’s Biggest Garden Trend

We are so happy to see that the egg chair has made a comeback. The spirit of Arne Jacobsen’s iconic original design – and Nanna Ditzel’s hanging version – is enjoying a massive resurgence. We love the idea of hanging one at the end of a garden to draw the eye and to provide a mini oasis of calm. Think of it as an escape pod. If you can’t hang it, choose one with its own frame or look for a floor-standing version. If you can find one.

garden trends 2021, egg chair, Rattan Style Winged Outdoor Swinging Armchair
The Yeo Valley Organic Garden © Tom Massey Studio

Back to Nature

Luxury gardens have tended to be very formal, neat and clipped. Now, we are seeing a slightly wilder approach, softening the edges of hard landscaping with overgrowing edges and a more natural feel. What might once have been a huge swathe of pristine lawn is now planted with native perennials to create a wildflower meadow. Not only is this easy on the eye (and the lawnmower), it also attracts bees, butterflies and the wildlife that has been slowly disappearing from our gardens. More than half of UK gardeners are making a conscious effort this year to bring in plants that are beneficial to our dwindling wildlife.

The Perennial Sanctuary Garden – Tom Massey Studio © Britt Willoughby Dyer
Visualisation © Tom Massey Studio

Tropical and Statement Planting

Another garden trend rapidly gaining in popularity is the use of grand, statement planting. Of course, we don’t have the climate to grow tender tropical plants outdoors in the UK. There are plenty of plants out there, however, that give a fantastic, jungle feel but can still withstand our chillier temperatures. Hardy Japanese banana plants, chusan palms, bamboo, tree ferns, ginger lilies and the ever-popular fatsia – all have lush, large green foliage and fronds that give a dramatic, tropical look. Many of our large native ferns can add to a tropical feel in the right setting. Mature olive trees are also very much in demand. Their ancient, gnarled trunks and silvery grey-green foliage add interest all year and they are much hardier than many people think. Citrus trees, too, are much sought after, giving an uplifting mediterranean feel. They love a sunny spot but will need to be brought indoors in Winter so they are best in pots.

The Lemon Tree Trust Garden – Tom Massey Studio © Britt Willoughby Dyer
Dramatic, architectural, tropical planting can be achieved in the UK © Seamus O’Donnell

Fire Pits and Water Bowls

It cannot have escaped your notice that almost every garden now has a garden heater, a chiminea or a fire pit. Again, thanks to Covid, we have been forced to use our gardens, even when the weather says otherwise. From a small, free-standing fire bowl to a magnificent, bespoke-built fire pit, we are extending the use of our gardens with the clever use of outdoor heating. There is always something magical about gathering around a fire. And you can toast marshmallows. Many off-the-shelf fire pits can also be used as a water bowl, as long as they don’t have a hole at the bottom. These beautiful, shallow discs are a great way of adding the serenity and calm of a pool to your garden, without all the hassle of a pond.

The Perennial Sanctuary Garden – Tom Massey © Britt Willoughby Dyer

Garden Lighting

This isn’t really a garden trend as such. We’ve always had some form of lighting outside, even if it was only a candle or two. But the use of outdoor lighting has increased massively in recent years. This year, it seems set to outdo itself again. Sales of lanterns and festoon lights have seen a huge surge and, again, our shops have a lot of empty shelves. For a dramatic look, we love to use uplighters beneath trees or tucked in amongst large, lush foliage. It also looks great under the edge of steps – and makes it easier to see where you’re going. While hundreds of twinkling fairy lights, lanterns or Edison bulbs can look amazing, try to avoid too many clashing styles or colours. Go for dramatic or magical but not overpowering.

Garden Trends 2021, lighting, Large Iron Outdoor Lamp
Don’t be shy with your outdoor lighting. Make a statement.

Exterior Interior Design

This may sound like a contradiction but yes, interior designers do also design luxury outdoor living spaces. Our design team are happy to give information and advice on a single product or a whole range of fabulous garden furniture. As we said, if you also intend to re-visit the layout of your whole garden, we work closely with world class garden designers to provide their horticultural and landscaping expertise. Just give us a call and let’s have a chat.

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