At last. Spring seems to have finally arrived. We had a glorious Easter and we still have another couple of long, bank holiday weekends to look forward to. If you love spending time out in the garden but it’s not looking its best just now, don’t despair. Help is here. Some of these garden trends could be achieved in a weekend, others will take a bit more time, planning and patience. And don’t forget, Juliettes now has a fabulous new range of the most spectacular luxury garden furniture to set off any outdoor space. So whether you have a city centre balcony, a fun family garden or a 100 acre estate, have a thorough browse and find the luxury garden furniture that’s just right for you. Remember, if you need advice on what will work best in your garden, our interior design team are only a phone call away.
The picture above shows one of our favourite design projects, completed recently by our talented interior design team. All areas of this provençal garden blend seamlessly together with a range of exquisite planting and beautiful, bespoke garden furniture. As well as our design service, we are also experts at sourcing the perfect furniture for indoors and out. If any of the following trends or products inspire you, just give us a call on +44 (0) 207 870 7415. Our design team would be delighted to help you find what you are looking for.
Garden Trend 1 : Outdoor Structures
We are talking more than just a quaint summer house or a BBQ here. These are full-on entertaining spaces and garden rooms with dining areas, furnishings, lighting and drainage. With innovations in outdoor heating and lighting, our gardens are becoming an integral part of our living space, to be used for a much greater part of the year. However, this being the UK with its predictably unpredictable weather, the added protection of a warm, sheltered and fully-functional extra space out of doors makes outdoor living a real possibility, even in the chillier, more northerly climes.
Outdoor kitchens are also becoming an essential part of any new garden design. Not just a BBQ but maybe a sunken fire pit, food preparation areas, cupboards, running water, lighting and, being the UK, maybe a spot of heating and even a roof. Other parts of the world have had outdoor kitchens for ever but we’ve been a bit slow to catch on. Well, not any more. We are set to embrace outdoor living to its fullest, for as much of the year as we can possibly manage. Are we selfish to welcome a degree or two of climate change?
Garden Trend 2 : Eco Gardens
Britain is not alone in realising the impact our actions are having on the planet, and gardens are the latest thing to appear in the eco spotlight. Designers are creating gardens with a lower carbon footprint, gardens that benefit the planet and encourage wildlife. Apparently, around 82% of Brits would like to attract more wildlife to their gardens. Birds, bees, butterflies and hedgehogs have, sadly, been disappearing from our gardens in past decades. People are now pondering what we can do to bring some of our most beloved native species back to our back yards. This includes using native plants that we know will thrive in our climate, and specifying home-grown plants in an attempt to avoid the spread of infections such as xylella, which has killed off whole olive groves in southern Italy as it marches steadily across Europe.
The Royal Horticultural Society has introduced a ‘Perfect for Pollinators’ label for plants rich in nectar, for anyone trying to attract bees and butterflies. When the insects arrive, the birds will follow, and every garden centre these days has a whole range of bird feeding tables, bird boxes, ladybird houses and bee hotels. Hedgehogs need to be able to roam freely and we are all encouraged to leave a hedgehog-sized gap in any fencing. If you are about to plan a new garden, no matter how much space you have, consider the wildlife before you start. If you want to attract wildlife but in a more controlled way, it is relatively easy to have a discreet corner of your plot dedicated to bees and butterflies. And what could be more relaxing on a summer’s day than a profusion of beautiful butterflies and the gentle hum of happy bees?
Garden Trend 3 : Asymmetry
Last year saw plenty of polygons in garden design. This year, experts tell us to expect a move away from rigid lines towards more fluid, organic shapes but here at Juliettes, our designers disagree. It’s true that neat, tidy paving is making way for large-scale pieces of natural stone, and hard edges are being softened by planting, but this doesn’t mean a return to ditsy, cluttered cottage gardens. High end gardens, grand and small, are really going for green, with ornamental box and cypress trees being used to create a formal structure. Healthy foliage and lush, green grass are paramount, with natural flora being introduced to give a mix of formal and natural forms. We are seeing a definite trend in the addition of statement sculptures and objets d’art, nestling within the foliage and giving an insight into the owner’s personality. These gardens are spectacular, but need to look and feel established, as though they have been there for years.
Garden Trend 4 : Copper
Again, experts say we are moving away from shiny stainless steel towards warmer tones in our garden designs. Used in planting, copper leaves provide a striking contrast with the vibrant greens of our usual foliage. As a landscaping material, copper weathers beautifully to a subtle, muted green that blends perfectly into a natural landscape. If you want to keep the metallic sheen and warmth of colour, using a copper-coloured steel may be a better alternative. Or why not use a combination of the two for a glorious juxtaposition of colours and finishes? Having said that, we believe that stainless steel is timeless and will always add an air of elegance to a well-landscaped garden.
Garden Trend 5 : Wood-Effect Tiles
We are still following the trend towards warmer, softer, more natural elements. Wood has been popular for a while now, and this shows no sign of diminishing – we are talking about gardens, after all. However, wooden flooring can have its drawbacks so many designers are now looking at wood-effect porcelain tiles. These have the warm, soft, natural look of wood but are harder wearing, as well as being resistant to stains, scratches and heat. Make sure you source a good quality tile that looks natural and will stand the test of time.
Garden Trend 6 : Texture
There is a definite theme emerging here. The trend is definitely about individuality. We are set to see much greater use of hand-made bricks and textured paving blocks. Although we wouldn’t use them as a grand, sweeping statement, we do like the idea of using them in small, secluded areas. Their irregularities and imperfections can be used to bring a natural feel to cosy spaces, creating unique, bespoke areas in any garden design. Fabrics, cushions, blankets and throws should then be used in abundance, layering those textures for a truly luxurious feel to your garden.
Garden Trend 7 : Limestone
Limestone has always been popular but, as well as the ever-popular, cool colours, this year’s trend includes some of the warmer, mid tones. These warmer hues reflect the use of muted, warmer colour palettes in interior design. Inside and outside are gradually morphing into one expansive living space, giving us more space and options throughout the year. As we’ve already mentioned above, texture is also important and there is an exciting move towards mixing stones, textures and colours for added interest. This is a trend that needs careful planning, however. Stones and colours need to work together. You don’t want a mish mash of materials that look haphazard or cobbled together. If in doubt, consult an expert. And don’t make the mistake of thinking that interior design stops at the doorstep. Our interior design team are equally happy to help design the perfect outdoor space.
Garden Trend 8 : Wabi Sabi
No stranger to Japanese gardeners, this is something westerners have battled against for centuries. We spend all our time fighting against nature in a never-ending quest for perfection. Apparently, now is the time to accept the natural and inevitable cycle of growth, death and decay and embrace all its imperfections. In practice, this means rust, overgrown perennials, moss-covered stones, weathered pots and peeling bark. So leave those seed heads over the winter, put the Hammerite down and leave that gate to age graciously. At this point, half the Juliettes team are ecstatic to think that they can say their gardens look like that on purpose. The other half are crying into their coffee. This really is not a trend for everyone. If you love the idea of nature but only when it’s well-behaved, wabi sabi is not for you. We also can’t help feeling that there is a fine line between wabi sabi and unkempt. As a garden trend, it is probably a lot more difficult to achieve than it looks.
Garden Trend 9 : Grow Your Own
It cannot have escaped your notice that there has been a huge surge in veganism in the past few years, as well as a growing appreciation of organic produce. Contrary to what you may think, thirty- and forty-somethings are far more likely to be growing their own veg than their older counterparts. And greenhouses are making a comeback. Not our favourite garden feature but, with careful landscaping, it needn’t be an eyesore. Of course, if you are looking for an immaculate, perfectly-manicured designer garden, you probably don’t want a patch of scruffy-looking veggies making a blot on your otherwise-glorious landscape. However, if you have the space, there is nothing wrong with having a good, old-fashioned kitchen garden. Traditionally, every large estate would grow all its own fruit and vegetables, hidden within a walled garden so as not to detract from the Capability Brown view. A good designer can easily incorporate a hidden kitchen garden whilst preserving the personality of the rest of your outdoor space.
If you just don’t have green fingers, why not start small and grow a few chillies, strawberries or tomatoes in large, statement pots or planters? You never know, it may lead on to bigger and better things. Or it may simply provide a bit of variety (and spice) to your next garden party.
Garden Trend 10 : Lighting
As we start to spend more of our lives out of doors, we do need to think about lighting unless we want to sit in the dark. Clever lighting is the key to creating a magical space once the sun goes down. If you are designing any garden, it is essential that you work integrated lighting into your scheme right from the start. One of the most influential innovations of recent years has been the introduction of solar lighting. In fact, manufacturers of bespoke outdoor rooms and kitchens will now include a solar hub to power all the necessary lighting, making this an integral and natural extension of our outdoor space. Here are our favourite garden lighting trends for the coming year:
Make this your focal point. Choose one or two stunning lights – free-standing, hanging from a canopy or nestling within the foliage. These then form the centrepiece of your garden lighting scheme. Make it something you really love, that works with your garden furniture and the planting in this section of garden. You can create different ‘rooms’ throughout your garden or have one overall look. As you know, we love a chandelier here at Juliettes and can easily see this idea continued into the garden. We have a fabulous collection of glamorous outdoor lighting, including garden chandeliers, so if you thought they were for indoor use only, think again.
If you are serious about turning your outside space into a real living space, you cannot ignore your exterior walls. A series of elegant, exterior wall lights is essential, not only to provide extra light but to create a warm, welcoming ambience for family and friends. We have chosen a delightful crystal wall sconce to match our chandelier, continuing the theme. However, outdoor wall lights are available in an amazing variety of styles to match any style of garden. If you have something in mind, contact our design team or give us a call on +44 (0) 207 870 7415 and we’ll do our best to source it for you.
Solar powered, filled with tiny lights or lit with gently-flickering candles, lanterns are perfect for illuminating dark corners. This year’s trend is towards decorative metal lanterns, and the bigger the better. Black finishes, nickel, gold and copper are proving popular, as are mix and match coloured lanterns to add a pop of colour.
Another on-trend idea for this year is to use uplighters as an accent. Light up pathways, water features or the edge of a patio or deck. Use carefully-concealed uplighters to enhance particular plants, sculptures and objets d’art. If you are lucky enough to have a pool, make sure you light not only the pool but the area around it too.
This is not a new trend but fairy lights have often been something of an afterthought. We are now seeing them as an integral part of garden design. They can be as flamboyant or minimalist as your overall lighting theme allows. Tiny twinkles of light on a fine copper wire, understated orbs or a multi-coloured floral extravaganza. String them through the trees, under canopies or around your outdoor kitchen. Scrunch them inside lanterns or swirl them into glass jars and bowls. As the sun goes down, fairy lights give a magical, ethereal feel. To achieve a spell-binding look that is on-trend, just make sure they are part of a planned design.
What are you waiting for? Start flexing those green fingers and see what you could achieve. We are not suggesting that you incorporate every new garden trend into your design. Just choose two or three that you think you could work with and see where it leads you. Which trends would you choose in your garden? Let us know what you are planning.