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Garden trends 2022: tunning new looks for your outdoor space

Whether you want to freshen up the look or go for a complete overhaul of your outdoor space, we’ve rounded up the top garden trends that should be on your radar in 2022.

1.BALCONY GARDENS 

If you have a balcony garden, courtyard, terrace or roof garden, the message is small can be beautiful as well as functional. Small garden spaces are getting a lot of attention at the moment with the focus very much on how to max up your living and growing potential.

Even if you have next to no outdoor space you can use what you have to transform it into a haven for wildlife, a sanctuary for escaping busy city living, or a work station or exercise spot, as well as a productive planting place for flowers and grow your own fruit and vegetables.

2.GREEN WALLS

Try creating a tiny urban forest to green up a small space and help biodiversity by including some vertical garden ideas in your space. They will naturally purify the air as well as attract wildlife. Living wall systems are often sold as kits, and can be scaled up or down to suit your space and budget. Incredibly easy to construct, you can get them up and running in a weekend.

The latest garden trends idea is lush ‘forest pockets’, which are made from repurposed industrial bulk containers. They are inexpensive, readily available and can easily be customized to suit your space. They are also an excellent screen for more privacy if you live in an apartment block or are overlooked by neighbours.

3.CURVES ARE EVERYTHING

Garden designers are embracing curves big time this year, especially in small gardens,

where they give a softer, organic, more fluid shape to a garden. Curves create a comforting and relaxing vibe, helping to soften harsh lines created by traditional linear boundaries.

Creating a curved garden within a small garden with straight boundaries completely disguises the original linear shape and makes a space so much more interesting. Curves can be used as a design element for creating garden path ideas, lawns, garden walls, raised beds and borders.

The look can also be picked up with accessories such as shapely benches, shallow fire bowls and curvy planters. No more boring straight lines then!

4.OLD MEETS NEW

Pallet furniture ideas have been one of the most popular garden trends for a while now, but the latest upcycling idea is giving old wardrobes and cupboards a makeover and turning them into unique garden storage ideas for plants and accessories.

It’s a big trend on Instagram and Pinterest, where you’ll find plenty of inspiration if you’re ready to take your upcycling game to the next level. The more vintage the design the better if you want to show off your plants in a quirky way.

There’s nothing like a paint project for releasing your creativity but remember preparation is everything. The general rule for most garden wood is to clean it thoroughly with warm soapy water and a stiff brush, then rinse and let the surfaces dry completely. Then sand away any rough or chipped areas so you leave a smooth surface ready for painting with the best exterior wood paint.

5.OUTDOOR SHOWERS

How much do we love outdoor shower ideas? They were a feature at the 2021 RHS Chelsea Flower Show and it’s a trend that’s really taking off. They are our dream garden accessory for cooling off during heatwave summers.

From simple portable and wall-mounted styles to more luxurious enclosures, there are lots of different outdoor shower styles to choose from. Adding a wall-mounted shower to the exterior of your home means installation is straightforward too, but there are plenty of tips on how to install an outdoor shower in our guide too if you’re after more advice.

6.GARDEN ART

Botanical prints and murals are currently big in interiors, inviting the outside in as part of the trend for nature-inspired living. Now it’s time to reverse things and take the trend outside to enhance your garden decor ideas.

The latest decorative metal panels and aluminium prints can be hung outdoors and come in a range of sizes and finishes to suit all spaces. Designs include on-trend botanical leaf prints. They are a great choice for styling up balcony and terrace gardens for a smooth segue from indoor to outdoor living.

7.GARDEN GYMS

Exercising at home has never been more popular. If you’re a convert it could be time to upgrade your exercise space with a slick purpose-built fitness studio.

It’s a win-win: it will be right on your doorstep so you can exercise when you want plus it means there’s no more hefty gym membership fees. Oh and exercising outdoors is thought to be better for you anyway.

A bespoke garden room idea like this can function as a multi-purpose space too, by doubling up as a WFH office with the addition of a sleek desk or as a cool guest room if you add a sofa bed and accessories.

8.HARMONIZED STYLE 

If you love a look that works in your living room why not take it outside? Choose a garden color scheme that complements your interior look and make a harmonious link to the garden by choosing fabrics and paint that match for a co-ordinated look.

If you love the trend for dried grasses or hanging planters indoors, you can use them to style up your outside space too. Make your top picks for the garden match those you’ve selected for the house and the transition from inside to outside will be effortless.

9.SUPERSIZED PLANTERS

Small urban gardens, terraces, balconies and roof gardens are about creating a relaxing outdoor space where you can linger among jungle-like planting for a real sense of escape.

Make your container gardening ideas a defining feature of your space. When choosing pots, the bigger the better. Using big statement pots gives you a real focal point. Stick with simpler designs and use the same materials so they complement each other. Then fill them with lush greens like fatsia japonica and hakonechloa macra to create a tropical jungle look. It’s a hassle-free way of gardening.

Jessica Smith, gardener and florist at Flower and Land, says that containers ‘are becoming more popular, as they can create an instant garden in a number of small spaces, such as a front garden or a balcony’.

‘You’re not the only one to benefit from these spaces,’ continues Jessica. ‘Neighbors and passers-by will also take joy in them. So be sure to use as many containers as you can, and fill them with anything you like; bulbs, annuals, perennials. The more color the better! They can be galvanised, terracotta or recycled plastic. Just have fun with it and create a space to enjoy at home.’

10.INDOORS MEETS OUTDOORS 

View your garden as a space for socialising. Your patio or courtyard is an extra room, even if it’s small, if you dress it up right. The quickest way to create a sociable garden is to choose the best garden furniture to suit your space and layout needs. A comfortable L-shaped seating area around a table is a brilliant way to create a sociable focal point on your patio or deck.

Stylish planters and statement pots add lush planting details, while outdoor rugs and cushions really help seal the deal.

If you’re looking for ways to make the most of your outdoor space all year round, investing in a stylish patio cover idea such as a pergola, awning or even a completely enclosed design, will maximize the potential of your plot.

Dani Taylor from Cox & Cox predicts that ‘gorgeous canopies and gazebos will continue to be a big trend this year – not only for their practical uses against the elements, allowing us to use our gardens for longer periods of time, but also because they make the outside space work as an extra room.’

‘Filling them with lots of pillows and rugs, and adding fairy lights and festoons give them a glamorous, luxe resort feel – or even create a great den for the kids to play in!’ she says.

11.MINDFUL MOMENTS 

Creating somewhere to enjoy moments of stillness in the garden is also important to boost mindfulness and mental wellbeing. For many of us, our gardens are a pocket of peace and quiet, a place where we can find refuge in a ‘wellness bubble’ and escape our hectic days. It’s the ultimate stress relief.

So relaxing in style is key with the right combination of furniture and accessories. This bespoke pod is the stuff of our dreams, but an on-trend garden swing seat or hanging chair on a patio or underneath a tree will create a similar vibe at a much more affordable price point.

12.SUNSET COLORS 

At the 2021 Chelsea Flower show, a beautiful sunset provided the inspiration for the flower colors used and the ways designers were playing with the orange and yellow palette felt new and fresh.

The fashion for these burnished colours is partly influenced by the late-season color at the show, which was held for the first time in September so dictated a much more autumnal themed color palette, but mature russet colours feel very now. It’s time to step away from pastel shades and embrace something a little different for next year’s flowerbed ideas.

13.WILD GARDENS

The latest trend of wild gardens is to create spaces where nature is permitted to take charge.

Emma Bond, founder of Bath Garden Design, says, ‘As we have been limited in our travels, we crave a connection with birds, insects, wild flowers and nature.’

‘There has been a huge uptick in sales of bird feeders, bee hotels, wild flower turf and seeds as well as natural perennial planting. This is easily achieved in any size of garden and has huge stress-busting benefits. Watching nature unfold around us is an antidote to the difficult times we find ourselves living in.’

14.INDULGENT HOT TUBS

Gardens are a place to relax, and after a year like 2021, we all deserve it! Just being outdoors does wonders for our wellbeing, but why not go the extra mile this year? And by that, we mean to indulge in one of the best hot tubs, of course.

They come in all sizes and styles, but if space is limited, there are plenty of inflatable options available, too. Surround with leafy ferns and foliage for an extra spa-like experience, turn on the bubbles, jump in and unwind. Ahhh.

15.RATTAN TEXTURES 

Rattan is being celebrated this year, in keeping with the relaxed, ‘holiday feel’ trend for outdoor spaces. ‘The rattan trend isn’t going anywhere,’ say John Lewis. It’s a great way to add interest, tactility, and timeless texture to your space. Rattan’s versatility makes it complementary to both bohemian or classic themes, too.

Keep an eye out for ‘rattan-effect’ furniture, made from more weather-resistant materials, if durability is on your agenda.

16.STUNNING SUCCULENTS 

If you’ve been reading up on how to grow succulents you’ll be pleased to know that this garden trend looks set to continue into 2022, thanks to their easy-peasy maintenance and epic variety.

Senecio rowleyanus, otherwise known as ‘String of Pearls’, is a beautiful type to consider – its fleshy, spherical leaves trail oh-so-elegantly when positioned up high, such as on a shelf of a bookcase.

The unusual Fishbone cactus is due to be popular too – as is Instagram’s favourite, pilea, with its bobbing, coin-shaped leaves.

17.ROMANTIC DESIGNS

Moving away from more formal structures, it seems romantic-style gardens are back on our radars again.

Sarah Raven’s Senior Horticultural Buyer says, ‘Whimsical, romanticised styles like traditional cottage gardens should be popular once again, their informality and abundance offer the desired rewards people are looking for. Traditional styles are key indicators that people want the security and stability of times gone by, as they think back to memories of good times and try to recreate them for comfort’.

Think hollyhocks, foxgloves and honeysuckle – just some of the best cottage-style flowers to consider. Why not check out our favourite cottage garden ideas too, for even more inspiration?

WHAT’S TRENDING IN GARDENING? 

Making the most of your outdoor space has never been more important. Switching it up for longer seasonal use is the current trend and that goes hand in hand with keeping visual interest going through the seasons. Successional planting that keeps the color and interest coming throughout the year is one of the big garden trends to look out for.

Even if your garden is tiny there’s so much you can do. Patios and balconies are having a moment so make sure they look good. ‘Because so many people are now working from home, there is more emphasis on styling up and furnishing our outdoor spaces,’ say the experts at the Flower Council in their 2022 garden trends report.

Accessories play a key role too. They add the tasteful touches that really help to establish that indoor-outdoor feel. ‘When it comes to patterns and materials in the garden, 2022 will see a surge in ceramics, coloured glass, practical plastics, textiles, raffia and granite,’ says the Flower Council. ‘It’s all about materials that can be natural, artisan and practical at the same time.’

HOW CAN I MAKE MY GARDEN MORE SUSTAINABLE IN 2022?

Connecting with the natural world is one of the key garden trends this year and the path to gardening in a much more sustainable way. Here are a few things you can try in your own plot.

  • Planting is key. The current trend in sustainable gardens is very much for natural unstructured swathes, otherwise known as prairie style planting, of nectar-rich plants, and rewilding lawns. The idea is to just let things relax a little and seed around the place. This will encourage a sanctuary for wildlife. If you plant the right flowers then bees, butterflies and birds will make your garden their home.
  • Ditch chemicals and use natural products and methods wherever you can. Improve your soil naturally with home made leaf mould and compost. Green up as much as you can too, so plant trees, living roofs and green walls.
  • Make sustainable choices when it comes to your hard landscaping ideas. Those that are permeable such as gravel allow water to drain through to the soil rather than away from it. Keep hard landscaping to a minimum and source locally.

WHAT’S TRENDING IN FLOWERS?

Growing your own retro blooms in a cutting garden is one of the big garden trends for 2022 that’s bang on in terms of sustainability too as it celebrates homegrown flowers and cuts down on transport and packaging.

In terms of the best cutting garden flowers, dahlias and gladioli have been stealing the show for a while now, but other flowers like zinnias, chrysanthemums and larkspur are being added to the garden trends mix as the reinvention of cottage garden classics continues.

If you don’t have the space to grow your own then check out the blooms at your local farmers’ market. With the revival of small-scale flower farming over the past decade, there is now a real trend for growing and sourcing flowers locally and seasonally. This creates displays that are much fresher, as well as being more interesting, unusual and sustainable. It’s a trend definitely worth tapping into.

Flowers help us to reconnect with the natural world, slow down and enjoy a fleeting moment of beauty, and what better way of doing this than growing your own in your garden borders.

Sarah Wilson

www.gardeningetc.com