As a nation, we have embraced gardening over the last year. With social distancing in place, we’ve fallen in love with our outdoor spaces, whether to entertain or relax in. According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), three million Brits have developed green fingers recently.
Are you looking to boost the appeal of your garden or simply enjoy working on it? If so, these 2021 trends could help give your garden a whole new look.
Give gardens a wild look
Doing away with neat flower beds, the wild-looking garden is set to be a big trend. One of the benefits of a wild look is that it’s more likely to attract wildlife. A patch of meadow flowers can help pollinators and encourage birds to visit. Scattering tall meadow flower seeds is a simple way to start embracing this trend, for a more ambitious project, why not try adding a natural-looking pond?
While wild gardens might look like they’re less hard work than a traditional garden, it can still mean a lot of hands-on projects for keen gardeners.
Bring the inside outside
Over the years, it has been increasingly popular to bring the outdoors into homes, with bold floral or leaf-printed wallpaper and soft furnishings to lots of potted plants indoors. Now the reverse is happening.
The pandemic means families and friends have been getting together in gardens across the country, so taking creature comforts outside to entertain makes sense, creating an extra living space within the garden. This may include comfy outdoor sofas or a table for al fresco dining. Some have gone even further, building garden bars, outdoor cinemas, and hot tub areas. Add some mood lighting, decorative privacy screens, or a fire-pit for those cooler evenings. Now with summer almost here, there will hopefully be plenty of opportunities to make use of them.
Embracing this trend is all about thinking about how you like to relax or entertain and whether it could work outside.
Give your front garden some love
It’s often back gardens that we lavish attention on. But there is a good reason for giving your front garden some attention too.
According to RHS research, greener front gardens can make you feel happier, more relaxed and closer to nature. A four-year scientific project added ornamental plants to bare front gardens and measured concentrations of the hormone cortisol in residents before and after. Steep daily declines in cortisol levels, which usually peak early in the morning, are linked to reduce levels of stress. Before adding front front garden plants, just 24% of residents had healthy cortisol patterns. After plants were added this increased to 53%.
Over half of residents said their front garden helped them feel happier and 40% said it helped them relax more. So, if you’re looking for a way to boost your wellbeing, updating your front garden could be an option.
Make the most of small spaces with vertical gardens
While green fingers are usually associated with expansive gardens and plenty of room, the pandemic has highlighted how even a small outdoor space is valuable. For those with small gardens, planting vertically can help create a sanctuary. They’re also a great option for flats and apartments that have a balcony.
There’s more than one way to create a vertical garden, but, to start with, pick a bare wall or fence to add plants to. You can purchase premade planters that are designed for walls for a simple solution, or, if your DIY minded, wooden pallets make a great cheaper alternative. Add them across the space to achieve the look you want. Fill with plants – alpine, trailing and herb varieties work well.
Pick your own vegetables
According to RHS, more gardeners are turning their space into patches for growing food. It can help you increase your healthy fruit and vegetable intake, as well as cutting down your food bill. Plus, it can be hugely rewarding to serve up dinner with vegetables you’ve grown yourself.
RHS suggests that staples, such as potatoes, salad and onions are among the most popular choices. The trend for raised flower beds is also encouraging more people to grow their own food; not only can they help with accessibility, but raised beds can promote faster growing too. If you have a small garden, you can use pots and troughs to grow herbs, tomatoes and much more.
Embrace “lazy lawns”
Another trend highlighted in RHS’s predictions is the rise of the lazy lawn. If you dislike keeping your lawn immaculate, this is the perfect trend for you. It doesn’t mean never mowing or taking care of your lawn, but accepting the inevitable wear and tear it experiences when you’re using it to relax or for children to play.
Turn a blind eye if patches turn brown in the summer months, or even look for alternative types of grass from the traditional ryegrass that require less maintenance. This may include mixed grasses that will stay greener without fertiliser and resist drought – perfect low-maintenance lawn.
If you are time restricted, perhaps just mow part of the lawn and allow the rest to grow for a few extra weeks, create a path by mowing a winding strip across it, great for helping with the wild look previously mentioned.
Whatever you decide to do in your garden this year, we hope you can create a small haven for yourself to relax in and welcome family and friends into.