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Garden trends to look out for in 2020

The Victorian Walkaround Greenhouse from Forest Garden. The trend for making the most of tiny spaces will continue through 2020 and this pressure on space is one driver behind the trend for vertical gardens. Photo: Forest Garden.

Sarah Kimbrey, designer and stylist with Forest Garden, has compiled a list of six of the top garden design trends to watch out for in 2020.

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15 January 2020 | 0

In 2019, garden designers and bloggers were talking passionately about both straight lines and curves in the garden. Fire pits became the must-have garden accessory and mental health experts told us all to go outside.

Sarah Kimbrey, designer and stylist with Forest Garden – the UK’s leading manufacturer of high-quality wooden garden products – has compiled a list of six of the top garden design trends to watch out for in 2020.

1. Small-space gardening

According to the Horticultural Trades Association the average garden plot is just 14 metres squared and many urban dwellers will rely on balconies or tiny patios for their green space. The trend for making the most of tiny spaces will continue through 2020 and this pressure on space is one driver behind the trend for vertical gardens, with fence panels and walls being hung with anything from succulents to herbs – or used as backdrops for climbers or creepers.

2. Statement contemporary fencing

A hot favourite right now is horizontal slatted fencing and for good reason. It allows wind to filter through so won’t blow over and has clean, contemporary lines.

Garden designer Stefano Marinaz believes that boundaries can be art and uses strong lines in the garden to contrast with the natural forms of the plants. “The plants do their thing, change and die back throughout the year, but we still need to maintain a strong design, so we always have permanent elements repeated throughout, creating a link that holds it all together.”, says Marinaz.

Horizontal slats can be large, narrow, or – for extra privacy – double slatted, and can be transformative.

3. Outdoor living

Nothing exemplifies our love of outdoor living more than the rise and rise of the fire pit. In summer 2019, major retailers were engaged in price war over this garden essential, driving prices ever downward. And garden designer Karen Rogers thinks the growing demand for teenage garden hangouts will mean separate areas featuring outdoor fire pits and fireplaces.

The challenge, then, is to create an outdoor seating area, transforming a section of your garden into an outdoor living room surrounding a warming fire. Garden furniture has become modular, simple, and slatted, often with planters incorporated. Corner seating is extremely popular.

4. Green is good for you

Mental health was at the top of the health agenda in 2019, with experts agreeing that being outside is good for us.

A recent study conducted by garden company Bakker Spalding has found that 88% of people find that mental wellbeing is a key benefit for spending time in the garden.

5. Curves are back

Garden journalist and blogger Alexandra Campbell, reporting on the 2019 Royal Horticultural Society summer shows, noted that curves in garden design have returned. Many show gardens featured curved pergolas, arches, and arbours. According to Campbell, whilst straight lines work well for urban gardens – as exemplified by the rise and rise of the horizontal slatted fence – much larger spaces can benefit from curved borders and garden paths, to add a sense of mystery and adventure.

6. Add the wow factor to your patio

Earlier this year House Beautiful suggested 40 ways to add a “wow” to your patio, from lovely loungers to comfy cushions and climbing vines. Forest Garden created a simple dining pergola that offered as a blank canvas to anyone with a creative streak.

All photos: Forest Garden.

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