The Garden and Landscape Design Trends of 2018

The Garden and Landscape Design Trends of 2018

My predictions for the garden and landscape design trends of 2018 are, I hope, as good as anybody else’s unless, of course, they have had the advantage of a working crystal ball or some divine intervention, which would, I am sure, be outside the rules of fair competition!

Anyway, I am basing my predictions on my perception of what is happening in the industry from recent attendance at related conferences and events, discussion with colleagues and peers, web-postings, current literature, as well as wider trends and influences that affect us all, such as, climate change. I have also thrown in a soupçon of what I would like to see happening for good measure.

So, here’s my  top 10 design trends, in no particular order:

1) Using native plants to bring nature back in to the garden and improve garden biodiversity, in general.  However, people will also select native plants for cultural reasons, to support their own heritage and local produce.

2) Using “eco-materials” – these may include, one, some or all of the following qualities: locally produced, low-carbon footprint, recycled, re-used, biodegradable, and/or specific things such as plants that are supplied in peat-free compost.

3) Landscaping in response to a changed climate, to include, in Ireland, at least, improved on-site water catching solutions to reduce flooding elsewhere.

4) Inclusion of vegetable growing areas, herb gardens and fruit producing plants in garden designs.  There is a desire for a return to the land and for having, at least, some ready-to-eat produce direct from our own gardens.

5) Allied to the above trends there will be a move towards creating gardens that give a homely-feel to their owners, as people tend to stay in their properties and develop them as homes, rather than treating their houses as temporary stepping-stones on a longer property-pathway.

6) Providing shelter in the garden or landscape space to contend with the extremes of weather that we are now seeing.  This opens up the field for creativity in this area, too.

7) A continued move towards reducing lawn areas in gardens: instead, using gravels, planting areas and alternative ground coverings such as meadow flowers.  Traditional lawn care requires a high input of physical energy, is time consuming and is of low habitat value.

8) Garden design will include a blend of design approaches that will include the latest materials (preferably eco-orientated) with some more traditional materials, such as, natural stone and a focus on simple planting arrangements also.

9) The desire for the instant fix will be somewhat reduced, although, with our ever-busy lives there will still be a requirement for minimalist designs requiring limited maintenance. This one is here to stay, except, for keen gardeners who like to work in their gardens!

As per  1 above, interesting and diverse gardens can be created by using native plants and these are often far less work in comparison to exotic species.  In larger landscape spaces, using native plants would reduce the maintenance inputs required and thus present cost-savings to businesses.

10) Composting – there is a desire to reduce the amount of materials that we throw away. Composting reduces waste, creates a cost-saving for the homeowner by reducing rubbish charges and also provides a useful product for the garden.  A range of neat and tidy compost systems are now available such as the “Big Pig”.

So, it’s all about  “eco”, “green” and “the good life”.  I hope you enjoy working on your garden this year, whether with a professional garden designer or under your own steam.

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