JUST AS WITH FASHION AND INTERIORS, THERE ARE GARDEN TRENDS, WITH CERTAIN PLANTS OR STYLES OF LANDSCAPES FALLING IN AND OUT OF VOGUE. FROM GLOBALLY INSPIRED GARDENS (EVERYWHERE FROM TUSCANY TO BALI) TO THE MINIMALIST, ULTRA MODERN LANDSCAPES OF THE EARLY NOUGHTIES, WE’VE SEEN PLENTY OF GARDEN TRENDS COME AND GO – AND MOST OF THEM WE’RE PRETTY HAPPY TO SEE THE BACK OF! THERE ARE SOME EMERGING GARDEN TRENDS NOW, HOWEVER, THAT WE’RE VERY HAPPY TO EMBRACE AND ARE CONFIDENT WILL STICK AROUND FOR A WHILE.
PLANTS OVER STRUCTURES
One of the most thrilling long-term garden trends for botanists has been the increased focus on plants, with a reduced emphasis on structures. What we like to call ‘garden bling’. People would now rather have a gorgeous planting scheme than a water feature. We’re seeing clients embracing seasonal change, appreciating the stark beauty of deciduous plants in their winter barrenness, and the contrasting vibrancy of spring. Generally, people are happier to have a garden that is ever evolving, rather than a more rigid, austere landscape that looks essentially the same from season to season and year to year.
OLD STYLES REINVENTED
Those garden styles that had their moment in the sun before being disregarded as hopelessly naff are now reemerging in a new, more grown-up form. Tropical gardens are a good example, evolving from faux-Balinese tragedy to something far more restrained, a sophisticated layering of foliage and freshness. Another garden trend is native plants. They too are slowly returning from the exile of the unhip, not in the form of ’70s-style native-only gardens, but in amongst exotic plants, lending different textures, colours and bird-attracting blooms to a garden scheme.
The renaissance of the pot plant is a garden trend that will go the distance. Though indoor plants fell out of favour for a while there, they’re now virtually an essential component of any on-trend interior. Aside from the painfully hip Ficus lyrata, you can jump on the indoor plant bandwagon with tumbling tendrils of devil’s ivy, sculptural Monstera or Dracaena Janet Craig, or a bullet-proof plant such as Aspidistra ‘Cast Iron’ plant or drought-loving mother in law’s tongue.
FASHION IS NOT A SWEARWORD
While the best gardens are built to last, it’s okay to also embrace on-trend plants. Rather than ripping up your garden every couple of years, use pots and planters to experiment with different plants as they catch your eye or enjoy their fashionable moment. Above all, though, don’t disregard once-fashionable plants that might have fallen out of favour; for example, agaves, which until recently were front and centre as a statement plant, are still incredibly striking and a gorgeous inclusion – just as one component of a garden scheme rather than the star player.