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Inspirational Ideas

Creative Transformations

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January, 2019

Garden design trends for 2019

Many of us will have already made resolutions for the year ahead - and some of us may just be keeping to them! Perhaps one of yours is to finally get to grips with your garden. The start of a new year is a great incentive to re-think our outdoor spaces. At this time of year, we see the garden's bare bones (literally) and this in turn enables us to clearly see areas with untapped potential: those neglected or forgotten spots that are no longer up to snuff, or those lacking purpose or a sense of place in the overall scheme. To help get your ideas flowing below are what we think will be some of the key garden trends in 2019.

The choice of hard landscaping materials will continue to expand in range and colour in line with the ongoing desire for gardens that look good all year round. The arrival of porcelain paving materials allows the inside to be blended with the outside creating a seamless link between the two spaces for the ultimate in stylish outdoor living. Composite decking is another key offering in the lower-maintenance garden. It comes in a variety of finishes, from traditional weathered to colourful chic. Whichever style of board you go for, composite decking provides a long-lasting, slip-resistant alternative to the real thing. Also expect to see more use of innovative new materials, such as highly durable ceramic wall cladding and lightweight composite materials in a myriad of finishes that can be used to cover retaining walls, feature walls, raised beds and the like.

2018 was the year of weather extremes in the UK, first with the Beast from the East and then those record-breaking, soaring summer temperatures. This is leading many of us to re-think our gardens, and the plants in them, to make them better suited to the extremes of climate change. This is no easy task as there will likely already be different zones in your garden: hot, sunny spots versus damp, shady spots. The maxim 'right plant, right place' still holds true though we may need to broaden our selection of plants to increase their chances of surviving and thriving in such changing extremes. So, think about creating a dry garden in the hottest spots or a water garden in the wettest places or those prone to flooding.

Care and consideration for our environment will continue and what better place to do our bit than in our own backyards? Creating suitable habitats to encourage wildlife - birds, bees, butterflies and other insects - is an easy way to achieve this. Don't forget to leave wild spots around the garden, such as a log pile for beetles, a leaf pile or similar for hedgehogs and bee hotels to help the endangered bee population. Alternatively, how about making a wildlife meadow? You don't need a large garden to create a meadow. Plant wild flower plugs in your lawn or sow a packet of wildflower seeds in an open space and let Ma Nature do the rest. Lastly, how about doing away with fencing panels and creating boundaries using mixed native hedging species instead such as Ligustrum vulgare (wild privet), Viburnum opulus (Guelder rose), Cornus alba Sibirica (the red-stemmed Siberian dogwood) or Crataegus monogyna (common hawthorn). Whatever you decide to do, above all have fun, be adventurous and don't be afraid to experiment!