Spring is nearly here and it’s the time of year that people start to think about getting in the garden. The Society of Garden designers share their predictions on the key garden trends for 2019.
Climate change gardening
Gardening for a changing climate is set to be a key trend in 2019. Sue Townsend creates ecological gardens to cope with the extreme weather conditions experienced by the UK recently. She advises to grow the right plants for the conditions of each garden, to store water and to collect excess water for dissipation through the soil.
House Plants and Hanging Plants
Sculptural and architectural plants will dominate in 2019. Joe Perkins MSGD says “the continuing rise in popularity of houseplants is being translated outside with exotic-style plants with architectural leaves and stems making bold statements inside and out.” Joe also predicts that we will be seeing more hanging plants in our gardens. Not traditional hanging baskets, but plants with foliage, colour and texture which can be used as accessories as an addition to pots and planters.
Interior meets exterior
Both Darren Hawkes and Barbara Samitier think a colourful approach to interiors will creep into the garden in 2019. Hawkes predicts the arrival of bold print, clashing colours and large-leafed plants, advising to “take kitsch into the garden” by introducing bedding plants in bright coloured planters or letting Pompon Dahlias take centre stage.
Meanwhile, Barbara Samitier expects industrial and reclaimed materials and encaustic tiles will be used increasingly in urban gardens.
Karen Rogers thinks the growing demand for teenage garden hang-outs will gain momentum in 2019. Rogers incorporates secluded garden buildings or separate seating areas featuring outdoor fire pits or fireplaces in her designs. She says: “These spaces require clever screening from neighbours as well as good lighting and planting that absorbs as much noise as possible.”
Wild and loose
Nature will take the fore in 2019, says Louise Harrison-Holland of Blue Tulip Garden Design. We’ll see ongoing support for wildlife corridors in the wider landscape: “The move toward a slightly looser, wilder style of garden design will help support this initiative.” She predicts hedging will become the number one choice for garden boundaries next year.
Vibrant hot colour
According to Sue Townsend, sizzling jewel colours are set to make a return to our gardens in 2019. Townsend predicts vibrant, hot colours combined with sultry purples and blues, while Barbara Samitier expects a move away from the blue and pink colour palette in favour of orange and yellow hues.
Jon Sims expects the rise of porcelain in garden design will bring the demand for indoor colour, outdoors. Replica stone will be replaced by hard landscape materials with bolder colours and patterns.
For a garden that suggests luxury, Joe Perkins recommends combining red and purple alongside greys and blue-greys in plant foliage. He too has spotted a trend in younger garden enthusiasts looking to style their outdoor space as they would an indoor room, using bright coloured accessories or furniture. Joe cautions that simplicity and repetition are the key for success here.
Crazy paving, charred timbers and gabion walls are expected to dominate in 2019. Sue Townsend says: ‘“Crazy paving and stepping stones using large irregular slabs– the bigger the better– are making a come-back.” Townsend foresees the continued popularity of porcelain paving which looks like real stone but has a non-slip quality.
Log walls and multiple metals
Barbara Samitier confesses to being obsessed with log walls, saying, “They can act as a feature wall, a boundary or a screen while providing a necessary habitat for insects and a wide range of wildlife.” She also expects we will be seeing more metal in the garden as it’s “such a versatile material that lends itself to so many applications.”
Samitier designs metal arches and pergolas for many of her current projects. She’s incorporated metal walkways, mirrored stainless steel and perforated Corten steel in her gardens for walls and pergola roofs.
Both Louise Harrison-Holland and Barbara Samitier are introducing more gabion-style walls and structures into their garden designs. Louise predicts stone work will be used in a less structured way in 2019. She says: “I have noticed a move away from stark modernism towards a style that still retains a strong geometry but is tempered with a choice of materials in softer tones.”
Prepare to see more charred timber cladding in gardens this year. Jon Sims experiments with Shou-Sugi-Ban and is also introducing rough shutter-faced concrete into his projects. He foresees a greater use of external MDF in gardens as it offers numerous options in terms of colour and shape. It’s durable, too.
Wild and perennial meadows
Many designers experimented with wildflower and perennial meadows in 2018 and this trend is set to continue into the new year. The good news is you don’t need a large plot to incorporate one into your garden.
Sue Townsend explains: “I’ve really enjoyed creating small-medium sized meadows in many of the gardens I have designed this year. The most exciting venture was sowing my first perennial meadow. In a few years, it will provide interest from April to late November with relatively little maintenance.”
Louise Harrison-Holland echoes the sentiment: “A wilder style has been helped along by the increasing use of instant wildflower meadows. I see designers trying to recreate this look with a mix of herbaceous perennials and grasses that have a more permanent structure, helped by the increasing use of shrubs in planting borders.”
For more information about the Society of Garden Designers and its members, take a look at the SGD website.