For everyone who just can’t wait to get back into the garden, the wait is almost over (we hope!) With the days getting a little longer and the weather getting a little better, it’s a good time to start planning your outdoor space ready for later in the year.
For the majority of us, our gardens have become increasingly important and we’ve been investing more time and budget in them. Used for socialising, impromptu exercise and play areas for dogs and children, our gardens have begun to play a vital roles in our lives and this year looks set to start off in a similar way. If you’d like to show your outdoor space a little love this year, we’ve picked out our favourite trends for 2021.
1. Wildlife haven
For many of us, our gardens have become a space of restoration and meditation. 2021 gardens are moving away from the tightly landscaped and pristine, and moving towards wilder areas suitable for wildlife. Embrace the trend by putting in lots of bee and insect friendly plants (the RHS website is a good source of inspiration) and leave corners of your plot completely untouched to create a wildlife haven.
Use nesting boxes, hedgehog and toad houses and insect hotels to make sure that your garden becomes a favourite destination for local birds and animals, and discard hard surfaces like tarmac in favour of natural surfaces such as bark or stone.
As we’re all spending so much more time at home, all of the space at our disposal is having to work harder than ever before. Increasingly, gardens are being split into areas for play, dining, solitude and more. You may already have embraced this trend last year by installing play equipment or a home office in a shed.
It’s important, though, if you have enough space, to keep a few corners of the garden as garden. Put up an arbour seat against a wall or hedge and cover it with wisteria or honeysuckle to create a calm space to escape to.
3. Growing to eat
A follow-on from the ‘make your own sourdough’ trend last year, the vegetable garden has suddenly become hot. Not many of us have the space or the time to become self sufficient in terms of vegetables, but nothing beats eating produce you’ve grown yourself, even if it’s just a few window-sill herbs or tomatoes.
If you’re a beginner, there are lots of vegetables that are easy to grow including potatoes, onions and salad leaves. If you don’t have much space, try growing tomatoes or peas or beans in pots. Instead of having a specific ‘vegetable plot’, try creating an edible garden where vegetables and herbs are mixed into flower beds – the effect can be very pretty, and practical too.
4. Recycling and upcycling
Just as many of us embraced this trend in our homes last year, it can equally be extended to the garden. Get creating with planters, path materials, seating and more to create a space that’s really personal and individual to you. Pinterest is a great source of ideas if you’re ready to get inspired! Remember that any ‘less conventional’ items used as planters will need good drainage holes to work well, or plants risk getting waterlogged. Upcycling your garden furniture can give it a new life – we love what Sally at Life Loving did to her garden furniture last year.
A little work at this time of year will pay dividends later, and will give you an outdoor space to be proud of.
All images (c) Pixabay 2021