The last year has sparked renewed interest in gardens and outdoor spaces, as we have all been more reliant on them for entertainment and for socialising. This in turn has led to some interesting and unexpected trends in garden design. Here is our round-up of the popular trends for gardens in 2021….along with some ideas about how to re-create them with minimal effort.
The hot weather combined with being locked down at home, meant that 2020 was a bumper year for eating outdoors. But the perennial favourite BBQ is no longer the only means of outdoor cooking. Outdoor kitchens are becoming increasingly sophisticated in both design and equipment, and now often include pizza ovens, built in storage and sinks as well as the grill. Companies such as Grillo can design a bespoke configuration for you, or provide an off the shelf solution with their range of pre-designed kitchen layouts. If you have the space, this is a great way of extending your use of the garden and providing a fun space to socialise with friends.
(Outdoor image courtesy of Grillo)
For a less permanent but still extremely functional outdoor cooking space, our flexible, folding teak BBQ Tables are brilliant for turning your BBQ area into a mini outdoor kitchen – providing extra surfaces for cooking equipment, ingredients and utensils, or a perfect place to set out food for your guests, condiments and drinks. Since they fold up when not in use, they can also be stored safely out of the way when the alfresco dining season is over.
Being forced to find our own entertainment led to a huge surge in movie watching over the last year – but what better way to turn a run-of-the-mill film into a full-scale event that to set up your own garden cinema!While a whole string of companies have sprung up that are able to provide a bespoke garden cinema, all you really need is a projector, a screen and some comfy seating. Projectors used to be hugely expensive but are now available in a huge range of prices to suit every budget. And screens can be bought cheaply online, or can easily be made using blackout lining, if you have a suitable place to hang it.
(Canvas Co. offer outdoor cinema hire packages – great for a party or special occasion)
When it comes to cinema seating, our Maluku range would work brilliantly for lounging during the day, and comfy cinema seating after dark – and since it is modular, can easily be reconfigured to suit the occasion. Don’t forget to put out a side table or two for your drinks or popcorn…our Picnic Coffee Table is ideal.
If it’s a romantic film for two, then a pair of Gili Steamer Chairs could be the ultimate in movie-watching comfort!
Growing your own
Keen gardeners and allotmenteers have always extolled the virtues of homegrown fruit and veg; but up until the last year or so, it was a pastime for the few, not the many! Lockdown has changed all of that, and now even people with the tiniest area of outdoor space, such as a balcony or terrace, are growing their own edibles in containers or planters, while those with bigger gardens are increasingly turning more of their space over to food. We’ve all taken to cooking programmes with a vengeance, too, with more time at home to plan and cook.
Gardener & cook Aaron Bertelsen’s book ‘Grow Fruit & Vegetables in Pots’ is a great start to container growing, with lots of advice on how to get started, and lots of delicious recipes to try, too.
If you’re inspired to get growing, even if it’s just a few herbs or some salad leaves, they will look beautiful as well as taste delicious when grown in our Herb Tray, or in one of our larger Square or Rectangular Teak Planters.
We are all increasingly aware of the environmental impact of our choices, and the last year has also seen a trend towards more natural colours, textures and materials in our homes, as well as our gardens, as we embrace the calming influence that the natural world can bring.
In garden design, this has meant an even bigger move towards wood, wicker, and stone over concrete and metal, and to using materials that are sourced sustainably, or recycled. Try using reclaimed bricks or local stone for paths and terraces, or hardwood timber decking or raised beds, which will soften with age and take on a lovely natural grey patina. Create plant supports from willow or hazel twigs, rather than man-made metal or plastic – just as useful and they look far more beautiful, too.
(Learn how to make your own willow plant support at Gardener’s World)
Our teak is all sustainably sourced, from state-managed teak plantations in Indonesia. We use only the heartwood of top grade teak logs, which means it will last and age beautifully in the garden (whatever the British weather throws at it), and making it more sustainable than cheaply produced garden furniture that has a much shorter lifespan. The look, feel, and durability of quality natural teak means it looks at home in every setting, and never goes out of style.
Escape to the country…
Here in West Sussex we have seen huge demand for property recently, as more and more people fulfil their lockdown dream of escaping city life.
However, any garden space can be given that country garden feel, with the right choices of planting, accessories and furniture. Choose classic English country garden plants over more modern, urban planting if you want to get the country look – and fill your summer garden with the delicious scent of roses and lavender in the process, too. Try bric a brac and car boot sales for vintage garden accessories such as zinc planters and watering cans, and look out for aged terracotta pots which will immediately feel as though they have graced your terrace for ever.
Choose furniture styles that are timeless too. Our Nusa Teak Bench is inspired by the original bench created for a West Sussex estate by architect Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1902 – and immediately evokes country gardens and English summers. While the Love Seat bench sits beautifully in an informal garden design with its sinuous curves and romantic design.
(Classic border planting from this article on ‘How to Grow an English Country Garden’)
Whatever trend you are hoping to embrace in 2021, we hope that you find plenty of time to enjoy your summer garden.