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10 Garden Trends, Ideas & Features To Look Out For This Year

When the weather becomes slightly warmer, attention naturally turns to our gardens. Take a look at our top design tips and trends for levelling up your outdoor space…

Whether you’re hosting a huge family get-together or simply pulling up a chair and getting stuck into your favourite book, it’s that time of year when the weather becomes much more accommodating towards outdoor activity.

So, is yours ready for spring and summer? Whether you’ve got a ‘balcony garden’ or you’re working with a larger area, check out our top tips for a stylish, on-trend space that’s prepped for 2022.

A well decorated garden with hanging chairs, outdoor furniture and greenery in the background.

1. ‘Rewilding’

Preserving and promoting biodiversity is a growing priority that’s taking on added importance in 2022. One big trend here is ‘nature scaping’ or ‘rewilding’ — two popular buzzwords amongst outdoor designers that speak to the idea of not being ashamed to let your garden and nature ‘do its thing’. Don’t hesitate to go crazy with your favourite outdoor plants.

Natural, loose and immersive gardens are all the rage in 2022, with meticulously manicured outdoor spaces taking a back seat for now. Imperfect is the new perfect. Create spaces that benefit pollinators, hedgehogs, and other endangered critters.

People are tweaking their tastes slightly, more in favour of the ‘free’. By having an area of your garden that’s a little bit rougher around the edges, you’ll maximise your space as a characterful, wildlife-friendly environment.

This doesn’t necessarily mean it has to look unkempt or boring, of course — consider creating a wildlife-friendly flower bed. Drought-tolerate, Mediterranean-style plants are becoming increasingly popular as the weather becomes more unpredictable. Some vibrant, popular examples include Anchusa azurea, Verbascums, Hardy geraniums and Agapanthus ‘Silver Baby’.

A plant-filled, well-kept English country garden with a shed.

2. Gazebos, pergolas and other shelters

The past couple of years have shown many people the value of outdoor space for physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. In 2022, this trend — making the garden a focal point for year-round, round-the-clock leisure time — is set to continue.

As we move away from plastics and other artificial materials, oak-framed garden structures, like gazebos and pergolas, have become as popular as ever amongst garden designers for adding functionality and beauty. Their proliferation ties in with the trend of all-weather gardening, which has boomed during the pandemic. People want to make the most of their outdoor space whatever the weather, whatever time of year.

You can even channel your inner Ancient Egyptian by using the sides of yours to grow certain shrubs — again, this is about allowing nature to do its thing, creating a wildlife-rich garden.

A gazebo in a garden, containing outdoor furniture.
Gazebo living space in a back garden containing furniture and surrounded by plants.

3. Slatted fencing and living walls

For creating an on-trend garden, your perimeter is as important as any piece of furniture or flower within. Slatted fencing is particularly popular amongst garden designers; gaps between the slats allow you to keep your space airy and light whilst facilitating good visual flow.

Consider making yours into a living wall; let plants, rambling roses and shrubs trail up for added natural aesthetic. A particularly on-trend use of slatted fencing is for segmenting and theming certain areas of your garden. This works exceptionally well for adding an illusion of size for smaller gardens.

Functionally, with the weather becoming rather more unpredictable, slatted fencing is also better placed to withstand storms, allowing wind to pass through!

Slatted fencing used in a modern garden for theming a space.
A smaller garden making good use of slatted fencing to theme spaces and add illusion of size.
Stylish horizontal, rustic-style slatted fencing near a plant bed.
Smart slatted fencing with lighting and greenery trailing up.

4. Lighting, lighting, lighting

As well as getting much more use all year, expect 2022 to see a growing interest in round-the-clock garden use. For this, lighting is essential! Up-and-down wall lighting is a very on-trend style for a stylish, atmospheric look.

Of course, there are many other ways to alight your outdoor space — it can be incorporated into fencing posts, along your walkways, decorated on your gazebo or even installed into your decking.

Iroko decking on a residential property with lighting installed.
A garden path or walkway with lighting installed on the side.
Outdoor space at night-time making stylish use of lighting.
Up-and-down outdoor wall lighting, a particularly on-trend style.

5. Bring nature into your space

Our gardens have taken on a new role in recent years — a place to relax, connect with nature and tune into our mental health. This ties into the ‘biophilia hypothesis’ — that humans have an innate attraction and desire to connect with all things natural.

The therapeutic value of a garden is taking on new significance in 2022. Research shows that being surrounded by nature can benefit cognitive function, physical health, and psychological wellbeing. Bringing these benefits into your garden — interacting with nature — is a big trend for the year.

Rewild your garden. Develop an eye-catching array of garden plants — one trending, feel-good flower is Aster, promising to continue its popularity into 2022. Putting up a bird feeder or, as is increasingly popular, a bird bath, can help us to enjoy animals in our space, whilst providing value for them too.

A water feature set against a white background can provide a Mediterranean feel, transporting you to a hotter climate in a heartbeat, and help us to relax through sound and sight.

A pigeon sitting on a bird bath in an English garden.

6. Dense planting schemes for balcony and ‘tiny’ gardens

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of making the most of the outdoor space you have, regardless of its size. Whether it’s a balcony, terrace or very small garden space, designers are keen to turn these into plant-friendly, densely-packed green spaces.

Unashamedly fill yours with your favourite plants. Complete the natural look with some exotic quality decking or an eye-catching designer cladded wall in an eye-catching timber species. Even in the smallest of urban gardens, expect to see water lilies. Value and ‘rewild’ whatever space you have, however small!

A balcony garden making use of a small space to full effect, with lots of plants.
A small balcony garden with outdoor furniture and dense amounts of plants.

7. Exotic decking

Interest in designer decking products has soared throughout the pandemic and it doesn’t show any sign of letting up. Maximising enjoyment and usability of our outdoor spaces is a top priority, placing a quality deck high up the list of many garden designers and home improvers for 2022.

Adding extra functionality can help your family to make the most of your garden and its various biophilic elements throughout the year. Classic timber species for decking include perennial favourites like European Oak and Siberian Larch.

Particularly on-trend, however, are African hardwoods likeIroko and Balau for an exotic, luxurious touch. Not only do these species provide a unique visual appeal, but offer exceptional durability and wear-resistance.

Garden space making eye-catching use of horizontal slatted fencing and decking.
A 're-wilded' decking area surrounded by foliage.

8. Vibrant, eye-catching bee-friendly zones

Head down to your local garden centre and channel some post-pandemic positive energy by planting an array of brightly-coloured, daring flowers to contrast against the green foliage.

Think deep blue, purples as well as bright reds, oranges, pinks and yellows. Look out for coppertips, tulips, iris, hollyhocks, larkspur, fruit tree blossom, crocus, sage, muscari and canna lilies amongst many others!

Coppertips, perfect for adding vibrant, bee-friendly colour to your garden.

It’s also known that bright yellows, oranges and these deep, moody blues are fantastic for attracting bees into your garden. Popular too are the dahlia — Britain’s most Instagrammed and TikTok-ed plant.

9. Upcycle, recycle and reuse

To show that your outdoor space is the most environmentally-friendly space it can be, reuse and recycle. Rather than adding to landfill, consider adapting older furniture, plant pots, wooden pallets, barrels and fencing panels into your outdoor space! Use this to play into the ‘rewilding’ trend we mentioned earlier — upcycling is the perfect way to develop a rustic, character-rich garden.

An outdoor space making use of upcycled certain timber materials to provide a rustic character.

Make a further statement by going completely natural in your space — this means plastic decking, gazebos and garden furniture are truly out. Materials like timber and stone not only benefit the environment, but provide help to assimilate into a natural environment more seamlessly.

Timber — one of the most environmentally-friendly building materials we have — can be used to clad and theme garden-facing walls on your house, too.

10. Grow your own

Considering the importance of sustainability, reducing plastic packaging and nurturing nature, ‘grow your own’ is much more than just a trend for 2022 — it’s a movement.

If you’ve got a larger garden to work with, not only does it connect you with the outdoors, but if you’ve got little ones, it can be an exciting, educational project. This trend also gives you the opportunity to ‘rewild’ your space, adding undeniable charm and character.

Plus you’ll have the spoils to enjoy afterwards — potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus, carrots and much more!

A garden with plots for growing root vegetables.
A vibrant, colourful garden containing lots of homegrown plants.

Make your outdoor space somewhere special in 2022

High up the agenda for garden designers is shaping sustainable, ‘wild’ and wellbeing-friendly spaces. Keep things natural with materials like timber and stone and don’t be afraid of adding a big splash of bee-friendly colour.

In keeping with the ‘rewilding’ trend, consider allowing your garden to be a little rough around the edges — it all adds character! Adding on-trend features and products like decking, slatted fencing and gazebos can help us to maximise our new-found enjoyment of the garden.

At Duffield Timber, we stock a range of quality timber decking, fencing, cladding and oak-framed garden structures — all ideal for ensuring your outdoor space is totally on-trend.

If you’re interested in beginning a project, simply drop a message to our friendly team of timber experts!

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