It’s been a year for succulents, sustainability and planting for wellbeing – but what garden trends 2020 will we all be following? Wise Living spoke to gardening experts, who shared their predictions on the growing and design styles to adopt next year, to give our gardens cutting edge beauty, form and food for thought…
Read Wise Living’s gardening New Year resolutions – 10 ideas for making the most of your garden.
9 garden trends 2020
1. Taking indoors outside
Mandy Buckland of Greencube Landscapes, who is a member of the Society of Garden Designers, thinks the trend for creating an outdoor room will live on, and we will move away from regular formatted paving.
She says: “There are lots of outdoor ceramic tiles on the market now. We are installing them as garden ‘rugs’ or design features within landscaped areas to create pattern, contrast and textural changes. It is much the same decorating a dining and living room in the house.”
2. More sophisticated houseplants
Claire Bishop, houseplant buyer for Dobbies Garden Centres predicts: “The trend in foliage rather than flowers will be taken to the next level as the foliage is going to be very much about texture, pattern and new variations on the traditional.”
You’ll find monsteras (cheese plants) with smaller leaves, and variegated foliage on plants that traditionally had block green colour, she predicts: “Alocasias are a huge trend because every one of them has a texture or a different coloured stem. Calatheas also have different textures and tones and are pretty easy to look after, so customers are coming back.
“More people are sharing their houseplants by taking cuttings from friends’ plants and many of the successes have been fuelled by Instagram.”
3. Greater focus on recycling
Tracy McQue, also of the Society of Garden Designers, thinks there will be more of a spotlight on the repurposing of existing materials and recycling garden materials where possible.
Mark Laurence, whose consultancy creates adaptive landscape for a changing world, echoes this saying: “Repurposed items give a garden an individual look.”
4. High-tech horticulture
Horticulture has gone high-tech, and using gadgets in the garden is now one of the the new garden trends in 2020, according to Richard Baggaley, director of The Greenhouse People. “There’s a wealth of technologies to give your green fingers a helping hand, from apps like mySoil to tell you which plants will thrive where you live, to containers with built-in watering systems and smart weather stations for the most local weather information possible.”
5. Terracotta styling
Warm sandy tones will take centre stage on patios and in outdoor furniture accessories, Lynsey Abbott, seasonal buyer for Dobbies Garden Centres, predicts. “It’s all to do with inside/outside living, so people may want to have furniture that is adaptable for the conservatory as well as the patio.”
Louise Golden, the garden centre chain’s horticultural expert, adds that the planting will accent the rustic farmhouse look.
“Plant colour palettes will be simpler, but with elements of romance. Apricot roses, pink and plum cotinus and evergreen photinias can be mixed with white hydrangeas.”
Purple or green pittosporum may be used for hedging instead of box (due to gardeners wanting to avoid box blight), along with euonymus and rosemary, she suggests.
6. More wildlife planting
Creating sustainable, wildlife-friendly and beautiful spaces needs to be at the forefront of everything we do, no matter what size or location of the gardens we are designing, says McQue.
Designer Jane Brockbank, of Jane Brockbank Gardens, agrees. “People are much more interested in making gardens that are good for wildlife. Awareness of the climate crisis and the loss of biodiversity has grown enormously, even over the last year, and we are all taking our gardens far more seriously with regards to the important part they can play.”
Meadow areas, native hedging, gaps in fences for hedgehog movement and nectar-rich planting will serve those wildlife-friendly gardeners, designers predict, as will water features, which are integral to wildlife-friendly spaces.
Read Wise Living’s guide on how to boost wildlife and reduce pollution by planting a hedge.
7. Garden trends 2020 are about less minimalism
Pattern and texture will be creeping back into our gardens in 2020, Brockbank predicts. “Cold minimalism is beginning to look pretty tired now and it also begs the question, ‘How does this contribute to the wildlife locally and in the garden?’
“Gardeners will be looking to blur the line between the hard landscaped and soft planting areas in the garden, using gravel planting to create the transition between the two.”
8. Urban makeover
“We are seeing a lot of small space and balcony living. String-weave is coming through, outdoor rugs are becoming more popular [as are] space-saving balcony tables,” says Abbott.
9. Relaxed lawns
High-maintenance bowling green lawns may be replaced by more relaxed wildflower lawns and clover, Golden predicts as one of the key garden trends 2020. “Lawns will become smaller because we are becoming more conscious of our wildlife. Some people will leave a section of their lawn to go wild and will blur the edges, sowing wildflowers into the patch. The younger generation of gardeners coming through are hugely aware of environmental issues.”