Each season we highlight topics and offer expert guidance, to help you get your own garden looking great. Perhaps you’re thinking ahead to get your outdoor space set for summer, or maybe you’re intrigued to know how our gardeners keep 3,000 roses in tip-top shape! Whether you’re on a mission to redesign your garden, or just want to freshen it up a little, here are the top garden trends of 2018 and some practical tips from our team.
New Alfresco Living
Despite the infamous unpredictable British weather, we are embracing Mediterranean dining styles, with investments in garden furniture, fire pits, barbeques and garden accessories predicted to reach an all-time high by 2021. This summer will be all about outdoor entertaining, but not just patios and summer houses. People are moving dining spaces further away from the house, making the most of immersive landscapes. In contrast with the natural surroundings, home tech is moving into the space too. ‘Plug and play’ alfresco living features integrated drainage, lighting, heating and music centres.
Top tips for alfresco spaces – Create a lush feeling by surrounding your space with containers and shrubbery. Utilise tactile flooring, lighting and unusual furniture to turn the area into a sanctuary. Place fire pits nearby to create a pre or post-dinner relaxation zone. If you’re stuck for inspiration, visit our Glasshouse for a unique range of homeware and garden accessories.
Dwindling habitats have resulted in the decline of bees, butterflies, birds and frogs. If you want your garden to become a haven for natural wildlife, there are many ways to create a beautiful landscape, while meeting the needs of animal neighbours. An increasing number of gardeners are adjusting their plant selections and redesigning landscapes to better support local wildlife.
How to encourage more natural wildlife – Restrict or stop using harmful pesticides. Grow your own bird food, by planting teasel, hazel trees, miscanthus, globe thistle and sunflowers. Bees are mad about lavender and home-grown herbs such as chives, rosemary and thyme – just take a look at our Edible Garden during summer! Keep your lawn in excellent condition – if you need a little help, don’t forget to book your place on our lawn care workshop this spring. Please visit the What’s On page for more details.
Growing Incredible Edibles
With increased interest in healthy lifestyles and organic produce, plus a greater awareness of dietary intolerances and allergies, the adoption of plant-based diets has increased by 360% over the last decade. We are more adventurous with what we grow and eat, and are seeking new and unusual fruit and vegetables to grow such as kohlrabi and cucamelons. As part of Wynyard Hall’s commitment to sustainable development, and following guest requests for more locally sourced produce, the Edible Garden was opened in 2016. A collection of raised beds and vegetable plots are used to grow ingredients that supply The Gardens’ cafe and Wellington Restaurant – root vegetables, salad, citrus fruits, herbs and more.
Following installations of award-winning gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the use of natural materials is increasingly popular. When it comes to walls and paving, this year will be about wood-effect tiles (in hard-wearing, scratch or stain resistant coatings), limestone reflecting natural, warm colour palettes and textured paving that celebrates irregularities and imperfections.
In keeping with a rise in holistic therapies, gardens are now, more than ever, a place to escape from the world. Mindfulness and wellbeing will have a huge influence over garden design in 2018, with a focus on elements that inspire the senses. Think accents of pastel colours, strongly-scented lavender (renowned for its relaxation and calming properties), and graceful water features. Healing houseplants are also a hit, such as snake plants which emit bursts of oxygen or aloe vera which is said to neutralise toxins from detergents and plastics.
Tips for tranquil gardens – Planting roses will add calming accents to your garden. They are available in an array of tranquil pastel colours, and rose scent is well known for its calming properties. Adding a water feature or fountain will allow you to relax to the soft sound of gently cascading water – absolute heaven. Not convinced? Take a stroll around our Walled Garden, which promises to leave you utterly relaxed!
If you’re looking for colour inspiration to brighten up your space, ‘verdure’ is set to be the palette of the season. It embraces colours found naturally in lush parkland and vegetation such as red wood, eggshell blue, foliage green, berry red and lavender.
Top tip – If you fancy a creative weekend, try adding a pop of colour by painting clay pots in bright shades and filling them with purple-flowering herbs such as lavender and chives. Or, try painting fencing and wooden furniture in rich tones.