As we step into spring, our spirits teeming with warm thoughts and optimism; it proves a time to start thinking about your garden, how to plan for the summer months spent basking in the sun, and what you will need to give your garden a lift in 2018.
Before doing anything else, settle on a theme. Think Mediterranean pleasures, tropical paradises or exotic Japanese gardens. The latter a key theme in 2018. Yes, the art of ‘Wabi-Sabi’, practised in Japan since the fifteenth-century is inspiring a new way of appreciating your garden. In short, it is an acceptance of the natural cycle of growth, decay and death.
Balancing nature and nurture, take time to celebrate your garden’s natural imperfections. Allow overgrown perennials, moss-covered stones and rusty iron gates to reign free and, in letting go, you will inject a lifeless garden with character and charm.
For maximum effect, stick to three primary colours. The ‘Verdure’ colour palette is the choice of 2018, highlighting shades naturally found in lush vegetation and fresh woodland. Berry-infused purple, red wood, eggshell blue and foliage green are just a few, prime examples.
Introduce accents of colour with clay pots plump with lavender, rosemary and Thai basil. If you have wooden fences, gates or furniture, give a new lease of life by sanding them down and painting with a lick of eggshell blue. To finish; copper, as both material and colour, will make an impact this year and hard landscaping in metallic shades can give a wonderful sense of warmth to any space.
It’s tipped 2018 will see ‘growth in the solar market in the garden’ – and not just for ornamental purposes. Sheds complete with solar hubs are just one example, giving green-fingered gardeners the ability to charge their phone or even power a light so they can stay outdoors for longer.
Further, solar lighting is a cost-effective, safe way to create the perfect ambience to relax and unwind in.
Shrubs are another key accessory, particularly the more exotic and unusual varieties. The Euonymus Oxyphyllus, an elegant, slow growing shrub from Korea is becoming popular thanks to its rich, emerald green leaves which turn to shades of yellow, bronze and red in the autumn, and produce a spectacular show of colour in the summer from its cherry-like-fruits.
If you can’t access the exotic, or find they are an expense, try low-level woodland-style planting; mixing ferns, mosses, anemones and tufted grasses.
Hand-made bricks and textured paving blocks, with their irregularities and imperfections, will help to bring a natural element to gardens – especially those on the smaller side. While end-grain oak blocks, replicating original wooden cobbles, are also predicted to be popular in 2018.
For the mothers, fathers, dedicated grandmas or uncles among us: don’t fear toys crimping the style of outside space. Items from trendy inflatable flamingo pool floats, to tricycles, bicycles and junior gardening sets can be safely stored away in a stylish but practical compact shed.
Garden space is at a premium for most homeowners, but the need for storage has not changed. The trend for small, dainty sheds in muted purples and delicate greys is a valued addition to any garden. Some brands even come complete with built-in features, such as shelving on the outside, so that the capacity is maximised without internal space being compromised. Perfect!
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