Garden Trends 2020/21

 In Garden Design, News

Climate Change is going to be one of the leading influencers on the trends that are already emerging within our industry. Andy Sturgeon’s garden ‘Ecological Succession’ at the Chelsea Flower Show 2019 was all about nature’s way of landscapes regenerating. This sent a message out saying that ‘it’s actually ok to have a slightly disheveled look to your garden.

Chelsea Flower Show

Neigh infact it is in vogue.’ Had the Chelsea Flower Show proceeded in 2020, we would have seen this message getting much stronger. Sustainable and resilient gardens and landscapes are coming right to the forefront with the adage of health benefits and wellbeing. There is a definite mood swing. My clients are asking me for a more relaxed look to their gardens using wildlife friendly plants. Our garden maintenance company Couture Gardens is also having requests to allow plants to have a looser form rather than plants being clipped and topiarized to perfection.

chelsea flower show

Credit: Photographer Manoj Malde. Designer Andy Sturgeon

Andy Sturgeon’s garden at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2019 was an acknowledgement of how plants have the ability to colonise and flourish in harsh environments. Mother nature has the ability to survive. We just have to consider, whilst we have been confined indoors through Covid-19, Mother nature has been healing itself.

I have seen a growing trend in clients asking for plants that will encourage wildlife into the garden. They want bug hotels, bird boxes but more so nectar rich planting to encourage the bees, butterflies and other bugs into the garden. It is encouraging to know that wilder more natural gardens are set to rise so it is ok to have log piles around the garden for wildlife. Environmental care is a top trend that is set to continue.

Sustainable solutions to gardening

Clients are preferring to use peat free compost. This is leading to more sustainable solutions to gardening such as home composting and the no dig approach. There will be less use of pesticides in the garden as the population begins to realise the importance of protecting the planet. This will encourage more companion planting and natural ways of preventing infestation of diseases and pests. Soil health is also another emerging trend. We always encourage our clients to compost and use this back into the garden. Far better than using artificial fertilizers.

Chelsea flower show

Credit: Photographer Marianne Majerus. Designer Nigel Dunnett

This garden was designed by Nigel Dunnett at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2011. It was a really good example of wildlife friendly garden. Nigel had used pollinator friendly plants and had designed many habitats within the scheme to encourage wildlife into the garden. Even the garden studio is adorned with stylish circular bug hotels and a green roof.

Gardens and green spaces

Gardens and green spaces for our health and wellbeing are finally being supported by the medical industry. The biophilic effects of gardens are becoming more important. Doctors are showing their support by prescribing gardening to those suffering from anxiety and depression. Alternative therapies and a holistic approach to our health and wellbeing has put gardens, gardening and outdoor greenspaces well and truly on trend for 2020.

With the recent pandemic of Covid-19 more homeowners than ever before, have realised the importance of personal green spaces. Homeowners are starting to see their gardens as a retreat, a place to relax and another room to the home. This is encouraging a growth in trendy exterior furniture and soft furnishings in a choice of contemporary materials and beautiful colours and prints. There are finishing touches like outdoor rugs, poufs and footstools. Making the garden feel like part of the home is helping young families to connect their children back with nature and get them away from their computers, tablets and mobile phones.

outdoor kitchen

Credit: Grillo Kitchens. Designer Rae Wilkinson

Outdoor kitchens are a great way of creating family time. More clients are asking for them as it is helping to connect their children with nature and the outdoor space.


With dedicated seating areas, the trend for firepits also continues. There is a much greater choice of designs of firepits. Some that you can barbeque on, others that can be also be used as an outdoor coffee table. Firepits come in options of gas or wood logs.

My clients are asking for garden studios. These could be used for a home gym, yoga studio, a children’s play den, a simple reading studio or home office to be more connected with the garden. Whilst timber pergolas still remain popular, we are also seeing an increase of pavilions and pods that are smart and functional providing cool shade from the sun but also from the rain and wind. These are designed with louvers that can be controlled via an app on your phone. Outdoor kitchens are also becoming popular. This can be a simple BBQ from Big Green Egg which comes in different sizes or a full-on outdoor kitchen from Grillo. Parents are seeing it as a way of bringing the family together but also getting the kids into the garden. Even a small garden can have a barbeque or a tabletop pizza oven.

pizza oven


This pavilion by Kettal adds a beautiful structure in the garden which provides a social area, gives shade and protects from wind and rain as it has oscillating louvers.



This contemporary firepit from Arpe has a lid option so that it can be used as a table.

garden trends


The rounded silhouette, tapered teak legs and formal rope design give the Pimlico Club Chair from Indian Ocean a striking contemporary look. The deep seat cushions add pure outdoor luxury brought to life with a zing of colour and a pop of print. The Pimlico range is perfectly suited to fit into garden styles around the world.

Creating a small garden area

Not everyone lives in a property with a garden but that should not stop you from investing in plants and creating a small garden area within your home. Houseplants have really come to the fore. People are investing in big show-stopper plants for their interiors and there are some real exotics that seem to be in favour.

We are getting asked for Strelitzia Nicolai for their tall, large paddle shaped leaves, Mostera, Alocasia and Rhapis excelsa for their exquisite foliage that are reminders of a rainforest jungle within the home. Large cacti and succulents have become equally popular and with demand on the rise, there are now some amazing retail shops and online traders that are selling lovely specimens.

Companies for Indoor Plants

Plastic has become dirty word and a massive issue for the world. Retailers are still not doing enough to reduce the use of plastic. With long waiting lists for allotments, gardeners are turning to growing their own in back gardens in order to reduce plastic use but also to be sure of how their food is grown and where it comes from. Covid-19 has also encouraged many non-gardeners to have a go at growing their own fruit and veg. Requests for fruits trees seem to be on the rise.

We have recently planted several minaret fruit trees for a client. For those who have small urban gardens, create mixed borders with food crops and decorative plants as Adam Frost did in his Chelsea Flower Show garden in 2013 for Homebase. Companion planting is a natural way of preventing pests from damaging your beautiful flowering plants. Onions, garlic and leeks repels aphid and carrot fly. Mint repels slugs. Rosemary repels cabbage fly. Artemisia attracts hoverflies, lacewings and ladybird which all feed on aphids. Thyme grown near roses deters blackfly.


Credit: Vision Pictures

Small Garden

In a small garden explore your vertical space through a living wall system or individual wall pots and if you would like to grow fruit then think about espalier trees.

There is a revival in the 1970’s glass terrariums but the designs of the glass containers have really moved on. We have such a treasure chest full of different shapes and sizes we can use for planting. It’s also not just terrariums but vivariums (without the reptiles). People are also planting up aquatic plants in aquariums with or without fish.

Companies for Outdoor Pods and Pavilions

Companies for outdoor offices

There is something for everyone in the modern gardening trends so go ahead and make the most of the world of plants and gardens.

plants in glass bottles


The 1970s trend if plants in glass bottles has been revived again. This actually first started from the Victorian era but in the 21st century we have some very stylish designs of glass containers and now a vast range of plants that we can use inside them.

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