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2020 saw a change in the way we interact with our gardens and outdoor spaces. For many of us, they became a place of peace and wellbeing where we could escape from the uncertainty of the outside world.

As we continue the count down to the summer months of 2021, we take a look at some of the top trends we expect to see in gardens both large and small.

 

 

BLENDED SPACES

The idea of the blended interior and outdoor space is well established now, but working from home means the workspace is now all too often part of the mix, a new reality, destined to continue long after the Covid emergency has passed. Designing the outdoor space with this in mind goes beyond extending the wifi to reach the terrace. With no walk to work, train commute, Friday drinks, the transition between work and home modes must find another mechanism, beyond grabbing a beer from the fridge. Stepping into the garden, feeling the breeze, hearing the birds, brushing fingers through rosemary, taking the secateurs to tidy something up – these simple moments centre us, clear our heads.

A comfortable place to unwind is essential, whether one’s preference is for sinking into a sofa to chat about the day, or finding a seat in a corner of the garden to read. The intimate nooks, the little jewels of the garden’s plan, will come into their own: a private spot for a moment of calm, thinking or planning. Entering these spaces provides the all-important change of pace – a mental decluttering and refresh. They definitely need a comfortable seat.

ALFRESCO COOKING

With ever more of us getting into cooking and gardening, it is small wonder that we have seen demand for our outdoor kitchens surge in this last year. There is a sort of freedom to cooking al fresco that is uniquely enjoyable, and anyone who is even a little keen on cuisine will know that good kit really does make a difference, as does having plenty of prep area, storage and a sink. A really high performance grill is a given, but ceramic ovens, pizza ovens, teppanyaki…  there is plenty to choose from. Encased in beautiful craftsman-made oak cabinetry, the outdoor kitchen becomes one of the loveliest and fun spaces of the home.

Surrounding an outdoor kitchen with edible planting gives us the added bonus of the very freshest ingredients at just an arm’s length. A beautifully simple luxury in itself, the herb garden is a wonderful way to hook the children into enjoying growing things, as so many families have found.

As the weather warms up, we might well make use of that extended wifi (and a good, comfortable outdoor chair is essential), but privacy matters here – a hedge, planted partition or simply an open parasol provide excellent sound screening from a neighbour’s competing zoom call, or the family letting off steam on the lawn.  Gaze Burvill is the UK supplier for TUUCI parasols, high performance models from Miami-based ’The Ultimate Umbrella Company Incorporated’.

EMBRACING NATURE

From David Attenborough’s documentary ‘A Life on our Planet’ to Isabella Tree’s ‘Rewilding’, garden designers are delighted to see their passion for caring for our nature in our gardens become a priority for their clients, who are more than ever invested in caring for the environment… In our gardens, this means changing our mindset and taking greater care to ensure that we provide a diverse and thriving habitat.

Not everyone can manage bison in their back paddock, but rewilding can be proportional. It can create a picturesque, less ‘managed’ garden landscape but also help local wildlife to flourish. Whether it’s by creating no-mow areas, establishing wildflower meadows or embracing more organic practices, the re-wilding message is becoming more powerful in supporting the local ecosystem.

This year, people are increasingly turning to their gardens for exercise, stress-relief, and a creative outlet. One of the most popular trends is ‘grow your own’. No longer the preserve of large gardens, vegetable plots can now be set up in any outdoor space. Growing your own is not just about providing extra benefits for you personally, it can also serve to help those in the local community as well.

 

USING NATURAL MATERIALS

Choosing to incorporate natural materials throughout the garden is increasingly in demand. Outdoor furniture crafted from natural materials such as oak creates a rich and textured look which not only looks inviting, but also complements the natural-world within which it sits.

One of the advantages of choosing oak in particular is that when it is left to gently weather outdoors, it gains a beautiful silver patina as it ages through the years. Oak is naturally more durable than many alternatives, requiring only a light maintenance regime in order to maintain its longevity, which Gaze Burvill has a dedicated service for.

TECHNOLOGY WITHIN THE GARDEN SPACE

As our outdoor space becomes ever more multifunctional, and now that wifi reach has improved – for some at least, so too does the demand for new and innovative uses of technology. 2020 saw homemade outdoor cinemas become popular with families as a way to enjoy the outdoors and this looks set to continue this year, with comfy outdoor sofas, good-size screen and a quality projector and good Bluetooth sound.

When not watching movies, this space can double up as a dining or lounging area, where well-designed lighting and heating, not to mention Bluetooth sound will go down very well with family and friends.

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