In 2020, a significant and growing demand for property with garden space has appeared. There has been a slight decrease in demand for apartment residences and a greater number of searches for rural and suburban homes. As a result, many new homeowners are finding themselves with outdoor space for the first time.
Interestingly, this is bringing about a new wave of design trends and the British garden is undergoing some major changes. Those who have seized a window of opportunity to leave urban areas, due to remote working or a desire for more space, are approaching their home and garden designs with new ideas. This, coupled with technological advancements, new gadgets, and changing tastes, means that the designs of our outdoor spaces may continue to change too.
So, what makes a modern garden?
Goodbye Neatness, Hello Nature
Gone are the days of tidy flowerbeds with regimented bulbs producing colour coordinated blooms. Homeowners are now looking to bring as much nature and wildlife into their landscaping as possible. Plants are being closely grown together, so as to create more dense areas that feel more alive, welcoming nature and wildlife into a personal space. Soils are being encouraged to support plants with much less interference and weed-killing chemicals are off the table.
Motivated by environmental conscientiousness and a desire for a natural escape, modern gardens are being cultivated without dictation with the intention of creating a sustainable and local eco-system.
As the minimalist trends of Marie Kondo and Scandinavian magazines making their way out of city apartments and into larger residences, fewer homeowners are seeing justification for a shed. Why spend money on and keep an outdoor building solely for storage?
Instead, they are being renovated or replaced, transformed into log cabins and outdoor studios. Many are even using them as personal office spaces, that allow remote working from an office without imposing the workplace upon a living space inside the home.
Not What Your Garden Can Do For You
There is an old image of stereotypical gardens having large grassy areas, surrounded by tall fences. These areas have been used to relax in, built with the homeowners in mind. In a modern garden, however, the community is having a greater influence.
Garden spaces are being used to grow foods that are then traded in local online groups. One neighbour grows tomatoes and trades them for cucumbers with another further down the road. Other homes are using the spaces to host community events, such as supper clubs, book clubs, or fitness class.
Ditch the Plastic
Low-cost garden furniture is disappearing. More homeowners want to bring recycled and upcycled materials into their garden, those that complement a natural and wild aesthetic. Secondhand items or reclaimed materials are being used to design and decorate gardens instead of firsthand, plastic purchases, giving the owner pride in their sustainability.
Send In the Machines
For those that do have a lawn, maintaining it is easier and more discreet than ever. Now, there are solar-powered, self-charging mowing robots that tuck themselves away, occasionally driving around the grass to ensure it is kept in check. Alongside automated and mobile phone-controlled sprinkler systems, a garden can be maintained without the need for large and noisy tools, and even when the homeowner is elsewhere!