Garden Autumn Trends

Garden trends, like home trends, come and go but this year, there is an enticing mix of nostalgia (old fashioned plants) mixed with new technology (advances in garden lighting) which means it’s not only fun to accessorise your garden but affordable, whatever your budget.

The American Association of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is reporting a huge increase in upgrading outdoor lighting thanks to new innovations in LED technology so you can get brighter and more efficient bulbs. And just as the outdoor is a reflection of the indoors, one of the big garden accessory themes for winter 2016 is that of industrial-style lighting to enhance patios, porches and other seating areas. It’s more of a challenge for those of us in the UK to use solar LEDS for garden lighting through our winters – we just don’t get enough sunlight from October through to March – but one trend we will benefit from, whatever lighting system we install, is the ability to control light and mood from an app on a mobile phone.

Key garden features to consider lighting are trees, specimen plants, fountains, art installations and even grape vines rambling over a pergola. In other words, if you like it and think it’s attractive you can light it so you can enjoy it through the winter nights, as well as daytime. Phrases such as ‘casting’ and ‘scaping’ have seeped into the garden design world as techniques we can use to enhance features and create more drama in the garden at night. And if we’re out in the garden after dark, there’s a good chance we need somewhere to sit, somewhere to eat and some way of keeping warm. Happily, the world’s best garden furniture designers are saying we’ve reached a tipping point in the design of garden furniture with seating, tables, fabrics and other outdoor accessories now as plentiful and available for outdoors as they are for indoors. In other words, if you can think it (and afford it) you can have it. One of the big trends for 2016 is ‘group chat’ furnishings which means big sofas, coffee tables, plenty of cushions and throws for those colder nights and a central firepit to gather around.

One of the burgeoning outdoor trends for 2016/17 is the arrival of the wood fired outdoor oven where you can cook pizzas and, if you really get into this way of cooking, other dishes and even desserts. A romantic addition to any outdoor space, this is an investment purchase and you will need to learn more about wood-fired cookery to make that investment worth your while. Finally, as climate change hits home, rainwater in the garden is becoming a key consideration in other countries and with some fantastic designs for harvesting and keeping that water, it won’t be long before we start to follow suite. Sustainable design is a key future trend and an attractive ‘catchment’ pond which functions as both a water feature and an auxiliary water source is nothing short of a genius idea.