When it comes to designing your dream garden, following trends isn't always necessary. Your perfect garden will be unique and suited to your tastes, but keeping an eye on the latest trends can be a fun way to find inspiration and discover new ideas. These are some of our favourite gardening trends for 2016.
- Subtlety over decadence. It's easy to get carried away with colours and variety in your garden, but sometimes a simple, delicate design can be the most effective. This summer's most stylish gardens will be all about a clean colour palette and small but beautiful details.
- Creating a distinctive outdoor experience. Your patio and garden area should reflect you and your family, just as your interior space does. To achieve this, treat your outdoor space as an equally important experience. Consider customising your patio with unique, interesting materials and furniture that stands out from the crowd.
- Eco-friendly lighting. With the world moving toward a more sustainable future, eco-consciousness has begun to show itself in gardening trends. When lighting your patio and garden area, make the switch to LED bulbs that will last longer, give you a warm, soft lighting, and lead to long-term savings on your energy bills. You can play around with brightness and colour to create your ideal atmosphere.
- Natural landscapes. Many home gardeners get caught up in creating a cookie-cutter neat landscape, constantly trimmed and organised to perfection. This year, we're seeing more homes embrace a wilder, naturalistic style using a combination of native and lower maintenance non-natives that come together beautifully. Tidy rows aren't necessary if you want to try out this trend.
- Herbs from home. Still shopping for your herbs at the supermarket? As we enter 2017, make a resolution to grow your herbs at home instead. Your garden will create far more flavoursome and fresh herbs, and they'll be entirely organic and pesticide-free.
- Succulent arrangements. Nobody will be neglecting their succulents this year. These fascinating, easy-going plants are simple to care for and bring a cool edge to your garden, with an otherworldly look that stands apart from common garden flowers. They work just as well in smaller potted garden arrangements as they do in a larger space, so get creative.
- Edible gardens. Your garden can be just as practical as it is pretty.