to John Wyer of Bowles and Wyer garden design,
the lush planting, gushing water features
and warm terracotta colours of the Mediterranean
which were popular five years ago, have
been more recently phased out in favour
of bleached out colours and natural materials
such as timber and stone. But now it looks
like colour could be splashing back into
fashion with plum, aubergine and even chocolate
and orange getting a high ranking in the
style stakes and being used to accentuate
gardeners are also investing more money in fewer items, buying a
few accessories, pots and distinctive plants that make a huge impact,
rather than spreading the cash around on lots of smaller things.
This is largely due to a more minimalist approach which has come
about thanks to a certain fascination with all things oriental.
"The past couple of years has seen the Japanese influence become
really big," notes John. "But things are moving away from
being very mannered and stylised towards more of an east meets west
sculptures, lighting and water features have all become much more
contemporary with many gardens having a real sense of drama and
creating a feast for the eyes -- and ears. Water flowing over sleek,
modern, sculpted centrepieces and lit in true 'look at me' style
is a trend that's really catching on and bold sculptural plants
are used to add to the effect.
are choosing to make the very most of their gardens and love entertaining
friends outdoors all year round and well into the evening,"
says John. "Therefore lighting is not only a necessity in this
respect, it's also something really atmospheric to look at and creates
exciting effects as it lights up the plants and makes shadows."
On top of this, lighting provides added household security and suppliers
are increasingly blending classy design with functionality.
is more of an emphasis on larger, individual plants rather than
lots of small ones and leaf texture and shape are important too.For
example bamboo and tropical plants with attention-grabbing foliage
are popular because they provide interest and texture. Keep your
eyes peeled for things like the Chinese larch 'Pseudolarix' which
has an unusual colour and shape.
allow you to sit back and enjoy the garden, rest your derriere and
place your soup on some outdoor furniture. Some fantastic ranges
have emerged on the market and John says sets that incorporate both
wood and metal are really sought after. And as for fears of getting
hypothermia as you admire your glorious water sculpture, amazing
plants and brilliant light show, banish them now because outdoor
garden heaters or burners are readily available and won't necessarily
break the bank.
on a complete overhaul of your garden single-handedly can be very
stressful and takes lots of time and energy so it's best to consult
the professionals.But making a few simple additions or changes to
your garden can give it a real lift and be really good value for
money. Either way, visit as many gardens, centres, shows and websites
as you can to get inspiration and ideas for the look you want and
make sure you shop around for the best bargains.