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Three ways to transform your garden in 2019

PUBLISHED: 10:43 29 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:43 29 January 2019

An open-sided structure allows you to use and enjoy your garden all year round

An open-sided structure allows you to use and enjoy your garden all year round

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Garden designer Jody Lidgard takes us through three key trends for 2019.

Jody Lidgard, Bespoke Outdoor SpacesJody Lidgard, Bespoke Outdoor Spaces

Foraging gardens

One trend that started last year and is still developing is the idea of a foraging or edible garden.

When you mention an edible garden to clients, the first thing they think of is an allotment, but it couldn’t be more different. Instead of dedicating an area of your garden purely to growing edible plants, this method integrates them into the general garden design.

Making space for fruit trees, culinary herbs or rhubarb part of the wider scheme maximises space and allows you to care for your garden as a whole, rather than approaching the vegetable plot and main garden as two separate entities.

Think about creating dedicated areas within the garden, such as an outdoor fireplace for evening entertaining and relaxingThink about creating dedicated areas within the garden, such as an outdoor fireplace for evening entertaining and relaxing

It also allows you to tear, sniff and taste your way around the garden, finding the right accompanying elements for your barbecue or home-cooked meal.

The best first step when considering a foraging garden is to think about your eating patterns: Do you eat a lot of curries? Do you like strong flavours? What about desserts, what fruits do you like to eat and cook with? If you use it, plant it.

Edible walls are also becoming popular and are great for growing tomatoes, basil and other herbs. They also look great and can be incorporated into smaller gardens – even a panel the size of a door will produce fresh, edible plants to enjoy.

Sunken seating areas with planting around the edges provide privacy without the need for tall screeningSunken seating areas with planting around the edges provide privacy without the need for tall screening

Ecological gardens

With issues such as hedgehog and bee decline catching our attention, planting that encourages wildlife is of particular interest.

Simple things like resisting cutting back herbaceous plants until February increases the longevity of the plant, both visually and as a food source for animals, who eat the exposed seeds. For this reason, it’s as important to choose the plant for its stature in dormancy, as well as its relatively short flowering period.

Allowing a corner of your garden to go wild, perhaps with a log pile and compost heap will help local wildlife no end.

Wildlife deserves some consideration in our gardens, from bee-friendly plants to pondsWildlife deserves some consideration in our gardens, from bee-friendly plants to ponds

There’s also been a massive decline in natural ponds in our countryside, and if you have space a pond is a mecca for wildlife, from frogs and insects to the hedgehogs who come to have a drink.

It’s not about creating a wilderness in your back garden, but more about making decisions which consider the needs of wildlife while also creating a space you can enjoy. It could be as simple as cutting a hole in the fence so the hedgehogs can get in (and encouraging your neighbours to do the same) or putting up a bird feeder.

And it’s not just about creating a haven for wildlife – rainwater gardens are all about using water efficiently and in a way that make gardens more resilient to extremes of temperature. The basic idea is to slow down and divert storm water to a swale – a vegetated channel – which directs it into the garden rather than down the drain.

Outdoor rooms

With so many people sitting in offices all day long, we’re becoming increasingly disconnected with the outside but at the same time craving it, and our gardens are the ideal place to reengage with nature.

Our gardens are often the biggest “room” in our homes, and often the best way to approach them is to divide them into well-defined areas.

Often the first thing clients want, especially in new build properties, is privacy. They step outside their backdoor and realise that they’re completely overlooked.

Screening the entire garden is expensive as it needs to be considerably higher than an area closer to the house, for example, where a trellis or tall planting will be enough to offer privacy for relaxation or entertaining.

Turning this idea on its head, there’s also a move to indoor gardens. Flower shows such as the RHS Chelsea Flower Show lead the way for upcoming trends, and house plants are where it’s at.

We’re seeing the start of interior green walls using moss, ferns and other hardy plants which survive in harsh conditions.

For advice and ideas for your garden project, visit https://bespokeoutdoorspaces.co.uk/

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