Garden Design Trends for Summer 2023
Here is our pick of the biggest garden trends including living buildings, wisteria, mini meadows, lawn tapestries, eco-friendly gardens, resilient plants, wildlife habitats, colour planting, health and wellbeing garden spaces and the cottage garden.
These are by far the biggest outdoor themes influencing garden trends this season and this article will provide top tips for incorporating them at home.
Sam Jenkinson, garden expert at Tiger comments: “Sustainability will continue to play a huge role in garden design as we head towards Summer. Wilder spaces as well as living walls, roofs and doors will all be prominent in UK gardens as Britons look to increase wildlife and support the local biodiversity. Other themes driving these key trends are vibrant colour and varied garden textures, as well as nostalgic and quintessentially British plants and bulbs”.
Living walls have grown in popularity over the last few years with people ditching exposed hard lined structures like fences for free-flowing greenery that the local wildlife prefer. This Summer, we expect a full-fledged approach to the trend with garden buildings like sheds, summerhouses and log cabins being completely covered from roofs to walls and doors. Choose plants that are suitable for the conditions such as drought-tolerant species that can withstand direct sunlight and strong winds. Sedums and other succulents are popular choices for green roofs due to their resilience and low water requirements.
Tiger Tip - When creating your own plant covered building, make sure the garden room is strong enough to cope with the extra weight and pay particular attention to the roof when selecting plants.
Wisteria is having a huge moment in gardening right now and with Spring being a good time to prepare and plant it, Summer 2023 is expected to be a season that celebrates purple. The iconic climbing plant has a long history within British gardening and as people opt for more traditional gardens with elements of heritage incorporated throughout, it’s proving to be a popular choice for many. Pruning is crucial for wisteria to maintain its shape, control growth, and promote flowering.
Tiger Tip - In Summer, after flowering, prune back the new growth to around 10-15 cm to encourage the formation of wisteria flower buds for the next season.
Re-wilding is a huge theme for garden design this year with mini meadows an emerging micro-trend that gardeners are getting involved in. Mini meadows, also known as wildflower meadows or wildflower patches, are small-scale versions of traditional wildflower meadows designed to provide habitat for pollinators, support biodiversity, and add aesthetic beauty to gardens. When designing your own, native wildflowers and grasses that are adapted to your region's climate and soil conditions are typically the best choices, especially if your goal is attract an encourage your local wildlife.
Tapping into history and culture stretching back to the Victorian era, lawn tapestry has re-emerged this year as a playful garden trend to try for added visual interest. This unique and intricate landscaping technique involves creating intricate patterns or designs on a lawn using varying colours, plants and textures. The key to mastering the art is choosing plant varieties that have contrasting colours and growth habits. This includes plants with different foliage, flowering patterns, and heights. Common choices include low-growing plants such as creeping thyme, sedum, or chamomile for borders and filling spaces, while taller plants like grasses, herbs, or flowering perennials can be used for the main design elements.
Climate change is undoubtedly having an undeniable impact on garden trends, dictating choices like using less water, planting more varied plants, or sourcing materials ethically. Recently weather extremes in the UK have been exacerbated by a general temperature rise, meaning that garden choices are being shaped to cope with this change. From planting choices to creating outdoor relaxing and entertaining spaces that include wooden garden buildings such as log cabins, summerhouses and even pergolas. This means reducing the amount of water used, creating more plant diversity and choosing ethically and locally sourced materials.
Following on from this, with pollution and temperatures rising, it’s a good idea to look for drought-tolerant plants. While plants that can withstand drought can withstand higher temperatures, lowering the heat is the best long-term solution. It has been demonstrated that some plants actively enhance the microclimate of a garden and the nearby structures. For instance, plants like viburnum, English ivy, and jasmine can reduce the temperature of a building by 7 to 14 degrees Celsius. Additionally, by absorbing particulate matter, plants can capture pollution. Due to their smaller leaf size and shape, conifers have been found to be particularly adept at this.
Here are some ideas for creating a climate change resilient garden space.
Garden Plants for Pollution
Try box, bamboo, beech, holly and privet.
Garden Plants for Flooding
Consider pine, fir or cedar and long grasses.
Garden Plants for Cooling Walls
Fuchsia, jasmine and ivy are recommended.
Garden Plants for Insulation
Consider ivy, cherry laurel and viburnum
Garden Plants for Noise Pollution
Holly, conifer, juniper are good options.
Darker hues in planting such as plum, smoky purple and grey tones, interspersed with brief bursts of colour, are predicted to be in style and will provide a backdrop for the brighter hues of dotted, meadow-like flowers.
Garden designers are looking at innovative ways to incorporate wildlife habitats into gardens through clever landscaping and structural or sculptural elements. Perforated wooden bee posts, gabion planters and fencing or sheds with built-in insect houses will all become more popular.
Tiger Tip - Popping a bee house, bird house and hanging plant pots from your garden building or trees is a great way to encourage nature.
Gardens for Health and Well-being
There has been a change in how people view their gardens over the last few years. Gardens are now more widely considered as a valuable space for physical and mental health as well as for outdoor entertaining and socialising. In the post-pandemic world, we value being outside, connecting with nature, and the physical benefits of gardening much more. This is influencing the garden styles we select. A plant-filled haven is more likely to tick the box than a minimalist outdoor space.
Tiger Tip - You can also create a wellness room within your garden that provides additional space to focus on yourself and your well-being needs. It will be a great multifunctional space for meditation, yoga, a garden spa or simply a space to read and relax.
Many garden rooms such as a log cabin or summerhouse are the perfect environment to create a wellness room because they work as multifunctional spaces that are fit for work, play and leisure. Ensure your garden building is in a peaceful and private area of your garden which also receives ample natural light.
Cosy Cottage Garden
Popular since 2021, the cosy cottage garden or ‘cottagecore garden’ is here to stay and works in all garden spaces. Simply put, a cottagecore garden, is all about pastel colours, distinctively British blooms like roses and lavender, and a pleasingly "undone" appearance. It was inspired by charming cottage gardens of old. The planting style is laid-back and uses a mix of plants and foliage to product a tapestry of colour year after year.
It’s clear to see that developing trends for 2023 garden spaces include smart, creative design and what experts refer to as "environmentally healthy gardens." So, whether you own a garden, a balcony or backyard, it is possible to take elements of the latest garden trends and create yourself an oasis where you can simply relax and unwind.
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