11 gardening trends for 2019 – garden design and plant ideas

Society of garden designers

The New Year brings a multitude of new ideas for our gardens, from bright colors to eco-friendly planting and hanging houseplants.

Here, the leading designers from the Society of Garden Designers (SGD) share their predictions for new garden design trends for 2019, including planting, materials, and design styles that we can expect to see in our gardens this year.

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Gardens on climate change

Gardening for a changing climate is expected to be a key trend for 2019.

Designer Sue Townsend MSGD says she is creating greener gardens to cope with the extreme weather conditions experienced in the UK in recent years.

Her advice is to plant the right plants for the conditions of each garden, to store the water, and to allow excess water to be collected and then dissipated into the soil.

Joe Perkins MSGD agrees, saying he frequently designs drought tolerant planting programs. He has also noticed that his clients are less inclined to pamper plants with state-of-the-art irrigation systems as they find it more environmentally friendly to use plants that can get by. All alone.


Hanging indoor plants

Sculptural and architectural plants will dominate in 2019.

“The growing popularity of houseplants is reflected outdoors in exotic style plants with architectural leaves and stems making bold statements indoors and out,” says Joe Perkins MSGD.

Joe also predicts that we’ll see more hanging plants in our gardens. Not traditional hanging baskets, but plants with foliage, color and texture that can be used as accessories in addition to pots and planters.


Inside meets outside

Designers say the colorful approach to interiors will creep into the garden in 2019.

Barbara Samitier MSGD expects industrial and reclaimed materials and encaustic tiles to be increasingly used in urban gardens to complement growing interior trends.


Plants get bold

Darren Hawkes predicts the arrival of bold prints, contrasting colors and the inclusion of large leafy plants.

He thinks we should “bring the kitsch to the garden” by introducing bedding plants into brightly colored planters, or by letting Pompon Dahlias take center stage.


Wild and perennial meadows

Many designers experimented with wildflower and perennial meadows in 2018, and this trend is expected to continue into the New Year.

The good news is, you don’t need a large lot to incorporate them into your garden, as Sue Townsend MSGD explains.

“I really enjoyed creating small to medium sized meadows in most of the gardens I have designed this year,” she says.

“The most exciting adventure was sowing my first perennial meadow. It will take a few years to establish properly, but my clients love to see it develop. In a few years, it will be interesting from April to the end of November with relatively little maintenance.


Gabion walls

Louise Harrison-Holland MSGD and Barbara Samitier MSGD both introduce more gabion-style walls and structures into their garden design.

Louise predicts that stonework will be used in a less structured way in 2019 and, when used vertically, will look more like a ‘rubble’ stone, but softened by planting.

“I noticed a move away from austere modernism towards a style that still retains a strong geometry but is tempered by a choice of materials in softer tones,” she says.


Log walls and ironwork

Designers are also obsessed with log walls.

“They can act as a feature wall, boundary or screen while providing necessary habitat for insects and a wide range of wildlife,” explains Barbara Samitier.

She also expects us to see more metal in the garden because “it’s such a versatile material that lends itself to so many applications.”

Barbara designs metal arches and pergolas for many of her current projects. She incorporated metal walkways, mirror stainless steel and perforated Corten steel in her gardens for the walls and pergola roofs.


New colors

Designer Jon Sims MSGD expects the rise of porcelain in garden design, which means it won’t be long before the demand for interior colors spills over into the outdoors.

He plans to move away from the use of stone replicas in the garden and increase the choice of colors and patterns in harsh landscape materials.

For a garden that suggests luxury, Joe Perkins MSGD recommends combining red and purple alongside gray and blue-gray in plant foliage.

He, too, is seeing a trend among young garden enthusiasts looking to arrange their outdoor space as they would an indoor room, using brightly colored accessories or furniture. Joe cautions that simplicity and repetition are the key to success here.


MDF goes outside

Prepare to see more charred wood siding in the gardens this year.

Jon Sims MSGD has experimented with Shou-Sugi-Ban and is also introducing raw concrete for shutter in his projects.

He predicts that more designers will use the external MDF in the design of gardens, as it also offers many options in terms of color, unusual shapes and durability.


Meeting places for teenagers

Karen Rogers believes the growing demand for backyard hangouts for teenagers will gain momentum in 2019.

Karen designs these gardens with secluded garden buildings or separate seating areas with outdoor fireplaces or fireplaces.

“These spaces require intelligent protection from neighbors as well as good lighting and planting that absorbs as much noise as possible,” she says.


Let nature in

Nature is coming to the fore in 2019, says Louise Harrison-Holland MSGD of Blue Tulip Garden Design, and we will see continued support for wildlife corridors across the wider landscape, particularly around the survival of our native hedgehog, whose number has dropped in years past.

“The move towards a slightly looser and wilder garden design style will help support this initiative,” says Louise.

She predicts the hedge will also become the number one choice for garden boundaries next year.

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