The way we use our gardens is changing – we no longer simply want a space to let the dog stretch their legs, barbeque a few days a year, or grow a handful of vegetables. If the pandemic has made one thing clear, it’s how valuable our space is! In 2021 we started to see people embracing the trend of creating outdoor living spaces in their gardens, but 2022 is set to be the year where these garden trends explode.
If you’re planning a garden makeover in 2022, read on to learn the top trends so you can work them into your plans.
We all longed to work from home prior to 2020, and of course, the pandemic brought that reality to the world. Whether you’re going to continue working from home permanently in 2022 or part-time, moving the home office outside is one of the top trends. Here are a few of the best ways we’re seeing home offices work in the garden:
Combine these ideas with a patio, a small water feature, and some relaxing plants like bamboo or lavender and suddenly the workday won’t look quite so daunting.
Forget the days of setting a small charcoal grill out on a wall in your garden, 2022 is the year we seriously update our outdoor dining. Whether you’re thinking of investing in a grill master-sized pellet grill or a purpose-built pizza oven, this is the year to do it.
Outdoor pizza ovens were once something only seen in warmer climates, but the delicious results have tempted us Brits to install them in our own gardens. There’s nothing quite like stone-based pizza, plus they provide a heat source so you won’t be running back inside in the cooler months.
Install an outdoor counter for a true outdoor cooking experience, and if you’re really thinking big, a mini-fridge installed beneath the counter takes everything to the next level. Add a potted kitchen nearby (herbs or salad leaves in terracotta pots of various sizes) to add fresh herbs to your recipes, or simply enjoy how it looks with your outdoor kitchen space.
Don’t forget the tried-and-true garden bar, either. While they’re not as popular as they were in 2020 (no one saw the trend of being unable to walk into a bar coming) but they’re still great places to relax and entertain.
Ideal for gardens that benefit from full sun, gazebos and similar garden structures are making a comeback. While wooden structures will always be tried-and-true, there are now aluminum options that are more durable and faster to erect. Just beware of cheap options – they won’t last as well as more permanent structures, but are a good option if you’re looking to put something up for a party and take it down again. Drape some semi-sheer curtains on or from your gazebo or pergola for added privacy.
While split levels inside will stay largely in the 60s and 70s for the time being, split levels outside are much more timely. Split levels in the garden help separate the spaces, which can be particularly beneficial in gardens that are large and flat, without much character, and those on a slope.
Steps that lead to patios help create focal points and sitting areas, and they help inspire a sense of curiosity and a reason to step outside the back door. Raising and varying the levels of your plants can also help, as it helps fill lines of vision from the house.
It’s also a great solution if the natural slope of your garden makes your garden too slippery and impractical to use in the colder months, because the flat paths and stairs make it much easier to navigate.
Similar to the trend of outdoor cooking, is outdoor spas. Hot tubs first became popular about twenty years ago, but technology has developed and now there’s more choice than ever before. Consider sinking your hot tub into the ground and surrounding it with a deck for a full spa-at-home experience, or add steps up to your hot tub to make sure it looks well worked into your garden décor.
Other outdoor spa options is to add a sauna pod to your garden – these are particularly popular in Europe in cooler countries like Austria and northern Germany, and certainly give your garden a luxury feel. Work them into a space with a patio, gazebo, plenty of seating and smart planting to ensure you never want to spend money on going to the spa again!
Making the most of your garden is difficult from late autumn through to early spring as the days become so short that it’s easy to feel cooped up inside. Fortunately, the addition of smart lighting can help draw you outside, or at the very least, help remind you that there’s a world beyond your back door.
Of course, in the better months quality garden lighting really comes into its own, making your garden spaces places you want to use all evening long. Thing about using string lights, fire pits, ground-level lights, and lights mounted in gazebos and along fencing. Just avoid the one-light flood-light look.
Turning your garden into multiple outdoor rooms means you need to be smart with how you plant – both so it looks its best from wherever you are in the garden, helps you divide spaces, enjoy your garden more, and spend less time caring for the plants you have. Consider gardening vertically instead:
Low maintenance climbing plants are always going to be best, though don’t forget that those that grow quickly and easily are also those that will need pruning, so try to balance ease with how much maintenance you’re willing to do down the line. Here are some of the best low-maintenance climbing plants:
Using raised beds is another trend that’s making gardening easier and more accessible – whether you want to create beds full of lavender bushes, perennials, or vegetables. Use them around the edge of your garden, to divide spaces, or to make your vegetable gardening more convenient. Raised beds are something people often don’t consider if they like dabbling in the garden but sing their praises of when they have them – they’re much easier on the knees, back and neck, no matter your age. Used railway sleepers are a common choice, but using red brick is another long-lasting option.
After the past few years and the trend toward busier and busier lives, most people are looking for more ways to relax at home (hence the outdoor spa we talked about above!) and the sound or sight of water is restorative and relaxing. While big fountains may not be your thing, small water features like water overflowing a decorative ball or flowing over rocks works well in any size of garden, but if you’ve ever thought about getting a pond, now is the perfect time to do so.
Of course, lawns are often an essential part of the garden, but caring for them can be more trouble than it’s worth. Artificial lawns have become better quality than ever before and fool most people, especially in the summer months. They’re soft, long-lasting, and durable, which makes them the perfect low-maintenance option for play areas for dogs, pets, and adults alike. If you choose an artificial lawn, just make sure you invest in quality – cutting corners here isn’t worth it. If you need more help choosing the right artificial grass, read our guide here.
If you have a small garden or simply like to create the illusion of more space, mount a mirror on the wall at the end of your garden path or behind a sitting area to create the illusion of more space. Tuck it within some ivy or behind some bamboo to give it that secret garden feel.
As we’ve been talking about throughout this article, gardens in 2022 are all about the different spaces you can create within your garden. Of course, having four different patios all with dining furniture is a missed opportunity. Instead, think about using different seating options, such as:
To overcome the cooler weather, many are turning to outdoor heaters and chimneys to keep warm while staying outside once the sun sets, or on those cooler days. Fire pits are one of the most popular options, but if you’ve got the budget, a cast iron or stone chimney (often called a chimenea or chiminea for the free-standing Spanish version) is a great option.
The good news about all these options is they’re all compatible with one another, provided you have the space. Don’t be afraid to divide up your garden as you would a floor plan of a home, creating different purpose-built spaces for different activities, divided by plants, trellis, or different levels. If you need help with your garden design, we’re here to help! We offer a full garden design service in Essex to help you create your dream garden. To find out more about how we can work with you, click here.