Property Blog and News / Top garden trends for 2020 from The Society of Garden Designers

Top garden trends for 2020 from The Society of Garden Designers

7 January 2020


Property Expert

The Society of Garden Designers has spoken to some of the top talent in the industry to predict the garden trends that are likely to be most popular in 2020, from edible forests to patterned gardens.

Belgian Design

Belgian design style, which has been described as ‘luxurious simplicity,’ is expected to come to the fore in 2020. Garden designer Mia Witham, says: “I am seeing some great garden products coming out of Belgium, which are typically high-end and have great form.

“I particularly love the beautiful clay pots by Atelier Vierkant, the woven fibre fencing and screens produced by Forest Avenue and the striking garden lights by Wever & Ducre. I’ll be using a lot more of them in 2020.”

Curvilinear forms

The symmetrical urban garden was particularly popular during the last decade but Mark Laurence, Member of the Society of Garden Designers (MSGD), thinks 2020 will see, “a turning away from the linear, contemporary town garden to something wilder and more curvilinear.”

He continues: “Curvilinear forms appear more natural in a garden environment and they connect us back to the flow of natural forms in the landscape. It’s a distinctive move away from the style of crisp, linear raised beds set against horizontal timber trellis that we have become so familiar with.”

Less is more

James Smith MSGD, design director at Bowles & Wyer, thinks the philosophy of ‘less is more’ will become more prominent next year – and fellow MSGD Tracy McQue agrees, saying: “I’m looking forward to planting multiple grasses and a simple palette of perennials to make the lightest of design touches.”

Edible forest and romantic veg plots

With more people using foraged food for cooking, Mia Witham thinks edible forests could become the new vegetable garden.

“I’m currently designing an edible forest in Suffolk,” she says. “It is a carefully designed, semi-wild ecosystem of plants organised in layers with trees making up the canopy layer, shrubs providing a middle layer and perennial plants covering the ground.

“Unlike a traditional vegetable plot where annual plants are mainly grown, edible forests require minimum input for maximum output.” Libby Russell MSGD, of Mazzullo + Russell, agrees.

She mixes fruit and vegetables together with cut flowers to give a romantic flavour to gardens and believes that, “as long as there is a very clear underlying design in the garden you can overlay many layers, provided they create beauty and romance.”

Planting for wildlife

Creating sustainable, wildlife-friendly and beautiful spaces needs to be at the forefront of everything we do in 2020 no matter what the size or location of the gardens we are designing, says Tracy McQue.

“Water features are integral to wildlife-friendly spaces and ideas such as bee-friendly boundary hedges are simple to incorporate into any garden,” she says. Jane Brockbank MSGD agrees.

“People are much more interested in making gardens that are good for wildlife now,” she says. “We are all taking our gardens far more seriously in regards to the important part they can play.”

Libby Russell believes planting is evolving, “to use many more wild plants that are great for bees, birds, pollinators and invertebrates,” and Mandy Buckland MSGD, of Greencube, says: “I am incorporating meadow areas, native hedging, gaps in fences for hedgehog movement and nectar rich planting into my work.”

The patterned garden

Pattern and texture will be creeping back into our gardens in 2020, says Jane Brockbank, who brings both into her designs by creating faceted planting zones and blurring the line between the hard landscaped and soft planting areas in the garden, using gravel planting to manage the transition between the two.

Mandy Buckland thinks the trend for creating an outdoor room will also live on and we will move away from regular formatted paving.

“There are lots of outdoor ceramic tiles on the market now,” she says. “We are installing them as garden ‘rugs’ or design features within landscaped areas to create pattern, contrast and textural changes. It is much the same decorating a dining and living room in the house.”

For help bringing your garden bang up to date in 2020, the Society of Garden Designers provides access to garden designers right across the UK, offering a complete garden design service including planting plans, hard landscape design, construction drawings and specialist design elements.

The Find a Designer search facility on the SGD website allows you to search by name, postcode, county or country. Take a look at the SGD for more information.