THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Jan08

Garden Design Trends 2015

Last year we posted a blog on Garden Design Trends for 2014. It was based on a piece in Gardens Illustrated detailing what a number of designers thought would be in vogue during the year.

It is such an interesting idea we are giving it a go again this year – with the caveat that any trend in the garden is more likely to take about 15 years before it becomes popular, rather than 12 months – so you have plenty of time to learn more about the idea before trying it out.

Here is a brief rundown of what they said last years trends might have been…

1) Good soil, water and food will become treasured.

2) Use meadow mixes at the edge of things.

3) More focus on plants.

4) Don’t landfill.

5) Use large planters.

We have been naughty when choosing the trends for a brief rundown – we chose the ones we like the most, the plant centred ones, the ones that ask to reduce waste. We feel these are important ideas, and wonder how big an affect they will have on the garden industry – there has been such a strong (and wonderful) push to get more children to start gardening that in a decades time these ideas may be more than throwaway trends – this may be how people live, as important to a household as the television or a hot shower.

We live in interesting times, and more importantly have the ability to shape these times by the way we garden right now…

Garden Design Trends for 2015

To the crux of this blog then, and this year our inspiration for garden design trends comes from the Gardenista website:

1) Black fences.

2) Painted house numbers.

3) Edible microgreens (we grew cress on a windowsill as a child. Now you get coriander and basil… Mark Diacono and Lia Leendertz talk here about microgreens.)

4) Stained raised beds.

5) Bamboo accessories.

6) Mini meadows.

7) Brown blooms (as in, don’t cut down your perennial borders until the spring…)

8) Floral confetti (inside and outside the home.)

9) Ribbon driveways (where grass grows between the slabs that have been laid.)

10) Forced bulbs (to bring spring a little earlier…)

It is interesting that they are less plant based than Gardens Illustrated. Yet grow your own still has influence on the list.

Designer Andrew Fisher-Tomlinson wrote this about trends for 2015:

“… the influence of designers is being overtaken by grass roots gardening and a desire to get more from the landscapes and plants that we use. As a result it is less likely that we will see any big fashionable trends in 2015 but more a move towards a relaxed style where rurality and the individual merits of shrubs in particular will be more valued.”

We wonder if Andrew is right when he talks about the influence of designers diminishing – the tools are there for people to learn what they need to learn, the cultural zeitgeist appears to be heading towards getting your hands dirty, getting outside, producing something by your own skill rather than just consuming – maybe he has it spot on? We wrote before about this interview with John Sales in ‘A Garden Design Problem… And A Solution’ where he suggests every act you make in the garden is an act of design – the process is more important than the starting point. Maybe Garden Consultant, someone who works alongside you for a decade, will be a better job title than Garden Designer?

In 2014 we were asked by a client to design his garden using only shrubs and trees – he didn’t want anything to do with fashionable meadows or great swathes of perennials competing against one another. We balked a little bit – it has been a long time since we have been asked for a garden that is primarily woody – and it shook our composure to stop thinking in terms of layers of plants that compete with each other for space and nutrients, and to return again to the slower, stronger structures shrubs provide in a garden.

This client did something wonderful for us – he forced us to reorientate our thoughts about garden design and stop allowing our ideas to ‘trend’ towards packed perennial borders. It was a fantastic project and we hope to have more like it over the next year.

The garden doesn’t stop growing, neither should the way we think about our garden spaces – so good luck in your 2015 horticultural endeavours, whether you follow the latest trends or make a trend of your own!

Here you can read Part 2 of Garden Design Trends 2015.

For more reading, why not see our mischevious thoughts on Contemporary Garden Design.

Jan12

A Topiary Calendar – When To Prune

When do you prune? Below are a few pointers on when you need to think about your topiary and hedges this year, so you can make sure you clip at the best time and not waste any effort doing work you don’t need to do… January & February Roses, fruit trees and wisteria is where the focus lies. Yes, it is cold and the work can be unpleasant because you are often stood on a ladder with your secateurs, barely moving enough to warm the body, but get these jobs done well, with care, and you can enjoy the fruits …

READ MORE

Jan11

The English Garden Magazine – On Our Topiary Workshop

Last September when I and topiary artist (and mentor) Charlotte Molesworth ran a weekend of topiary masterclasses we had a visit from the garden writer Non Morris. You can read more about Non and her garden design work and writings here. She has written a lovely article for the February 2022 edition of The English Garden Magazine about her afternoon working with us and learning about topiary – I’m really thrilled by the piece, because she mentions not just a little of the wonderful history of Balmoral Cottage and how the garden grew, but also shares a little of how …

READ MORE

Nov17

Topiary Provocation Autumn 2021

This Autumn I have presented another ‘Topiary Provocation’ to keen gardeners and designers. If you want to know more about topiary, the report on what we discussed and where modern topiary is going can be read by clicking the link below: Topiary Provocation Report Autumn 2021 This report is free to post on your own website or blog, just credit Modern Mint, and don’t change anything within it. Alternatively you can just share it with keen friends… or enemies? I did a similar meet-up with garden designers in spring 2021. Here is where you can read the Topiary Provocation Spring …

READ MORE