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.

Mar15

Topiary Provocation For Garden Designers

snow topiary

I am running a ‘Topiary Provocation’ for garden designers, via Zoom, over the next few weeks. Dates are: Tuesday 23rd March, 10am Wednesday 24th March 7.30pm Thursday 8th April, 7.30pm The ‘provocation’ is for garden designers anywhere in the world, is free to join and will last about 45 minutes. Places are limited to 12 per session, as I want to make sure we can share ideas about topiary and how it can be used (and managed) in a modern garden – especially if skill level and maintenance time is low. I hope that I can provoke a discussion around …

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Mar15

Talk By The Team At Waltham Place

waltham place

A talk by the team at Waltham Place is being given on April 14th 2021, at 2.15pm. Tickets are free and it is via Zoom. Get Your Free Ticket I am hosting, the talk is set up by the European Boxwood & Topiary Society and it promises to be an extraordinary hour looking at one of my absolute favourite gardens of all time. (Designed by one of my favourite garden writer’s….) Brilliant topiary and a philosophy of gardening that puts wildlife first, I absolutely cannot wait for this talk… do join in and book your free ticket. Get A Waltham …

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Mar15

Alternatives To Boxwood For Hedges

organic topiary blob

Alternatives to boxwood are hard to come by – nothing has the small, easy to clip, reflective leaf of a boxwood shrub. But as we reach April and the boxwood caterpillar begins to wake up, hungry to defoliate our boxwood topiaries and hedges, you may wonder what plant you can use as a replacement in the garden should the worst happen – and the caterpillar destroys all! (For more information on the boxwood caterpillar, visit the European Boxwood & Topiary Society website. Their research and hard work has meant all is not lost in the fight to rid the UK …

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