Garden Design Trends 2018

Today we will be looking at Garden Design Trends in 2018.

Just so you are in the know about what is cool and what is not cool in the 12 months ahead….

For the past like, million years I have shared my thoughts on what the gardening industry tell us the latest trends are going to be.

If you are interested, you can see here the garden design trends for 2017.

Or take a peek at my favourite of all the posts I have written – Alternative Garden Design Trends. This is my individual take on what the latest garden design trends should be. They are facetious and silly, of course, but also classic ideas that will always be useful to your garden practise.

When are these going to become mainstream!

Garden Design Trends 2018

Wabi Sabi and the Art Of Imperfection

wabi sabi garden design trend

Wabi sabi is a Japanese view of the world, about accepting that things will change, degrade and fail. Yet in this degradation there is still beauty.

Imagine you have a cream carpet.

The first time the dog trails mud from the garden across it, you go mad! My carpet is ruined! Who let the dog in with muddy paws…..! AAAAAHHHHH…………. AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH…….. AAAHHHHH……!!!!!

You quietly say.

But as time goes on, you begin to worry less about the carpet.

The mud never came out from that time the dog ran across it with muddy paws. The red wine you spilt late on that Saturday night when slightly more tired and tiddly than you thought after a whole day spent at the kids school charity bake sale, well, that left a stain and what about that mark just to the left of the TV?

What is that and where did it come from?

You worry less because everything ages, changes and the energy required to be vigilant dissipates anyway. But what makes this change so Wabi Sabi is seeing these changes as…. as a life lived, a thing of beauty itself.

It is the perfect concept for gardening anyway, where life and death are a matter of course.

So get trendy in 2018 by making sure you love your gardening imperfections….!

garden design rend muddy dog

Embracing The Small Garden

We can only work with what we have, and as more houses are being built on ever less land we will have to deal with tinier, odd-shaped spaces in which to garden.

Which is not that big a problem if the trend for 2018 is simply a mindset change – learning to love what you have and make the best of it!

Do you see a theme emerging here in this years garden design trends?

Alfresco Dining

Perfect. If we get the sunshine….

Lots of magazines are pushing this, with photos of a beautiful patio stone surrounded by a few plants and a large table below a pergola.

Dine outside by all means this year but if building a pergola in the UK make sure the top is as open as possible. We barely get enough sunshine as it is, don’t block it out when it does come.

Closed roof pergolas are really for the strong Mediterranean sunshine….

Experimenting With What You Grow

tomatillo design trend

Look no further than the work of Mark Diacono, James Wong or, the best of the lot, the amazing people at Real Seeds.

Garden Visits – Seeking Inspiration

Can we recommend:

  • The Garden of Charlotte Molesworth
  • Ruston Old Vicarage in Norfolk
  • Lamorran Gardens in Cornwall
  • Great Dixter is pretty good too!

Multi-Purpose Sheds

Well, what a pointless garden design trend this is!

A shed?

Ooh! Be still my beating heart!

Apparently this is a thing we all should have in 2018. Great. Go for it. Make it all singing, all dancing and full of wi-fi.

Or if you can’t be bothered keeping up with the funky people, build a simple construction that is useful because it can be used to store your tools and also allow you to pot on sweetpeas out of the rain.

Something like this, yes?

shed garden trend



We have had the new perennial movement. Which is lovely – all those grasses and flowers just mucking in together, then standing through the winter with their beautiful silhouettes…. but now designers are getting bored and realising the judicious use of shrubs is a worthwhile idea to invest in.

Here are some tips for using shrubs in your borders.

Here are some tips for the shrubs you could use.

At this moment I am particularly enjoying Sarcococca, with its fragrance.

Any shrubs you have in mind for planting this year?

Other Garden Design Trends For 2018

  • Mossariums – What? What! Whatever…. go look at your neighbours block paved driveway if you are desperate for a mossarium….
  • Micro Greens – ties in with the lack of space our newest gardens are constricted by. Go, get growing them and add them to your diet.
  • Copper – this is not a trend. It is a way of life!
  • Environmental Responsibility – don’t see this as a trend either. Shouldn’t it just be the norm? Capture carbon, eat organic food, plant trees…. simple things you can do to encourage life on the planet.

So there you have it, another wonderful year for garden design trends. Or something like that. The magazines who push this stuff never fail to disappoint me in their unerring satisfaction with the pointless or mundane.

The best advice really is to ignore the trends and get outside into the garden. Nothing boring or uncool there!

Hope you enjoy your gardening this year and please sign up to our newsletter if you would love to know more!


Guanock House – Trainee Topiary Artist Needed

guanock 1

Guanock House needs a trainee topiary artist! Some of you may know it as the first home and garden of designer Arne Maynard, but is now owned and maintained by Michael Coleman and his wife Michelle. They offer meditation workshops and retreats there and it is as beautiful a house and garden as you could wish to visit. They called me in last Autumn to help shape up some of the topiary as it was all getting out of hand, but what it really needs is someone with a steady hand and lots of patience to take over the clipping …



Topiary In The Snow

Here are some photos of work I have been doing at the garden of Charlotte Molesworth in Kent. Snow and ice brings out the depth of the different planes and angles carved into the boxwood. A garden has to look beautiful in winter – and topiary (green architecture)  helps do that! For more topiary pictures, click here.


New Talk: How To Use Topiary In The Garden

topiary cold

How To Use Topiary In The Garden is my new talk, which I first gave last year via Zoom for the European Boxwood And Topiary Society. Returning to Zoom again, there are two dates available to see and hear the talk: March 16th – Book your ticket here April 6th – Book your ticket here The talk is great fun, perfect for keen gardeners or people who want to know how to improve their garden with hedges and architectural plants. How To Use Topiary In The Garden looks at how to move away from the idea topiary is twee or old-fashioned, …