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!


Brought By Bike – Topiary Making

Brought By Bike is an excellent website I found last month, where businesses offer their services by (of course) bicycle. Modern Mint and my topiary work is now live on the site offering my topiary services, via bike, to the following two postcodes – CM1 CM2 Now I can imagine I will need to borrow a ladder should anyone have a larger shrub, but most town gardens in the Chelmsford area have a need not just for privacy but to let light into the house… so a balance must be struck when shaping hedges and shrubs to cover both needs. …



Transforming Topiary

topiary transforming

Transforming Topiary – a video made for the European Boxwood And Topiary Society by Charlotte Molesworth and I, in her garden. We take a dog topiary and work out how to update it, turning it into a bird. Worth a watch I think, and hopefully useful to you! You can see more of my clipping on the topiary page. Or read my Spring 2021 Topiary Provocation here.


Phillyrea From 1682

Worlidge Phillyrea

Phillyrea is one of my favourite plants for topiary. I have been using it for quite a few years as a specimen shrub, mostly due to the fact it clips well and has a tough habit – all good characteristics for a topiary plant. It also has a  reputation for being an excellent nectar source for bees… Read more about Phillyrea here. Mentioning this to Malcolm Thicke, a market garden historian and writer, he sent me a some photos of topiary and phillyrea mentioned by John Worlidge in Systema Horticulturae from 1682…. incredible! He also mentioned to me that in …