15 Garden Trends That Will Be Huge in 2018

This is the year you FINALLY embrace alfresco dining.


Whether you're in need of a complete garden re-design or simply want to upgrade what you already have, we've compiled the top trends of 2018 with insight from gardening experts and designers on planting, materials, and design styles.

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1 Embracing Alfresco
Alfresco Festoon Light Canopy
Lights4Fun / Kristy Noble Photography

Spring and summer is the ideal time for enjoying the outdoor space, and is set to be bigger than ever this year. Outdoor entertaining and kitchen areas will be a key trend, says . "It's perfect for those of us who lack space in our kitchens or dining rooms, as we can move entertaining friends and family outside," they explain. "Create a dedicated area with comfy furniture and mood lighting, complete with a sunken fire pit, BBQ or pizza oven."

2 Vibrant Color Patterns
John Lewis House by John Lewis Salsa 2-seater garden sofa £140, House by John Lewis Salsa outdoor side table £79, House by John Lewis Salsa garden chair, (set of 2) £140
John Lewis

"Applying muted tones like grey to your woven furniture is increasingly popular, adding an element of sophistication to your outdoor living area," says the team at . "However, as well as the popularity of natural colors and finishes, more of us are becoming braver in our outdoor furniture choices – looking to inject pops of vibrant color into our outdoor spaces using contemporary furniture designs and cutting-edge textile design."

3 Wabi-Sabi
Japanese dry garden
Getty ImagesMIXA

"There's an inspiring new way of looking at your garden which is good news for the more hands-off amongst us," say the gardening enthusiasts at The Greenhouse People. "Wabi-sabi, an acceptance of the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death, is nothing new for the Japanese who have been practicing this art since the 15th century, but for the Western world it couldn't be further away from the never-ending quest for perfection."

4 Balcony Gardening
Bistro chairs and table on balcony with view in the yard
Getty ImagesWestend61

has been on a steady rise in recent years, but now, with more people living in rented properties or with little or no outdoor space in city areas, this new approach to gardening is proving to be popular.

5 Compact Sheds
The Posh Shed Company, garden shed
The Posh Shed Company

"Garden space is at a premium for most homeowners," explains Richard Frost, managing director at , who had a 300% increase in sales of its Chelsea shed in 2017. "The Chelsea is unique for a shed as it features built-in shelving on the outside so that capacity is maximized without internal space being compromised."

6 Multi-Use Sheds
The Corner Garden Potting Shed (and mini Greenhouse) from Rowlinson

And the shed trends don't stop there. .. According to Posh Shed, are also growing in popularity. "A shed isn't just a place for storing tools anymore," Frost explains. "The she-shed has been a big trend in the past few years and we're now seeing people using sheds to serve a more practical functional space."

7 Growing Your Own
Flymo Garden Trends 2018 - Grow Your Own Protein

"Coupled with rising food prices and a growing appreciation of organic produce, in 2018 the grow your own movement will really see a resurgence," explains The Greenhouse People.

8 Solar Lights
Solar Damasque Garden Lantern, The Glow Company
The Glow Company

Posh Shed explains that 2018 will see "growth in the solar market in the garden," and not just for ornamental lighting, but for practical solutions too. Frost adds: "We now offer solar hubs with our sheds to grant gardeners the ability to charge their phone or even power a light so they can stay outdoors longer."

9 Copper in All Forms
Paul Hensey - Green Zone Design copper2
Garden by Paul Hensey FSGD

A key interior and , copper, both as a material and color, will make a big impact in 2018, according to . Weathering to a beautiful bluish-green patina, hard landscaping in copper can provide a wonderful sense of warmth to planting and a contrast to surrounding gravel, stone or wood.

10 Exotic Shrubs
Spindle (Euonymus oxyphyllus) fruit split open with seeds exposed, Yorkshire, UK
Getty ImagesChristina Bollen

It's all about shrubs this year, say designers from the . It'll be a move away from naturalistic perennials and grasses to more exotic and unusual specimens.

11 Wood-Effect Porcelain Tiles
Parlor Wood Effect Tiles - Garden - Walls and Floors Ltd
Walls and Floors Ltd

Already popular in interior design, wood-effect look set to become a trend in garden design, suggests designer John Wyer FSGD, who first used them two years ago on his award-winning garden at . Hard-wearing, scratch, stain and heat-resistant, in 2018 we'll see them used for both flooring and cladding in a variety of patterns.

12 Low-Level Woodland Plants
Low level woodland planting garden
Garden by Adolfo Harrison MSGD

This year we can expect to see more low-level woodland-style planting, mixing ferns, mosses, anemones and tufted grasses, says garden designer . This will work particularly well in tricky, shaded city gardens.

13 Asymmetry
Garden by Cassandra Crouch MSGD
Cassandra Crouch

"Prepare to see a contemporary update on the with large-scale natural indigenous stone," says Cassandra Crouch MSGD. Gardens will also feel less structured, as geometric lines and hard surfaces are softened by planting, and edges are broken down to create the feeling of a garden that has been there for years.

14 Incorporating Mindfulness
Spring planting in the Millenium Garden. Shepherd House Garden
Getty ImagesCraig Roberts

, the ancient Buddhist tradition of immersing yourself in the present moment, has become a huge buzzword in wellbeing over the past few years, and it's set to have a "strong influence over how we design and appreciate our gardens in 2018," predicts The Greenhouse People.

15 Limestone
The M&G Garden. Designed by: James Basson. Sponsored by: M&G Investments. RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017.
RHS / Neil Hepworth

It's no surprise that limestone is set to make a return to the domestic garden. This year, we'll see the introduction of "harder-wearing mid-toned stones rather than the bright white varieties of a few years ago, reflecting the natural, warm color palettes popular in interior design."

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