Garden Design - Top Trends For 2013

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More and more people are taking to designing their own gardens, and the plants they are choosing to use are increasingly of native varieties. offers advice on these and other key trends which are likely to dominate garden design in 2013.

Garden design in 2013 looks set to go along with the prevailing trend of placing a greater emphasis on those things which are local, sustainable and comforting.

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Garden design in 2013 looks set to go along with the prevailing trend of placing a greater emphasis on those things which are local, sustainable and comforting. With budgets still tight, and with the influence of the slow food movement and an increasing general consciousness of ecological issues, all that is natural, native and down to earth looks set to prevail in the coming year. Here are a few key areas that are likely to feature large in the world of garden design in 2013.

Back to reality

As beautifully demonstrated by Cleve West’s Best in Show garden design at the 2012 Chelsea Flower Show, there is a growing fondness for gardens which look back to the Victorian and Edwardian eras. West’s understated design used topiary and native plants to create a garden that was both reminiscent of a bygone age and accessible to a modern sensibility. West’s garden, and others like it, will likely have a large influence on garden designers this year.

Along with nostalgia, another important area for gardens is touch. Grasses, reeds and perennials are all likely to feature prominently, as designers seek out those plants that can make a garden more tactile and engaging. The sense that a garden is something to be touched, and not just looked at, is a growing trend that looks set to continue in 2013.

Do it yourself garden design

Perennials and grasses can give a garden a very natural look and feel, and the suggestion of meadows and grasslands they provide is a very popular one in the present climate. Last year’s ‘Olympic Meadows’ by Nigel Dunnet at the Olympic Park in Stratford was a big influence in this regard, but so too is the current mood for things which ‘feel’ natural and homely, and suggest authenticity.

As the trend for gardening itself continues to grow, so will the numbers of people who want to try their hand at designing their own gardens. While this might not be good news for small-scale professional garden designers, it does mean that there is likely to be an increasing awareness of garden design principles and planting.

Another trend which is likely to flourish in 2013 is for home grown herbs. More and more people use herbs in cooking, and this means many will prefer to grow their own, rather than relying on supermarkets.

Bringing the outdoors in and the indoors out

The ‘room outside’ concept of the garden being an extension of the home, first written about by John Brookes forty years ago, has continued to have a tremendous influence on small-scale garden design that has spread to our choices of garden furniture. The idea that having tables and chairs in your garden that might look just as good in your conservatory, or even living room has raised the stakes for furniture designers in recent years, and greatly improved the design standards applied to modern garden furniture.

An increase in the popularity of innovative and attractive garden furniture sets is certain to continue. Thanks to the usability and attractiveness of the rattan weave, as well as the fact that it can be easily and neatly stored away, rattan cube garden furniture has become very popular, and looks set to be a big trend for the coming year.

So gardens in 2013 are likely to be soothing and homely, and made up of comparatively muted colours and tones, filled with native plants that can be touched and enjoyed, with innovative and appealing garden furniture sets.

In terms of garden design, there is plenty to look forward to in the coming year.

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Robert Worthy
Rattan Garden Furniture
01789 296800
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