With the arrival of spring, and summer on the way, the garden is now a priority for many of us. From designing the garden of our dreams to choosing the right flowering plants for a colourful display, there’s lots to do to create the perfect outdoor space.
According to Argos, searches of gardening products at argos.co.uk are up 43 per cent compared to last year, with garden chairs up 60 per cent and searches for hot tubs up an incredible 154 per cent. In fact, Argos is tipping 2018 to be the year of the garden. Based on sales data, the retailer has collated its predictions for what will be hot in gardens this spring/summer and for the rest of the year. Take a look…
Argos says: ‘To combat a lack of outside space, urban dwellers are turning to vertical planting. Creating living walls of plants maximises greenery in small backyards and balconies. The trend is already gaining traction on Instagram – #verticalgarden has now been used almost 150,00 times.’
HB says: Whether it’s using wall planters or trailing plants, vertical gardening is a great way to make the most of your space, especially for those who have little to no space at all.
Argos says: ‘Argos has seen a 41 per cent rise in searches for decorative pots and garden ornaments over the last year, a trend which it attributes to “garden boasting”. The phenomenon, which has been linked to the popularity of social media platforms Instagram and Pinterest, has resulted in Brits taking increased pride in the look and feel of their outdoor spaces. In fact, #instagarden has been used more than 700,000 times on Instagram.’
HB says: We’re a houseproud nation and that extends to the great outdoors, too. Spring and summer is when we really get to see all of our beautiful flowers in the garden bloom so it’s no surprise that we want to show it off, especially in this digital age.
Argos says: ‘The rise in “garden boasting” has also spurred on competition between Brits to create the most picture-worthy lawn, whether by mowing stripes or even zig zag patterns into their lawns. Argos has seen a 42 per cent rise in searches for McGregor lawn mowers, suggesting Brits are keen to get out mowing.’
HB says: Mowing the lawn and keeping on top of it is probably one of the less favoured gardening tasks, but a well-kept lawn speaks a thousands words. If you need some inspiration, take a look at Stuart Grindle’s impeccable Doncaster garden which won Britain’s Best Lawn last year.
McGregor lawn mowers from Argos SHOP NOW
Getty ImagesSusan Walker
Argos says: ‘Following news of Pantone’s colour of the year Ultra Violet the trend has seemed to touch every aspect of our lives… and gardens are no exception. Purple plants such as Lavender and Bowles’s Mauve as well as purple garden decorations are on the rise, so expect to see them in a garden near you.’
HB says: Whether you lean towards lavender, soft iris or aubergine, purple is a colour that symbolises elements of confidence, counterculture, unconventionality, mindfulness and mystical and spiritual qualities. Use it in your garden for a rich burst of colour.
Lavender Plant – Hidcote, from £9.99, Suttons BUY NOW
Erysimum Plant – Bowles Mauve, from £9.99, Suttons BUY NOW
Natural hedge walls
Getty ImagesJulia Davila-Lampe
Argos says: ‘For those lucky enough to enjoy a larger outside space and who are looking to create different areas, garden ‘rooms’ with natural walls made of hedges are the perfect solution. Argos has seen a 10 per cent increase in sales of Spear & Jackson hedge trimmers over the last year as this practical form of topiary enjoys rising popularity.’
HB says: Hedges are great for privacy and topiary is a great way to bring some stylised art to your outdoor space. And remember, there are lots of other possibilities for interesting hedges beyond the traditional yew or beech.
Spear & Jackson Cordless Hedge Trimmer, £49.99, Argos BUY NOW
Argos says: ‘The love of all things Scandinavian continues into 2018, and this time it’s our gardens. The Swedes and Finns are known for not letting the cold climate stop them from enjoying the great outdoors and it seems we Brits are following suit, as Argos has seen a 154 per cent increase in sales of hot tubs over the last year.’
HB says: Once a symbol of household status, hot tubs are now more accessible than ever, but they’re still a luxury for many, especially with garden space at a premium.
Argos says: ‘In 2018 we expect to see a further movement towards gardens that not only look nice but also benefit local wildlife. From hedgehog highways to bird playgrounds and plants which encourages bees and insects. Argos has seen a 22 per cent rise in searches for products designed to help our animal friends enjoy our gardens as much as we do.’
HB says: From hedgehogs to butterflies, it’s important to create a natural habitat in your garden for wildlife to thrive. There are many other ways to make your garden wildlife-friendly – take a look at some ideas here.
Bringing indoor living outside
Argos says: ‘Gardens in 2018 have never been at such a premium, so those who have them want to make them as liveable as possible – almost creating another living room outside. Searches for garden chairs are up 60 per cent on last year and outdoor coverings such as gazebos, awnings and marquees are rising in popularity.’
HB says: Other than providing a haven for plants to thrive, gardens can be great spaces to socialise and relax with family and friends. To do this, zone spaces for alfresco dining and relaxation and deck out areas with outdoor furniture.
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Argos says: ‘With the trend for entertaining at home showing no sign of letting up, we’re expecting to see this extend to the garden. Argos has seen a 22 per cent rise in searches for garden furniture and outdoor games. From giant Jenga and croquet sets to large scale outdoor chess boards, we’re predicting this will be the year of the garden party.’
HB says: If your garden is big enough, there’s no doubt that when hosting garden parties you’ll have to hand a range of outdoor games as entertainment which will provide hours of endless fun.
Argos says: ‘Imperfect gardens are the favoured style of the moment as people embrace asymmetry and less structured styles of planting. This trend reflects the ancient Japanese art of wabi-sabi which is currently enjoying popularity in the west. A great way to watch nature takes it course.’
HB says: Sometimes we can put so much effort into making something perfect that we don’t have the time to enjoy it. The Japanese concept of wabi-sabi can help you create a happier home and feel more content, rather than always wishing for more.
Argos says: ‘From robotic auto-mowers that cut the grass to smart soil sensors that can send you a text if your plants aren’t getting enough light and moisture, the future of gardening is high-tech. In the last six months Argos has introduced seven new robo-mowers to help keep gardens in top condition.’
HB says: With the smart home becoming commonplace we’re not surprised to see this influencing gardens too. These high-tech garden gadgets will ultimately make gardening easier.
Glow in the dark gardens
Argos says: ‘During the winter many of us only see our gardens in the dark during the week. Argos has seen a 56 per cent increase in searches for outdoor lighting such as fairy lights and lanterns in trees, to spotlights in flower beds and illuminated pathways. It’s clear we’re looking to maximise our garden enjoyment, even in the dark.’
HB says: Lighting is one of the most important elements when decorating a room, and now, it’s no longer becoming an afterthought when it comes to the garden. Other than its functional use, it’s great for providing atmosphere, which is especially useful when entertaining.