modern garden with paving and resin

5 garden design ideas to consider in 2021

With all the hardship of 2020 came a positive – we were forced to spend more time in the garden. The first lockdown in spring, which was blessed with beautiful British weather, afforded many people an opportunity to reconnect with their outdoor space. This perhaps allowed fresh perspective to find ways of optimising the garden for ‘living’ in.

Lockdown 3 provides us with an opportunity to reflect on how the garden can be developed for another uncertain year ahead. Whatever happens, now is the time to plan your desired changes and make sure you have a space that suits your needs for.

We have put together five popular garden design ideas for 2021 to inspire you.

1. A garden for entertaining

Having an area to relax or entertain in can be successfully achieved no matter the size of your garden. The finished result can be an extension of your indoor living with the ability to bring your interior style to the outside.

There are many aspects to an outdoor living space to consider that bring together style and functionality. Contemporary paving (natural stone or porcelain) with carefully styled pots can create beautiful contrast to luscious surrounding planting. The furniture you choose can also add another beautiful element to the garden, adding a stylish element.

Placement of your ‘living’ area is also really important. Think about your options for a seating area and which you would prefer – are you able to capture rising sunlight in the morning or keep hold of the setting sun on a summer’s evening? If you are limited on options, think about how you can utilise light and heat sources so that you are able to enjoy the space at any time (without letting the weather hamper your enjoyment).

2. A kitchen garden

Kitchen gardens are suitable for the greener fingered or those willing to be more hands-on with their garden. Growing your own fruits and vegetables will bring you much closer to the lifecycle of your garden and you will reap the rewards once you get it right. 

As we become more accustomed to ‘the new normal’ having a kitchen garden forces us to spend more time away from the desk or electronic devices. There are vast benefits to mental health when you can break away to tend to a beloved crop outdoors.

Kitchen garden design does not have to be a traditional functional allotment style. Vegetable patches and herb beds can follow similar patterns to an ornamental garden. Using raised bed with crisp edges, and creating layers of colour with ornamental flowers in between, can create a beautiful ‘showpiece’ garden.

There is endless choice of colourful edibles for example blue-green cabbage, purple basil and golden sage – which can move your garden away from the more conventional kitchen garden.

Depending on your ambition, a kitchen garden can also include structures. Consider a greenhouse or orangery, which come in any size or style, adding a practical and beautiful space for growing and displaying more tender varieties.

3. Low maintenance garden design

Low maintenance does not need to mean boring. With the right design, a garden can be beautiful without the owner needing green fingers. There are endless options to create a garden that is easy to care for all year round – whilst being a space to enjoy spending your time in.

A minimalist style for the hard landscaping elements, using one or two textures, can look beautiful. The design can be as dynamic or simple as you prefer but will take a creative eye to get right.

Raised beds with a mixture of hardy plants can soften your surroundings, whilst using stylish pots and a variety of easy-care plants will draw the eye. Consider items such as art pieces or water features to add another element of unique beauty as a focal point.

4. A wild garden

Wild gardens are becoming more popular, particularly with the eco-conscious. A well-designed wild garden is teeming with life whilst being beautiful to look at. It will also help you be more mindful of your surroundings as you become accustomed to the seasonal cycle.

Even if you have a small urban garden, you can still bring in elements of a wild garden to your design which will attract new life. A professional garden designer will be able to transform your space to create an ecosystem using carefully selected planting (such as nectar-rich flowers, herbs, hedges and trees) to attract wildlife.

5. Living Walls

Living wall systems have become hugely popular with small urban gardens, as they are a beautiful way of introducing more plants than your ground space will allow. But they can have a practical use too, especially if your beautifully designed garden is blighted by unsightly fencing or walls, or you are overlooked.A living wall can also be easily achieved with a trellis or containers with climbing plants. By adding further height to your garden, you will gain more privacy should you wish – or simply add to the dynamic beauty.