The Rise And Rise Of The Garden
Well, obviously the garden hasn’t just become a thing. But it most definitely has become more of a thing in recent years, and 2022 is set to be a big one for our horticultural havens. The HTA, an organisation that represents the UK garden industry, estimated that three million new gardeners emerged during the pandemic, and with working from home here to stay, our gardens are set to receive even more of our attention than ever before. Gone are the days when a simple square lawn and border would suffice; our gardens are now an extension of our living space and personalities – a place in which to work, be creative and entertain.
The most prevalent lockdown garden trend was – of course – the emergence of the garden office or studio. For many of us, the pandemic was dominated by home-schooling young children, and trying to establish an effective work routine amongst the domestic chaos was more than a little trying. Those of us lucky enough to already have – or be able to build – an office in the garden (however bijou!) were rewarded with a tranquil bolthole and a real sense of separation between work and home, akin to the old commute – even if it was just a hop and a skip down the garden path.
As with many aspects of the pandemic, a return to simpler times was played out though our relationship with our gardens; they became productive and important sources of food when the supply chain was tested to its limits. When the supermarkets ran out of produce, the ability to grow vegetables, fruit, flowers and herbs at home was empowering – giving us a ‘Good Life’ sense of self-sufficiency. Not to mention the positive effect it has on the environment and our health – both physical and mental.
Whether you use your garden predominantly for office space, growing yummy things, entertaining or simply for children to run wild in – or most likely a combination of these – undoubtedly those of us who had a garden during those difficult months were incredibly grateful for them, and it has taught us not to take them for granted.
If you’ve still got unfinished business in your garden (and let’s face it, a garden is never ‘finished’), here are Faro’s predictions for the three biggest trends of 2022:
Flexing The Outdoor Space
The demands we place on our outdoor buildings will continue to diversify. Cheaper and often less complicated than extending our homes in terms of planning, the buildings we place in our gardens will be multi-functional, housing offices, gyms, yoga studios, craft & workshop spaces, loggia or covered entertaining areas and, of course, the occasional spare bed for an overnight guest.
Don’t forget, outdoor structures don’t have to be permanent or cripplingly expensive. At Faro, we whip up a 16-metre yurt throughout the summer. It’s fabulous for evenings that are not-quite-warm-enough to be spent fully outside. I dress it with cosy cushions, pretty throws, add lots of solar powered lamps and invite friends over for an aperitif. During the summer holidays, my boys also use it for intrepid outdoor sleepovers.
The Outdoor Kitchen
Forget about that rusty old BBQ, outdoor kitchens are set to be all-singing, all-dancing this year. Make your kitchen bespoke and luxurious by adding built-in grills, pizza ovens, bar seating, sinks, cabinetry, and work tops. Maximise your time outside by doing all your prep as well as your cooking in the sunshine. A covered area and a fire pit give even more flexibility for year-round alfresco dining.
Add a beautifully dressed table and some atmospheric lighting as the sun goes down for the ultimate outdoor experience. We love to use a combination of vibrant candlesticks, block printed napkins and colourful glassware.
The Sustainable Garden
We’re aware of it in every aspect of our lives, and there’s nowhere better to embrace green living than in your garden. Neat gardens are out; rather than focusing on hard landscaping, embrace a free, loose approach to your planting with layered grasses and foliage. The trend for rewilding is bigger than ever. Allow parts – or all – of your garden to go totally wild and enjoy the rich and diverse plants and wildlife that this encourages. It’s low maintenance and high reward. Use natural materials wherever possible – both in your furniture choices, and your accessories.
And – of course – the ultimate badge of honour in sustainable living is to grow what you can yourself. Whether it’s fruit, veg or flowers, your garden has the potential to fill your fridge or vase with relatively little effort. It means less grocery shopping, fewer air miles, and delicious (or pretty!) seasonal produce on tap.
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