Top designers share garden trends for 2019

The New Year has finally arrived and with it some tips from the Society of Garden Designers (SGD) who have asked some of their leading designers to share their predictions with us for the new trends in garden design for 2019.

So, what planting, materials and design styles can we expect to see in our gardens this year and will the colourful approach to interiors be creeping into our gardens also?

First off is Climate Change Gardening, set to be a key trend for 2019 but to be fair one that has been occupying us for a few years now, although currently it is clear this is becoming more critical. Designer, Sue Townsend MSGD says she is creating more ecological gardens to cope with the extreme weather conditions we have been experiencing recently. Sue advises us to plant the right plants for the conditions of each garden, to store water and to allow excess water to be collected then dissipated through the soil.

Also, on this theme, Joe Perkins MSGD agrees with Sue, saying he frequently designs planting schemes that are drought-resistant and has noticed that his clients are less inclined to pamper plants with state-of-the-art irrigation systems because they feel it more environmentally responsible to use plants which can look after themselves.

(above: Garden by Barbara Samitier)

Interior meets exterior may well be creeping into gardens in 2019 according to Darren Hawkes and Barbara Samitier MSGD. Darren predicts the arrival of bold print, clashing colours and the inclusion of large leaved plants in our gardens. He thinks we should be “taking kitsch into the garden” by introducing bedding plants in bright coloured planters and even suggests letting Pompon Dahlias take centre stage.

Barbara, however, expects industrial and reclaimed materials and encaustic tiles to be used more and more in urban gardens to complement the growing interior trends.

We can also expect more Wild and Loose designs with nature coming to the fore says Louise Harrison-Holland MSGD. Support for wildlife corridors in the wider landscape for example, especially around the survival of our native hedgehog, whose numbers have plummeted in recent years. Louise says: “The move toward a slightly looser, wilder style of garden design will help support this initiative.”

Jon Sims MSGD, echoes this and points out that we will see a move towards more natural, less manicured gardens, mixing strong architectural styles with an abundance of naturalistic planting.

(pictured above: Planting by Sue Townsend MSGD)

During 2018 lots of designers were experimenting with wildflower and perennial meadow planting and this is likely to continue in 2019. Louise Harrison-Holland, points out that this wilder style has been helped along by the increasing use of instant wildflower meadows: “I see designers trying to recreate this look with a mix of herbaceous perennials and grasses that have a more permanent structure, helped by the increasing use of shrubs in planting borders,” she says. Louise also predicts that rather than en-masse block planting of a small number of plant types, designers will be working with a greater number of varieties creating a looser style.

We might also be seeing more charred timber cladding this year – Jon Sims has been experimenting with Shou-Sugi-Ban and is also introducing rough shutter-faced concrete into his projects.

(Pictured above: subdued colour palette with splashes of colour ©Jon Sims MSGD)

According to Sue Townsend MSGD, sizzling jewel colours are set to make a return predicting vibrant, hot colours combined with sultry purples and blues.Barbara Samitier expects to see a move away from the blue and pink colour palette. “Don’t be surprised to see a shift towards orange and even yellow which has taken a back seat in many gardens of late,” she Barbara.

House plants and Hanging Plants are also on trend – sculptural and architectural plants are set to dominate in 2019 according to the SGD. Joe Perkins MSGD says: “The continuing rise in popularity of houseplants is being translated outside with exotic-style plants with architectural leaves and stems making bold statements inside and out.” Joe is also predicting that we will see more hanging plants in our gardens, not necessarily traditional hanging baskets but plants with foliage, colour and texture which can be used as accessories as an addition to pots and planters.

Finally, Gabion Walls are likely to make the running with both Louise Harrison-Holland and Barbara Samitier introducing them more into their designs.

Louise points out that stone work will be used in a less structured way in 2019 and softened with planting: “I have noticed a move away from stark modernism towards a style that still retains a strong geometry but is tempered with a choice of materials in softer tones,” she said. (pictured left: Garden by Louise Harrison-Holland MSGD).

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All photographs strictly ©individual designers. Banner: Barbara Samitier MSG;