See some ideas here by Jo of Caragh Nurseries on how to maximise your outdoor space.
"This year's Pantone colour of the year has been announced as 'Classic Blue', sometimes known as Pacific Blue and you will see that along with plenty of other colours in this year's gardens. It's blue, blue, and more blue!
"It's a great accent colour but for walls you will need warmer shades, slightly retro feel of the 1990s but hopefully, we can add a little finesse to it. This wall of warm purple shaded with a stunning planting to bring the colour through is what I expect to see in the most stylish gardens this year.
Belgian Style Gardens
"Like the Scandinavian style, the Belgians are all about simplicity but they add that French natural textures to their style and are now the Uber-chic of European Garden Design with plenty of style like this one by Mia Witham.
"Stone is leaning more and more towards man-made with porcelain tiles being the most preferred for terraces over the last 12 months, this year will see much more formed concrete in coloured and natural tones used to create floating-look stairs, barbecue benches and small terraces. We are also seeing much more concrete fibre outdoor tables. These cantilevered stairs down to the garden make a great statement for your outdoor space.
"We are starting to see pools in lots of gardens now. We have designed a couple of gardens with pools in the last month and one of these, we have found the ideal contractor and the client is having this installed.
"The requests for these are increasing especially now with the use of thermal heat sources to heat the water being more readily available. I will be doing more research into this area and a specific article on this in the coming weeks but what could be more inviting than your own swimming pool in the garden!
"This isn’t just one for the garden. We have seen over the last 10+ years that the next generation has been less inclined to just play in the garden, but utilises their outdoor space more and more by introducing key features and play areas.
"By designing play zones so that they are integral to the garden layout, we've been asked to introduce natural rope swings and balance beams constructed of logs and timbers sliced lengthways. A bit of rustic fun tracking through the borders, encouraging the little ones to get outside. and get off their screens. The pool above would be ideal if the budget will stretch but if not maybe an outdoor reading nook or a hammock would do the trick. Always have an extra pair or two of wellies around for friends to play outdoors, take the Scandinavian approach to getting kids out even if the weather isn’t perfect.
"With the rise of the home cook and the healthier living comes a renewed enthusiasm for al fresco dining and outdoor kitchens. People still like large outdoor entertaining areas with plenty of seating and tables for outdoor eating. That’s likely to continue for some time. We have recently installed a barbecue that doubles as an outdoor fireplace for the ultimate outdoor entertaining experience and the demand for outdoor furniture of all kinds be it large dining tables to seat 8-12 people of sofa sets.
"Outdoor furniture lend a super relaxed ‘bringing the indoors out’ feel to your outdoor space" - Jo, Caragh Nurseries, E: firstname.lastname@example.org See www.caraghnurseries