There’s a really interesting consumer trend that has been rising steadily and is predicted to continue – alfresco, outdoor living. More and more money is being invested by people in their gardens and, logically, those people are keen to spend more and more time enjoying their outdoor space.
A recent report suggests that 39% of Brits have completely changed the way that they use their green spaces in recent years. For example, 35% of those asked said that they had changed their garden into a space designed for relaxation area. A further 11% said they had made changes to create extra living space.
So, what are the most common current garden trends and how can you make your backyard a great place to relax and unwind? In collaboration with Dobies, gardening retailers of seeds and other essentials, here’s the lowdown:
One way to make your garden more accommodating, for yourself and for your guests, is to invest in the right furniture. Sales of garden furniture, barbecues and accessories are expected to grow by 3-4% annually up to 2021.
As more people spend time outdoors, so the need for an appropriate outdoor eating area has grown. Instead of sitting on plastic chairs with paper plates, you need to get with the times and make your garden suitable for dining alfresco. Why not create a sunken fire pit in your garden, surrounded by some cosy seats? A comforting supply of heat in your back garden will make sitting outdoors much more satisfying. Or, if you have space, why not invest in a durable table and chair set?
Between 2006 and 2016, the average number of barbecues held per family each summer rose from 2.5 to 10 — showing our growing love for outdoor dining. Of course, you can make a barbecue as premium or as basic as you like, depending on the size and features that you’re after. A growing number of people are also buying verandas now too, allowing them to spend time outdoors in all weathers!
We seem to be realising the potential of the space in our gardens, too. Space efficiency is important but gardens aren’t as big as they used to be. A good way to be space efficient is by having a shed. The Posh Shed Company saw a massive 300% increase in sales of its Chelsea shed in 2017. This type of shed is all about space-saving and has features such as built-in shelving on the outside so that internal space doesn’t suffer. You can store your outdoor furniture in this kind of shed when you’re not entertaining and keep everything lovely and tidy.
With alfresco dining on a steep upward curve, we all want to sit somewhere that looks good, don’t we? What better way to brighten up your garden than with some plants?
Shrubs are a beautiful way to bring some colour to the borders of your garden and they aren’t difficult to maintain. You can use shrubbery to line the pathways of your garden and the lawn edge, filling in a space that might’ve been left bare. It’s best to choose attractive seasonal shrubs so that your garden looks its best all year round. When you’re planting shrubs, remember to plant them at least half the width of the shrub apart from other shrubs and boundaries as this will ensure that they can grow outwards.
Why not set up your own garden vegetable or herb patch? Growing your own produce is a big trend in 2018 because of rising food prices and our new love for organic food. When cooking for guests, what’s better than heading over to the bottom of the garden to gather some fresh herbs and vegetables to go with their meal?
With quality suitable outdoor furniture and some aesthetically pleasing plants, you can get your garden ready for alfresco living in no time at all. Spending more time in the garden is guaranteed to improve your mood and stop you getting cabin fever, especially in the cold winter months!
Do you have your own alfresco living ideas?