pro landscaper magazine
pro landscaper magazine

9 outdoor living trends for 2024

by | 07 Mar 24 | News

As seen in the Pro Landscaper Outdoor Living Special, we ask some of the brightest minds in stylish outdoor living design what trends we can expect in the coming months.

 

Jane Ashley, garden designer 

Jane Ashley Gardens

An important developing trend in garden lighting is the installation of ‘dark skies’ lighting, aiming lights down rather than up and avoiding excessive illumination, to minimise disruption to insects, birds and other wildlife. Awareness is growing helped by education campaigns by some in the industry, such as Hudson Lighting. 

I expect we will also see clients become more concerned about water management, drought and flooding. This will mean greater popularity for rain gardens to help reduce run off into the water system, and increased use of drought resistant plants such as artemesia, euphorbia, echinops, and eryngium. 

 

 

© Tom Parsons Photography

Ashleigh Aylett, landscape designer 

Erlam Studio and John Davies Landscape 

The year 2024 bids farewell to greys sofas and modular designs, ushering in an era of casual and carefree styles in seating. Outdoor seating will take on a more relaxed approach, with color and patterns extending seamlessly from the house to the garden. Maximalist florals are set to flourish, injecting botanical inspiration into outdoor textiles. In the realm of furniture, sculptural pieces will take center stage. The trend towards artisanal crafted furniture with a focus on sustainability will continue. Furniture made from locally sourced trees, sometimes harvested from the garden itself, is not only light on the Earth but also makes a bold statement in outdoor spaces. 

 

 

 

Rachel Bailey, garden designer 

Rachel Bailey Garden Design LTD 

[In 2024,] There will be a greater focus on people using gardens to connect with nature and for their health and well-being. We will continue to see gardens designed ecologically for wildlife at all stages of their lifecycle. We will also see a focus to protect soil during the build and afterwards through considered management by increasing the amount and diversity of planting, including native plants, which is good for health-giving soil and air microfauna and fungi, minimising the amount of hard landscaping and making paving permeable. We will continue to see the existing materials repurposed to minimise new resource use. 

 

 

Martin Baker, managing director 

Bakers Garden Buildings 

Over the years, Bakers Garden Buildings have seen trends evolve from natural timber shades to the current popular dark anthracite grey. Now, indications from trends suggest an increasing use of black garden buildings in the coming years. Accentuating black doors and claddings with Oiled Oak or Iroko creates a stunning, timeless look. 

At Bakers, we’re passionate about leading in design. We’re excited to collaborate with garden designers on new colours and materials, aligning with the rising trend of garden rooms seamlessly blending into landscape designs. This requires us to creatively reconsider our approach to colours and materials. 

 

 

Michelle Brandon,  horticultural therapist and garden design lecturer 

KLC School of Design 

Designers incorporate within the site analysis a habitat mapping document, looking at species declining in that area, adapting, incorporating, or enhancing food and habitat sources within a design. One example being, the Adonis Blue butterfly, a resident of South England chalk downland that’s sole larval food is Horseshoe Vetch, numbers are declining rapidly. 

Forest gardens are the way forward. Mimicking the structure of a forest, the canopy of a few choice trees gives dappled shade to shrubs and perennials which in turn create a shady forest floor. This requires minimal input and soil disturbance. This not only serves as a habitat and food source to animals but also an exceptional space for growing diverse food crops, including fruit, nuts, seeds, leaves, and the trending mushrooms. A complex mini ecosystem that has countless benefits for many. 

 

Jacquie Felix-Mitchell, garden designer  

Oasis garden design 

Broken down into three categories; plant selection, materials and colour palette, I would predict that in 2024 we will see more tough trees like betula utilis, and trachycarpus fortune, combined with flowers with great seedheads such as helenium, verbena bonariensis, papaver and dipsacus fullonum. Trends would suggest that there will be bigger gaps between pavers for better drainage in permeable hard landscaping as well as a greater reuse of “found elements” such as old wheelbarrows and repurposed containers. As for colour, anything you like! It’s personal – but I’d say limit colour choices for harmony. “Clashes” like blue and orange, or simply green on green, with extensive use of grasses. 

 

 

Dr Mark Lane, managing director and principal designer 

Mark Lane Designs Ltd 

With gardens getting smaller and more people growing ornamentals and edibles in pots and containers, there will be an increase in hanging planters, entire hanging gardens and using hanging planters as screening – perfect for the beginner gardener. 

 Borders filled with multiple layers of textured planting will be key. Large-leafed plants and dense planting of native plants will be seen as laid back and casual. Rich pollinator plants will be used, planted to surround seating areas for a full-on sensory experience.  

 Droughts and other extreme weather conditions are being experienced all over the UK and overseas. Water-wise plants will therefore play a big part in 2024; and to reduce carbon footprints and to garden more sustainably grass lawns will be replaced with either larger flower beds or dry gardens covered with mulch, such as gravel. 

 

James Scott, managing director 

The Garden Company 

I have always been motivated to create a connection between people and their innate love of nature. As we look ahead to 2024, I’m delighted to witness the growing popularity of this concept – known formally as biophilic design. The design intention is a seamless integration between indoor and outdoor spaces which draws on the beauty of nature. This will include using more vernacular, sustainable materials and a shift to more soft landscaping, with an emphasis on naturalistic, immersive planting. Such outdoor spaces will be a haven not only for the homeowner, but for local wildlife and pollinators too. 

 

 

Debs Winrow, creative director 

Garden House Design   

2024 will continue to see the trend of extending our client’s indoor style seamlessly outdoors. Louvered and retractable canopies will be a popular feature, allowing outdoor spaces to be enjoyed year-round, regardless of the weather. Canopies will not replace outdoor garden buildings or conservatories but will provide flexibility and functionality throughout the seasons. Outdoor kitchens will become more luxurious which means that outdoor cooking solutions will be exciting to design with this year! This also means that the right choice of outdoor furniture will be important to determine early in the season- think modular sofas, storage, and casual to formal dining.  

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