After a chaotic two years, packed full of ups and downs, it’s safe to say a lot has changed. Activity, focus, trends and the way we work has shifted. As we enter into 2022 you may wonder – what could be expected from this year? We ask landscape company directors Mark Youde, director of Urban Landscape Design, Marc Lane, managing director of Landscapia, Alistair Bayford, business development director of Maylim, and James Scott, managing director of The Garden Company, about what they think the next year will bring.
The impact of the pandemic sparked a wide spread new-found love and value for outdoor space. In turn, this led to a significant increase in the number of clients investing in the outdoor living market. For 2022, the demand for outdoor kitchens particularly is suspected to continue to grow. Mark Youde said: “We noticed this trend developing over the past year, and certainly suspect the demand for outdoor kitchens, and covered spaces for entertainment purposes, to continue on into 2022.”
Marc Lane agreed, explaining that he too has been working on many outdoor living style projects. “The increase in demand for covered outdoor spaces at the initial design brief stage has been significant.”
Marc also anticipates that ‘garden zoning’ will continue to be popular among customers. He explained: “Clients want to maximise their outdoor space and create extra living and kitchen areas that can be used all year round for alfresco dining and entertaining.” Marc revealed the combination of decorative screening, planting, and bespoke garden furniture as the “perfect” options to achieve this.
Describing the uptake in outdoor living projects over the past two years as “phenomenal”, Mark Youde also believes the trend will continue over the next few years. In addition, he also added “costs have not been a concern to many of our clients lately,” – a factor indicating that people are viewing their gardens as more viable and worth spending money on.
James Scott added: “Over the last year, we have found that people are truly engaging with their gardens and connecting with them in more varied ways. This could be a temporary trend. But we believe that it runs deeper than that, marking a permanent change of mindset about the role our gardens can play in our everyday lives. In addition, many people are turning more towards naturalistic gardens, seeing them as a sanctuary and retreat from the stresses and strains of daily life. Conversely, others have decided to recreate a holiday feel in their gardens, taking the opportunity to create a ‘5-star’ boutique hotel experience at home.”
Demand is anticipated to grow further for porcelain paving in grey cool tones, and Marc explained he expects a craving for warm, earthy tones and wood effects to appear.
However, a major change expected in 2022 situates around customers opting for more sustainable options. Already, Mark has noticed customers are more interested and careful with their material choices, he added: “We are actively encouraging our clients to make more sustainable material choices and increase the percentage of soft landscaping within their garden.” This is a change in mind-set Mark described as “long overdue.”
It is clear, the importance of outdoor living and gardens has never been greater. If there’s one industry out there ready to help tackle climate change and build back greener, it ours. Alistair Bayford explained this is a challenge many businesses will focus on during 2022, he added: “The industry must individually and collectively respond and find solutions to the climate and biodiversity emergency and tackle the issues of diversity and inclusion.”