East Anglia’s Best Garden Design Trends For 2018

East Anglia’s Best Garden Design Trends For 2018

In this blog we’re dissecting Tapestry Design’s order book to spot some the emerging garden design trends for 2018

Garden design is an ever changing art. The way we use our gardens has changed dramatically in recent years with more and more of us using our outdoor space for relaxing and dining.

Lifestyle magazines and TV programmes are inclined to highlight high-budget projects such as outdoor kitchens, cinemas and purpose built ruins. At Tapestry Design Studios we think that garden design should be beautiful, eye-catching, affordable and practical.  Here are our predictions for garden design trends for 2018

Improve the view with imaginative screening

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do – we all have things in the garden we’d rather not look at. The wheelie bins for example or the compost heap. Even the neighbour’s children bouncing on their trampoline.

Screens can also provide shelter from the weather or divide the garden into smaller “rooms”. In fact you can use screening to lead the eye towards particular features or to encourage visitors to ask “what’s round there?”

Take a look at these.

garden design trends - screening

This simple wooden screen has been used to give shelter and privacy to the dining area

screen made from hedging plants

In this garden, hedging plants have been used to create a screen gives tantalising glimpses of the area beyond – who wouldn’t want to investigate further?

garden design glass screen


This project in Billericay used glass tiles to create a colourful screen


metal garden screen

Using metal is one of 2018’s strongest garden design trends. These panels are similar to the ones we recently used in a project in Essex. Learn more at www.starkandgreensmith.com

Growing flowers and edible plants side by side

This is by no means a new idea but it is definitely becoming fashionable again as savvy East Anglians try to make the most of small spaces.

It’s something I have been experimenting with in my own garden for years. Some edible plants have amazing foliage, some, like runner beans have lovely flowers or look beautiful climbing up wigwams or trellis in the flower garden.

Remember too that some flowers are edible just as some veggies are ornamental. Marigolds, violas and nasturtiums all taste as good as they look.

using edible flowers in garden design

These chive plants offer so much. They’re pretty, bee-friendly, edible AND they match the Pantone Colour for 2018 – Ultra Violet.

Land contouring to embrace the wider landscape

Some of the gardens in Essex and Suffolk are blessed with beautiful surrounding countryside.  One of the strongest garden design trends so far this year is altering soil levels to compliment the countryside and get the best possible views.

Contouring a garden can mean quite disruptive earthworks but that’s only temporary and it’s so worth it. Look at the before and after pictures of this project near Writtle. This garden was designed by Tapestry Design Studios and built by Holland Landscapes of Colchester. The householders now have a lovely sheltered dining area beside their house, a feeling of light and openness from inside the house and plenty of safe play areas for the children.

Environmental Awareness

I’m pleased to say that nearly all of our clients have asked for environmentally concious gardens. In some cases that means using recycled materials. In others it’s about planting for pollinators or managing water use.

An environmentally considerate garden needn’t be wild, unkempt or unwelcoming and it doesn’t have to be high maintenance either.

For example permeable paving for driveways allows rainwater to filter through to the soil replenishing the water table instead of overwhelming drainage systems. It doesn’t look any different to standard driveway materials –but the performance is altogether better.

Choosing plants that are happy in the natural conditions of the garden means less use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. Flowers that attract pollinators are great – the UK bee population is in decline and gardeners can do so much to help without detracting from the look or feel of their outdoor space. Katie and the team at Tapestry Design Studios know their plants and they’ll be able to advise on the best species for your garden.

Customers are also harvesting rainwater from roofs and using it to water plants or refill water features. Again, that’s not expensive or difficult to do but it has many benefits. Why not make a rain garden?  Green roofing too is a great way to cultivate more plants without restricting space in the garden.

Mediterranean gardens

As I write this, on a cold, drizzly day, it’s hard to believe that the climate in the East of England is becoming warmer and drier. But it is. And that means that wise gardeners are thinking about changing with the climate and adopting a more Mediterranean style of gardening.

That means

  • Finding alternatives to grass lawns
  • Using drought tolerant plants
  • Choosing stone and aggregates creating paths and outdoor dining areas
  • Creating shade with pergolas or gazebos covered in climbing plants
  • Filling terracotta pots with scented herbs, pelargoniums or osteospermum.


Why not ignore garden design trends and do your own thing?

Garden design trends put aside, the best thing about employing a garden designer is that you don’t need to follow fashion. You could use holiday abroad as inspiration or a place from your past. You could even build a new garden around a favourite piece of art. These are the projects that our team enjoy the most. We will take your ideas and turn them into a beautiful space for you to enjoy all year round.

Fashion is fabulous but every household and every garden is unique. At Tapestry Design Studios we help clients to explore their own ideas and create distinctive and imaginative outdoor spaces.

Be inspired

Visit our portfolio page for some garden design ideas

How to design a garden

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