Top 10 for ’10

Sunday, 21 February 2010

As memories of the ice and snow we experienced in January melt away, our thoughts naturally switch to the spring and summer ahead and enjoying the outdoors again. So with the dawn of a new decade, it’s time to think of new ideas for our gardens for 2010. Here are some of our favourite garden trends for this year…

The Patrick Blanc vertical garden can be implemented anywhere

The Patrick Blanc vertical garden can be implemented anywhere

Vertical gardens

Vertical gardens have been talked about a lot for the last couple of years but do you really know what it is or how you can incorporate it into your own garden? Green walls are an exciting way to clothe your boundary. French designer Patrick Blanc pioneered the horticultural technology that keeps these living walls thriving: panels made up of felt “pockets” in which plants can grow.

A living wall can be a great place to experiment, just like in a garden. Bergenia, an old-fashioned herbaceous border favourite is a good choice for vertical gardens. Or try tough-as-old-boots sedum, a popular choice for green roofs. Other good plants for living walls include actinidia, cotoneaster, clematis as well as ferns and moss. Due to obvious issues with access, it helps to rely on greenery rather than flowering plants to minimise maintenance. Evergreen ferns and shrubs, such as the glossy leaved fatsia, keep the wall fresh year round. As well as looking great, masking unsightly views, reducing sound and creating a nice backdrop, vertical gardens are a sound eco choice too. They reduce pollution and rainwater run-off, insulate buildings and provide habitat for wildlife.

Green walls don't have to be just green!

Green walls don’t have to be just green!

Eco-Friendly

If being eco-friendly is your thing, other eco-friendly ideas for 2010 include:

  • Create a living driveway. Grow plants either side and in between a track for tyres. It can look lovely and reduces the level of water run-off which affects flooding.
  • Put a living roof on your garden shed. It looks much prettier and wildlife love it. It also helps absorb rainwater.
  • Create a wildlife tower as seen at last year’s Chelsea Flower Show. No longer does a wildlife haven need to be a forgotten pile of leaves or wood. Make it a feature of your garden.
  • Get creative and recycle unwanted materials to create something beautiful for your garden. Old chimney pots or boots can be filled with plants. An old metal funnel can be planted in the garden as an abstract sculpture. Or take some old unwanted tiles and create a mosaic for your garden.

Designer decking

If you are looking for somewhere to sit and relax in your garden this summer but don’t fancy the idea of a “normal” deck, why not consider a deck with a difference. There are simple ways you can make a deck look “designer” without costing the earth. Why not lay your deck boards on their edge rather than flat? Immediately you get a completely different look without costing the earth.

Decking laid on its edge can look fabulous

Decking laid on its edge can look fabulous

Or think about how you can incorporate some really wow lighting into your deck. Large glass blocks that lie flush with the deck boards immediately set your deck aside from the norm. Painting rendered seating bright colours is another way to stand out from the crowd.

Glass block lights and bright colours makes the decking wow

Glass block lights and bright colours makes the decking wow

Indoors Outdoors

Bring the indoors outside for 2010 with lots of ways to brighten up your garden. Garden art is popular. Instead of having the same old lattice trellis this year, think about a trellis which is just as beautiful before it is even covered in the climber of your choice. Outdoor sofas and bean bags are widely available so you don’t need to sit on your old plastic garden furniture any more. You can even get outdoor rugs to brighten up your patio. Your garden really can be an extra room these days!

Colour is Key

Pantone have announced that the key colour for 2010 is turquoise. They explain “Turquoise transports us to an exciting, tropical paradise while offering a sense of protection and healing in stressful time”. Of course, translating this into gardening isn’t straightforward as turquoise flowers can be hard to find. As an alternative, incorporate some turquoise containers and fill with exotic flowers to create your own corner of tropical paradise. Contrast with red, hot pink, coral, chocolate, green, yellow or grey for an eye catching display.

Painting old tyres turquoise is a great way to add colour to your garden

Painting old tyres turquoise is a great way to add colour to your garden

Here’s to a top 2010 in your garden.

All at Vialii


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