It’s a new year and that means it’s time to freshen up the look of your garden. Whether your garden is purely ornamental, or a sustainable mix of edibles, taking the time to style this space just as you would your home is very rewarding. Your garden should be a place of comfort and peace so both you and guests can enjoy your time outdoors.

Here are a few of the most impactful garden design trends to implement this year:

Define Your Garden’s Style with a Statement Gate

A gate to your garden can certainly be functional, but it can also make a big decorative impact. The gate you choose to enclose your garden is the perfect opportunity to set the stage for the feeling you want visitors to experience. A sleek, modern gate, for example, gives an air of sophistication, while an antique metal gate may give a touch of whimsy. If you love a rustic feel, consider a wooden gate; perhaps one made of weathered wood or driftwood.

The combination of a planted arch or arbor over the gate, even if only purely decorative, is a great way of making your garden seem like a separate space from the rest of your yard.

Create Movement with Ornamental Grasses

The key to a visually appealing garden landscape is depth and varying textures. An important part of this is allowing movement in your garden. As a breeze rolls through, seeing the sway of foliage creates a relaxing, enticing atmosphere. An excellent way of achieving more movement within a garden is to use ornamental grasses in both the foreground and background.

Shorter ornamental grasses, such as Blue Fescue, make for a great foreground grass. Zebra Grass is another option when a more broad-leaf grass is wanted. Unique grasses, like Japanese Forest Grass, is a must for Asian-themed gardens, as it nearly resembles a miniature bamboo. In terms of airy movement, your top choices will be grasses with plumes, like Purple Fountain Grass and Mexican Feather Grass.  

Get Creative with Flowing, Wooden Walkways

Walkways in your garden are clearly functional, but also add structure and appeal to the area. Rather than playing it safe with straight paths, think about installing flowing, curved ones. This organic shape fits a garden space much better and also allows for more flexible garden beds or planted areas. Wooden pathways are a particularly nice choice and one that requires very little maintenance when modified wood is used.

You can really get imaginative with your pathways. Consider thin cut instead of normal width boards, or mix wood boards set into a gravel or mosaic design. Leave gaps between boards for a cottage look, or frame in a path with a wooden border for a very contemporary design. Don’t forget about adding some solar lights along your paths for safety and ambiance.

Add Native Plants and Locally-Sourced Decor

The trend of environmentally-friendly design is prominent throughout many industries this year, so it’s no surprise it applies to garden landscaping as well. While you certainly don’t need to completely change your garden to native-only, you can make a big difference by incorporating native species whenever possible. Not only are they often hardier and require less watering, but they also are beneficial for wildlife and helpful insects.

Aside from selecting native plants, try to outfit your garden’s decor with locally-sourced, original items. A handmade birdbath or water feature adds a unique touch, but it also supports local businesses and individuals and reduces negative effects on the environment from commercial manufacturing.

When sprucing up your garden this spring, consider trying something new by showcasing one or all of the trends featured above.

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Matt Lee

Building Material Digital Marketing Specialist at Innovative Building Materials
Matt Lee from Innovative Building Materials is a green design and digital marketing enthusiast. He helps generate interest for different building materials manufacturers.