9 Garden makeover trends to embrace in 2020

Say goodbye to winter and say hello to some of the most breathtaking garden trends of 2020.

For the most part, 2020 has been one heck of a year. But let’s not write it off just yet.

With most of us finding ourselves confined to our homes during quarantine, we’ve managed to find time to do things we’d normally never have time to do. What was once considered the impossible — finishing the bathroom reno to binge watching 5 seasons of Money Heist — can finally be ticked off the bucket list. But what’s next? It’s time to embrace nature in your own backyard.

For all the aspiring green thumbs who have been hibernating throughout an agonising winter, the time has come to take advantage of Perth’s beautiful sunny weather and spend some quality time creating the ultimate garden.

In this article we explore the latest garden trends of 2020 that are taking gardening in Australia to whole new levels of zen.

1. Low maintenance gardens

If you’re looking for an alternative garden that requires minimal maintenance but still looks astonishing, then an Australian native garden might be what you’re looking for. 

Australian native gardens are low maintenance and require minimal watering, making them an excellent water wise choice for the upcoming summer. They comprise a wide variety of hardy Australian native fauna which are very tolerant to our harsh climate, including kangaroo paw, frangipani, daintree pine, and lemon-scented willow myrtle.

Whether you’re a certified green thumb, garden enthusiast, or someone who’s lazy but wants all the benefits of a beautiful lush garden, an Australian native garden lets you explore the wonders of having an authentic landscape.

2. Zen gardens

Also known as ‘stone gardens’, has seen a steady rise into the garden scene, with many homeowners looking to add a little zen into their life. Zen gardens are a pleasant addition to many homes where you are able to take a moment to relax, breath and calm your soul. 

It is possible to create a zen garden in almost any landscape, large or small, using only some pebbles or stones, concrete lanterns, a tiny bridge, and some greenery. 

Traditionally, the ground would be covered in sand and raked into ripples to represent water, however, modern zen gardens now use pebbles or stones. 

Larger stepping stones can be placed amongst the pebbles to represent ‘islands’, as well as plating small green shrubs and trees to create an alluring garden path.

Don’t forget to include a small garden bench from where you take a moment to sit back, relax and unwind from your busy lives.

3. Edible gardens

There’s nothing more rewarding than being able to eat your own organic food produced in your own backyard. Edible gardens have become increasingly popular amongst health conscious people who are looking for an eco-friendly, self-sustainable garden. 

Whether you’re in suburbia or in the middle of a concrete jungle, edible gardens can be setup in all spaces, large or small, vertically or horizontally, and can include a wide range of delicious vegetables. The best part about this is that you do not need to cut and remove your concrete slabs or make any changes to your current outdoor space to make it work. 

Consider garden containers, potters and vertical gardens for those living in apartments with minimal outdoor space. If you have plenty of yard space, you may want to think about garden beds, above or below ground, vertical gardens, and watering systems using a rainwater tank.

Easy to grow vegetables include salad leaves, snow peas, beans, green spring onions and silverbeets. 

4. Vertical gardens

Vertical gardens are all the craze right now and are suitable for both indoor and outdoor environments. One of the major reasons why Companies worldwide have begun to create ‘green walls’ within office spaces is for all the health benefits it can provide. 

Vertical gardens have been shown to reduce stress, improve indoor air quality, regulate indoor temperatures, reduce noise and boost productivity. Plant walls can also add value to a company’s brand image and overall value and encourage social interaction amongst employees. 

For homeowners, it’s the perfect opportunity to make use of your limited garden space and transform it into a thriving plant ecosystem. Some plants to consider include succulents, various species of ferns (rabbit foot, staghorn, bird’s nest), lipstick plants, english ivy, or baby’s tears.

You can opt for an edible vertical garden and look to include spinach, chinese cabbage, chilli plants, lettuce, spring onion or radish.

5. Fire pits

This garden trend comes with an undying Australian passion to be outside and enjoy the great outdoors. Entertaining outdoors has become increasingly popular with most modern homes now incorporating outdoor entertainment areas including outdoor kitchens, alfresco areas, and swimming pools.

Fire pits is the recent garden trend making its debut and integrating itself into Australian outdoor living. Not only are they excellent as standout features, they also provide warmth and comfort throughout the colder months, giving you the option to entertain outside in winter.

What you’ll need to consider for a firepit:

  • Will the smoke from your outdoor fire pit disturb or harm your neighbours
  • The distance between your fire pit and the nearest vegetation, residential or commercial structure
  • The type of fuel needed to light your fire pit

If in doubt, contact your local council.

6. Water features

There’s nothing quite like the soothing sound of rain just as you’re about to fall asleep. Now you can recreate this moment of serenity with the blissful addition of a water feature. The gentle trickle of water help creates a relaxing atmosphere and helps passively cool down the outdoor area. This makes it a perfect feature for gardens in Australia, where summers reach blistering hot temperatures.

7. Urban gardens

When it comes to living standards in Australia, we’re pretty lucky in terms of space. That said, it’s also the bane of our existence. You’re either opting for a larger block 80kms out from city central with plenty of outdoor space, or fork out extra cash for a tiny urban apartment or townhouse closer to the CBD. Those who have chosen city life know too well that space is a scarcity, that means you’ve only got rooftops, balconies and small courtyards to work with.

This isn’t to say you can’t have a garden. In fact, these spaces provide plenty of opportunities to create an intimate space that’s both relaxing and entertaining, and is relatively easy to do. Consider adding pieces of outdoor furniture to define the space. Pot plants are a brilliant way to add a touch of nature, are low-maintenance and do not require a garden bed. Vertical planters, as mentioned above, are also an excellent way to make use of the space.

8. Outdoor kitchens

Entertaining outdoors is an Australian tradition involving a couple of coldies, a BBQ loaded with snags and kicking the footy around. These days, you’ll find more Aussie homeowners taking outdoor entertainment to a whole level and transforming parts of their garden into an outdoor kitchen. And we’re not just talking about a picnic table with a portable gas stove. 

We mean complete outdoor kitchen makeovers with beer fridges, cooktops, pizzas ovens, couches, dining tables — the works. But where’s the garden elements you say? From pot planters hanging off the patio and meticulously inserted into gaps, vertical gardens and edibles, outdoor kitchens provide the perfect place for entertaining guests infused with elements of nature.

9. Sustainable, wildlife-friendly gardens

Are you a nature lover at heart? Why not transform your garden into a sustainable ecosystem that is abundant in wildlife. Consider installing bird houses, ponds and bird baths, to a colourful meadow of native Australian plants for a biodiverse garden that’s packed full of life. Of course, if you’re allergic to bees, you may want to limit the amount of fauna you plant, as they will attract more bees especially in spring. 

Pedro works for a concrete cutting company operating in Perth. He takes pride in helping customers make their renovation easier by advising them on how to proceed with their projects, big or small.
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