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Oliver Bond notes he is always on the hunt for more efficient and eco-friendly ways to create hard landscape elements, whether through sustainable materials, greener logistics or less intrusive installation methods. “We have been looking into a universal pedestal system to replace mortar beds beneath garden patios,” he says. “It reduces the amount of construction materials required, decreases the impact to the garden and improves storm water management.”
For Ann-Marie Powell, using more plants to lock carbon into the soil is a top priority. “It negates the requirement for extra imported hard landscaping, looks beautiful and attracts beneficial insects too, so it’s a win-win” she says. “I would love to find more suppliers who grow their plants peat-free too.”
When it comes to planting, Ana Sanchez-Martin is trialling alternative growing mediums and substrates in difficult soils. Meanwhile, Filippo Dester says, “I think we’ll keep seeing a focus on Mediterranean and drought-tolerant planting.”
Reuse, recycle, repurpose
“Recycling and up-cycling is set to continue into 2022,” says Ann-Marie Powell, who is escalating the use of repurposed materials by crushing them for paths, terraces or driveways and selecting low carbon materials.
“I love upcycling existing elements within a garden rather than adding to landfill,” says Ana Sanchez-Martin. “Last year I managed to save a beautiful old Victorian greenhouse by working with a wonderful craftsman who helped me to repurpose it.”
Jilayne Rickards agrees. “Using pre-owned furniture or ornamentation gives a garden automatic character. Even within a contemporary setting, something aged acting as a counterbalance is wonderful to see.”
Jilayne’s approach to garden design is to do as little as possible with the site rather than to replace everything. “Try and work with existing soil and use existing plants that are healthy. These will support the local wildlife while encouraging biodiversity,” she advises.
Experimenting with colour is one of the most exciting aspects of planting. Ann-Marie Powell adores bold colour. She says: “I have a penchant for acid yellow mixed with warm oranges and deep blue-purples right now.”
Oliver Bond is also excited by purple and yellow combinations. “This is a fantastic colour scheme to bring bees into gardens,” he says, “and it will stand proud against a cascade of green foliage.”
Fi Boyle of Fi Boyle Garden Design also enjoys grouping vibrant jewel colours together. She says: “I love to combine strong magenta reds like Rosa ‘Munstead Wood’ with moody purples, deep blues and limes. The next step is to incorporate plants with coloured stems and leaves. Try Salvia ‘Caradonna’, Sedum ‘Karfunelstein’ and Heuchera ‘Plum Pudding’.”
The last word on colour goes to Jilayne Rickards, who thinks that colour schemes could be on their way out in favour of planting schemes that support pollinators.
About the Society of Garden Designers
For help bringing your garden up to date in 2022, the Society of Garden Designers provides access to designers across the UK. SGD members offer a complete garden design service including planting plans, hard landscape design, construction drawings and specialist design elements.
The comprehensive Find a Designer search facility on the SGD website allows you to search by name, postcode, county or country. For more information, visit sgd.org.uk.