Whether it means getting stuck in down the gym or searching for a new job, every New Year brings with it a fresh wave of enthusiasm to get stuff done.
The garden is no exception, and the New Year is a great time to give borders, beds and baskets a little refresh - whether it's a full-scale redesign or a few little additions here and there. Not sure what's in vogue for the garden this year? The gardening enthusiasts at The Greenhouse People have shared their top gardening predictions.
1. Botanical bedlam
There’s an inspiring new way of looking at your garden which is good news for the more hands-off amongst us. Wabi-sabi - an acceptance of the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death - is nothing new for the Japanese who have been practicing this art since the 15th Century, but for the Western world it couldn’t be further away from the never-ending quest for perfection.
The key here is to balance nature and nurture, so sit back, relax and reflect on the beauty of your garden’s natural imperfections. Overgrown perennials, moss-covered stones, rusty iron gates and weathered pots are suddenly bang on-trend.
2. Alfresco living
Despite the unpredictable British weather, the nation is embracing the Mediterranean lifestyle, with sales of garden furniture, barbeques and accessories expected to grow by 3-4% annually up to 2021.
Outdoor entertaining and kitchen areas will be a key trend for Spring/Summer 2018 – perfect for those of us who lack space in our kitchens or dining rooms, as we can move entertaining friends and family outside. Create a dedicated area with comfy furniture and mood lighting, complete with a sunken fire pit, BBQ or pizza oven.
3. Very verdure
All hail the trend-setters at Pantone who have created the perfect 2018 colour palette to experiment with in the garden. The verdure palette features colours naturally found in lush vegetation and woodland - think berry-infused purple, red wood, eggshell blue and foliage green.
Introduce accents of colour with clay pots, holding pops of purple-coloured flowering herbs like Lavender, Rosemary and Thai Basil. If you have wooden fencing or furniture, give them a new lease of life by sanding them down before splashing on a coat of eggshell blue paint to complement the shades of your new plants.
4. Grow your own
Veganism is one of the fastest growing lifestyle movements, with the number of Brits choosing a plant-based diet rising by more than 360% over the past decade. Coupled with rising food prices and a growing appreciation of organic produce, in 2018 the grow-your-own movement will really see a resurgence.
If you’re serious about becoming more self-sufficient, a greenhouse can increase your yield of beautifully fresh fruit and veg all year round. If space isn’t on your side, legumes (runner beans, broad beans, French beans and peas), squashes and pumpkins are a great option as they make use of vertical space. Salad leaves, herbs and tomatoes grow well in boxes on balconies and patios and cost a fraction of the supermarket price too.
5. Healing houseplants
Indoor plants are coming back into fashion in a big way and not purely for aesthetic reasons. As well as purifying the air we breathe of harmful toxins according to Nasa, indoor plants can also reduce stress, control humidity and lower sound pollution.
To promote better sleep, place snake plants in your bedroom which give out bursts of oxygen at night to support better breathing. Aloe Vera works well in kitchens to neutralise benzene found in detergents and plastics.
Indoor hanging planters are back as a way to display houseplants, and there’s lots of inspiration on Pinterest to create your own hanging utopia. Group different colours, shapes and textures together for maximum impact.
6. Be in the moment
Mindfulness has become a way of life over the past few years and it’s set to have a strong influence over how we design and appreciate our gardens in 2018.
Focus on incorporating elements which stimulate the senses - like accents of calming blues and energising yellows, pots of strongly-scented therapeutic lavender and a water feature to create a relaxing ambience.