The spring garden makeover guide

The latest floral and furnishing trends for your backyard

Spring has finally sprung. Hooray. This means it is time to get off the sofa, away from the box sets and into the garden to replenish your levels of vitamin D and to relax. If your garden isn’t up-to-scratch, however, it won’t be relaxing. So we’ve researched the latest garden trends, looking at what might help if your goal is to add value or sell your home. Secateurs at the ready.

Beautiful blooms
The more old-fashioned flowers such as roses, peonies, and hydrangeas are fashionable, exemplified by Tom Ford, the former fashion designer turned film director, who sends only bunches of peonies or hydrangeas to his friends. The supermodel of the hydrangea world is ‘Annabelle’. First found growing wild near the US town of Anna in Ohio in the early 1700s, it is low maintenance, being happy in sun or shade and not especially thirsty. This particular feature makes them suitable for any environment. However, in planning to plant these flowers make sure to prepare the soil well and get rid of any pests (sites similar to could be helpful in this regard) in the surrounding. Yes, these steps are mandatory for planting any plant, in the case of flowering plants it is all the more important as they tend to be very sensitive.

In Capel, Surrey, this eight-bedroom house has formal gardens and is surrounded by woodland. It is on sale for 2.75 million with Sotheby’s International Realty

Thomas Broom-Hughes, the head of horticulture and floristry at Petersham Nurseries in Richmond, southwest London – the only garden centre in the country where the café has a Michelin star – reports that wildflowers, including poppies, delphiniums, lupins and foxgloves, are still popular. “The trend for a wildflower meadow isn’t waning – and people are conscious of helping the bee population,” he says. “It’s part of the romantic garden look that is popular at the moment.”

Scent is big this year too, according to Peter Burks, a horticultural adviser at Potter and Rest, the online garden centre. He advises using lemon verbena, which gives off a refreshing citrus zing from its leaves. Highly scented shrubs such as Philadelphus ‘Sybille’ (or mock orange) and scented roses such as Rosa ‘Cécile Brünner’ can also work well.

Herb gardens
While vegetable gardens are still popular, herb gardens are becoming increasingly fashionable. Rosemary, oregano and bay are among the easier herbs to grow outdoors, and thyme has pretty flowers in the summer. Consider planting the herbs in the big olive oil tins that restaurants use.

Edible plants are also big at the moment, says Broom-Hughes. “People are buying a lot of nasturtiums, violas, cornflowers, nigella and roses – and they eat the rose petals.”

Vegetable or kitchen gardens are popular among prospective homebuyers. Strutt & Parker recently surveyed 2,000 people, asking them about their “dream” garden item; 9 per cent responded that it was somewhere to grow vegetables. (The most popular item, at 19 per cent, was a walled garden.)

That being said, maintaining the herb garden on a regular basis is essential for the plants to thrive. Make sure to take time out of your busy schedule to care for the plants. If you are someone who often travels for business purposes, consider taking the help of a gardener to maintain them. A gardener understands the specific needs of different herb varieties, such as watering schedules, sunlight requirements, and soil conditions. They can provide essential care, including pruning, fertilizing, and pest control, to ensure healthy plant growth and prevent diseases. So, try to find a gardener in your vicinity who can actively contribute to the growth of your garden.

Outdoor dining
With summers getting warmer, facilities for outdoor cooking and alfresco dining have become common in high-end gardens.

Pizza ovens, patio kitchens with sinks and fire pits are among the hottest garden features. Wood-burning stoves and pizza ovens were the dream of 4 per cent of respondents in the Strutt & Parker survey.

“The terraces we see today are getting bigger and housing outdoor kitchens,” says Nigel Mitchell, the regional chairman at Knight Frank. Oak pergolas are popularly used to shelter outdoor dining areas, but you might have to get Johns Creek pest management to perhaps treat the area earmarked for your outdoor dining area first for existing pests and to keep those which might be a bother away.

A six-bedroom home in Knightsbridge, central London ( 11.95 million with Knight Frank)

She sheds
Homebase and B&Q report that sales of women-only sheds have risen by more than 50 per cent in recent years. She Sheds: A Room of Your Own by the magazine editor Erika Kotite provides inspiration for anyone wanting to recreate this trend at home. The book explains that these lady lairs are gaining traction because they provide a quiet sanctuary in which they can escape the world – a place where no one touches your stuff. Bliss.

Summer houses
What comes to the mind when someone says they have bought a summerhouse from Perhaps, the image of a half-glazed door to let light in; lots of glass on the windows, doors, and roofs; a couple of chairs outside; and candles in the evening. Right? If that is what you visualized in your mind, you are on the right path. A summer house, which can be built in different shapes and sizes, is a great extension of the home, primarily because this is where the family can come together to spend a beautiful spring evening. Unlike she-sheds, which are built for spending some alone time, this structure has the potential to bring people together and create memories. Brownie points to these enclosures as they are highly functional, stylish, and accommodative — they can fit snugly into any corner of your garden and offer you a calming space to relax.

This trend is inexpensive – you can buy one on Amazon for 10 – which makes it all the more pleasing. You can get free-standing hammocks, so you don’t need two trees to hang it from, and hammocks with built-in parasols.

More glamorously, the penthouse at Hempel Gardens, central London, features a swing on its roof terrace, which also has fern trees, candles and Crittall windows separating the garden from the inside space. It is a collection of 18 luxury apartments on the site of the former Hempel Hotel in Bayswater, where David and Victoria Beckham and Michael Jackson stayed in the 1990s. The developers are Amazon Property and British Land, which is marketing the properties through Strutt & Parker and Knight Frank.