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2016 – when your garden becomes super-stylish

We Brits have always had a love affair with the garden, whether it's the rolling acres of a country manor or the humble garden lawn with attractive borders. Since the Victorians were able to import and cultivate more exotic species, we've had a steadily growing exchange with the rest of the world; ideas and styles are shared globally between green fingered friends and the Internet has allowed anyone to get inspired with their outdoor space.

Those lucky enough to have garden rooms often want to keep their garden looking immaculate to best make use of the room, whether it's an office, art studio, music room or playroom. Strangely, the most creative ideas in recent years have come from the USA, a land where traditionally a garden was no more than a large, expansive lawn surrounded with a white picket fence.

2016's hot trends have taken from various parts of the world and one European influence has been the habit of doing away with the aforementioned white fence. This year's 'big thing' is no more boring brown, grey or white fences, but darker shades of blue and green, to make a dramatic backdrop for the rest of the natural shades in the garden, making them stand out.

This allows the garden to speak for itself, and concentrate what the eye sees. This may in turn explain another big prediction for chic garden planning for the coming seasons - subtle shade tones. Whereas the explosion of colour has been the mark of a highly tended garden for many years, single colour gardens, which evolve through different tones as the year goes on, with greens in spring, whites in summer and rusty, oak leaf colours in autumn. The different shades all around one palate can create a stunning, rolling effect across the whole area as the eye travels around.

There are many who still like splashes of bold colour and for them the use of planters and pots is being recommended to dab highlights of colour, especially with fruit or vegetable plants. These plants serve a double purpose, with vivid reds of cherry tomatoes or loganberries providing the tempting colours of nature and also helping to interest young children in gardening and give them a tasty reward for helping out.

For those who like to live outdoors as well as in, natural garden furniture is said to be a large trend this year. Sturdy, natural materials are to be more popular than the more common white or green chairs and tables that frequent many gardens, allowing usable outdoor spaces to be arranged more like a room, rather than a garden. Fire pits, barbecue grills and box tables for summer days have all been growing in popularity in the past few years, but for low-maintenance, high use areas, these will become focal points, along with low-energy lighting to extend the days into dusky evenings in summer.

A garden room can be a highly valued and loved addition to the home, giving the family more space and greater freedom to support a busy family life. It could be the case, however, that the best addition to your garden room is the wonderfully sculpted garden around it, giving you even more excuses to use it.

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Date: 17/01/2016 | Author: Roger Hedges