How to Create an Eco-focused Garden with 2021 Trend: BIOTOPIA

Continuing our Garden Trends blog post series, we have put together another trend story that will give you a different design direction for your outdoor space. This trend explores the environmental concerns of citizens regarding climate change and supporting a sustainable future. The design inspiration is oceanic and botanical resulting in a mesmerising range of intense blues, purples & greens; in this trend gardens are immersive and fantastical with a strong ecological agenda.

In considering this trend style for outdoor spaces, it is worth remembering that homeowners are still very keen to bring the outdoors, indoors and we see this resonate strongly in residential, workplace, hospitality, educational and healthcare interiors. These ‘Biophilic’ room schemes incorporate living walls, indoor farm areas and an abundance of plants and foliage. They are becoming spaces that virtually submerge occupants in Nature which we now see influencing our residential outdoor spaces.

Very dense use of plants growing in and around furniture, growing vertically up walls and over structures, builds deeply lush spaces. The creation of immersive areas in terms of colour, light, texture and scent will answer the increasing desire to make our outdoor areas look wonderful all year round. 

This very dense planting is part of a ‘movement’ created by some gardeners towards embracing a greater sense and look of wildness in residential gardens. They have a ‘nature knows best‘ approach that purposefully looks as though nature has been allowed to run wild. It’s a style that was favoured by several designers at the 2019 Chelsea Flower Show including Sarah Eberie. Part of this meadow style’s agenda is to attract, help and support wildlife and inline with this, is a trend towards organic, environmentally friendly gardening practices in relation to pest control, the use of chemicals and organic feeds.

Check out the Lockdown Garden blog post which offers more ideas on improving biodiversity by encouraging and supporting wildlife in our gardens.

This trend of course pivots on the concerns, behaviours and beliefs of consumers who have strong environmental values. This includes the very influential demographic referred to as GenZ. These young people are ultra-passionate about protecting the planet and by 2020 they will account for 40% of the global consumers; their beliefs already rippling out and influencing their parents who are aged 30-50.

From the ‘grow your own’ movement to reducing plastic waste and protecting wildlife, consumers are backing their beliefs with the products they buy for themselves, and as gifts; staying true to their environmental values.

Products that help consumers live greener lifestyles in relation to pollution, waste and the use of chemicals will be favoured. For example composters made from Bamboo fibres, growbags made from recycled water bottles and planters made from materials such as cork. We particularly like the company The New Raw, who create planters using robotic 3D printing with recycled household plastic waste. Their aim to develop and implement circular design concepts with high aesthetic value and societal impact.

In terms of product design and direction, we see a more organic aesthetic not just in the material use but also in the shape and textures. Surface finishes for planters and plant pots will showcase barnacles and crystals, have growth-like textural effects and shapes that mimic shells or urchins.

This trend’s aesthetic will most certainly influence garden lights. Lighting that helps to create an intriguing alluring sense of luminosity in gardens and provides fascinating night time radiance will be desirable. This will include grass-like lighting that follows the natural rhythm, pattern and flow of the landscape. Lighting that mimics plants; albeit rather futuristic plants; that are grouped or clustered together at different heights to resemble organic growth.

And it’s not just outdoor lighting… we also see a combination of lighting and planters working together to create unusual home décor items for use indoors. The many tropical houseplants that are increasingly desirable and that provide the lush look of this trend, can struggle to flourish in the weak sunlight of UK winters. But LED’s can help enhance photosynthesis. This transforms an artificial product (the lamp) into a natural product that we can care about and have a much more personal, emotional relationship with.   

The concept of integrating nature into our daily interactions with manmade products is a theme that runs through the Biotopia trend. Not only seen in lighting but also in outdoor furniture design and decor. Tables or seating that incorporate planters for smaller succulents or decorative grass, makes a great feature product. The idea that you could also plant herbs, salad, fruit and vegetables to be able to grab straight from the table where you’re eating!

Finally, we take a look at some of the most prevalent colour trends for outdoors. This trend is of course dominated by a broad spectrum of jungle greens. Earthy colours are favoured because they are familiar, grounding, reassuring and cocooning, and because they also represent RENEWAL. However, blues are also beginning to attract the same favour that greens have enjoyed. This will continue to be driven by the focus of people on the world’s oceans. Blue can provide a moody, enveloping atmosphere that is much more sophisticated than simply appearing nautical. Lapis, turquoise and teal all swirl together.

Purples will also be a key colour family for 2020 right the way from their dark berry shades through to pale, lilac tones. As purples become more mainstream, they’ll be used in all product sectors and in the garden this will include: wall, fence and shade paint, plants, furniture, slate chipping, planters, pots etc.

As part of our Garden Trends Series you will also find posts on How to create a zen garden and the Lockdown Garden which explores how our outdoor spaces provided sanctuary during the global pandemic. If you would like more information on Gardening Trends for 2021 and how they will impact your business, please do not hesitate to get in touch! (Email Phil or call +44 7896 088996)

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