One consumer trend that has been steadily rising and is predicted to continue is outdoor living. People are investing more money into their gardens and are, naturally, wanting to spend more time enjoying them.

According to one report, 39% of Brits have transformed the way that they use their green spaces in recent years. For example, 35% of those asked said that they had changed their garden into a relaxation area and 11% had made changes in order to create extra living space. So, what garden trends are current and how can you make your backyard a pleasant place to wind down?

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Together with Dobies, gardening retailers of seeds and other essentials, we investigate:

Outdoor furniture

One way to make your garden more accommodating for yourself and for guests is to invest in the right furniture. Sales of garden furniture, barbecues and accessories are expected to grow by 3-4% annually up to 2021 — what are you waiting for?

More people spending time outdoors incites the need for an appropriate eating area. No more sitting on plastic chairs with paper plates, get with the times and make your garden suitable for dining alfresco. Why not create a sunken fire pit in your garden, surrounded by some cosy seats? With a comforting source of heat in your back garden, it’s likely that you’ll find yourself outdoors more than you would have thought. Or, if you have space, invest in a durable table and chair set.

Between 2006 and 2016, the average number of barbecues held per family each summer rose from 2.5 to 10 — demonstrating our growing love for outdoor dining. Of course, you can go as premium or as basic as you like here, depending on the size and features that you’re after. More people are making purchases of verandas now too, allowing them to spend time outdoors despite what the weather is doing!

We seem to be realising the potential of the space in our gardens, too. Although, space efficiency is important, as gardens aren’t as large as they used to be. One way to be space-efficient is with a shed. The Posh Shed Company saw a massive 300% increase in sales of its Chelsea shed in 2017. This type of shed is all about space-saving and has features such as built-in shelving on the outside so that internal space isn’t compromised. You can store your outdoor furniture here when you’re not entertaining and keep everything nice and tidy.

The rise in alfresco living — how can you get your garden ready?

Garden plants

With alfresco dining on the rise, we all want to sit somewhere that looks nice. What better way to brighten up your garden than with some plants?

Shrubs are a nice way to bring some colour to the borders of your garden and aren’t difficult to maintain. You can use shrubbery to line the pathways of your garden and the lawn edge, filling in a space that might’ve been left bare. Choose shrubs that look nice in every season so that your garden looks its best all year round. When planting shrubs, remember to plant them at least half the width of the shrub apart from other shrubs and boundaries as they can grow outwards.

Why not set up your own vegetable or herb patch in the garden? Growing your own produce is set to be a big trend in 2018 due to rising food prices and a new love for organic food. When cooking for your guests, you can head to the bottom of the garden to gather some fresh herbs and vegetables to go with their meal.

With the appropriate outdoor furniture and some aesthetically pleasing plants, you can get your garden ready for alfresco living in no time. Spending more time in the garden is guaranteed to lift your mood and stop you from getting cabin fever, especially in those colder months.

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