Naturalistic and Urban Gardens in Focus

Naturalistic and Urban Gardens in Focus

There is nothing more delightful than enjoying your morning coffee in a beautiful garden, amidst nature. Similarly, spending a quiet afternoon with a book, or unwinding after a long day at work in such a setting is equally pleasant. People crave nature’s tranquility, and it doesn’t matter whether we reside in the countryside or a bustling city. We can still reap its benefits in various ways.

Garden design by Piet Oudolf for Vitra, Photo by

Different trends and styles appear in garden design as the years go by. For the last few years, we have observed the rising popularity of natural, sustainable, and wildlife gardens in this field, and they have definitely become the top trends in 2023.
It was already in the 80s and 90s that gardeners and landscapers like Piet Oudolf started to introduce this gardening style. Natural or naturalistic gardens represent more than just a design choice; they embody a philosophy of supporting nature. This involves using native plants or non-invasive, climate-suitable non-native species.

The aim is to reduce the need for watering and to attract various insects, birds, and small animals. In these gardens, pesticides are avoided to protect the wildlife we wish to encourage.

A key feature is the use of meadows instead of manicured lawns, symbolising this gardening approach. This style contrasts sharply with French-style gardens, known for their intensive maintenance and controlled design, which is what many seek to avoid today.

Wildlife Gardens Take Center Stage: Highlights from the Gardening World in 2023

This year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show explicitly demonstrated how wildlife gardens are therapeutic for people. It’s not just about the visual aspect of the garden that is important; sounds also play a significant role in terms of healing.

Planted balcony, Photo by Artur Alexanian on Unsplash.

In 2024, we will keep seeing the trend of urban gardens grow. People are turning balconies, patios, and roof terraces into greener spaces. They’re even planting meadows or succulents on garage or shed roofs, typically tiled areas. Essentially, any plantable surface is becoming valuable for urban gardening.

Vintage tents and parasols, Photo by @rosannafalconer on

Naturalistic and Urban Gardens in Focus

Garden trends for 2024 include vintage tents and parasols. Tents offer a great view, shade in summer, and shelter from rain and wind. For smaller areas, a vintage-style parasol is ideal. The RHS Plant of the Year 2023 is Agapanthus ‘Black Jack’. It’s known for its dark flowers and low-maintenance, evergreen foliage.

Also, consider adding Astrantia major ‘Midnight Owl’, Briza media ‘Golden Bee’, and Persicaria bistorta ‘Superba’. These plants enhance wildlife-friendly garden designs.


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