Everything you need to know about garden trends in 2021

outdoor garden office space

As most of us know, the Great British Summer is an unpredictable beast. Cloudy days and rainy nights are to be expected – but that doesn’t stop us from wanting to make the most of our gardens during the warmer months! Whether they are tiny balconies or small courtyard gardens, or you’re lucky enough to have an extended amount of space with patios and lawns, most of us relish the thought of getting out into our gardens for lazy summer days and dreamy summer nights.

As we write this post, we hope the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is over in the UK, but it is still weighing heavily on our lives. There are still many restrictions in place, particularly when it comes to travel – and even for the countries that it is permitted, a significant percentage of the population are reluctant to travel as yet. While we’re lucky that things are getting better, many of us are looking to make the best of what we have while we’re staycationing – and so it makes sense that many of the garden trends for this summer are in response to this desire.


staycation garden trends for this summer


Escapism is key

Dealing with the constant challenges of lockdowns, paired with travel restrictions has us dreaming of escapes worldwide, and that is feeding garden trends right now. Whether you’re marking the days on the calendar until the staycation that you have got booked in the UK, or you’re dreaming of the day that you walk down the (aeroplane) aisle and jet off to foreign lands, you can use that wanderlust to inspire your garden design.


English country garden

Your garden might be in the suburbs, or even in the heart of the town, but that doesn’t mean you can’t walk out your back door and imagine you’re in the Cotswolds. Creating a country garden feel in your outdoor space means that you can dream of being in your own little cottage while you’re out there. Partly inspired by the ‘cottagecore’ interior design movement (sometimes known as farmcore and countrycore), there is little wonder that this trend is being applied liberally to gardens too.

There are so many ways that you might apply this trend to your garden, but we imagine gardens like this to include plenty of traditionally English plants, from climbing roses and honeysuckle, and lots of wildflowers, as we mentioned before. Furniture is likely to be more traditional in style too, so seek out wrought iron table and chairs – maybe given a pretty make-over in a pastel shade of pink or blue, rather than in black or white. If iron furniture isn’t your thing, find mismatched wooden furniture that is finished with the same treatment to unite the look.


rustic cottage style garden furniture


When you’re creating your rustic cottage-style garden, your lighting needs to be traditional – and it doesn’t get more traditional than lanterns and lamp posts. Our recommendations for this look? This Edit Traditional Lamp Post, which is inspired by Victorian street lighting. Simply add a warm white decorative filament bulb to set the look off perfectly.

If your garden is a little smaller, you can create a similar effect with wall lanterns or pedestals. This Edit Coastal Sennen Outdoor Lantern has a PIR sensor, so will only be switched on when it senses movement after dark. For something a little more intricate, this Lucide Tireno Outdoor Pedestal Light is the perfect option, and can be fitted where you need it.


Seaside vibes

Who doesn’t love a seaside break in the UK? Well, maybe some, but creating a seaside effect in your garden is absolutely on trend for 2021. Maybe it is the desire to get back to normality, with day trips to the beach, but creating a garden that takes inspiration from the British seaside is absolutely on trend right now. Find traditional stripey deck chairs, add beachy stones, jute rope, and use grassy plants to achieve this look. Bonus points if you can turn your shed into a tasteful beach hut.

Coloured festoon lighting is absolutely perfect to complete this look – these Suri Solar Multicolour LED filament festoons are not just reminiscent of fun fairs in the best possible way, but they’re also solar powered, meaning you can hang them absolutely anywhere that the solar panel will be in the sun during the day.


seaside vibes garden trends


Mediterranean space

If you’d normally be on a plane somewhere sunny in the Med around this time of the year, then take inspiration from your favourite destination for your garden. Add olive trees to patios, find furniture made from bleached woods, and add an outdoor pizza oven and strings of festoons to really amp up the Italian vibe.

Should you prefer the north African coast to inspire your garden, this Jumbo Damasque Outdoor Solar LED Lantern casts shadows that feel perfectly Moroccan.


Zen gardens

When you’re done with work, you need a place to retreat for rest and relaxation. Japanese style zen gardens are currently trending, with lots of greenery, stone, and water features. When looking for furniture for this type of garden, look for teak and other darker woods, or if that is out of your price.

If you’re looking for lighting for a more zen space, then look for simple designs, to allow the beauty of the garden to speak for itself. This Elstead York Pendant Porch Lantern would look wonderful in the middle of a simple pergola, and this Dar Arham LED Wall Light is beautifully simple, with opal panes that are reminiscent of traditional Japanese style interiors.

For something a little more decorative, this Elstead Kolne Outdoor Lantern has just a hint of Japanese styling to it, without being too obvious.


Using garden space

Since the pandemic started, we’ve needed every square inch of our homes to work for us even harder – particularly where there a lot of people in a small home – and in many cases, we’ve been using our gardens as extensions of our homes. Pre-COVID, we might have used our gardens in such a way, but since last year there has definitely been more of us using our outdoor space more creatively, allowing us to access just a bit more space.



If you’re lucky enough to have a garden that is big enough to be divided up into different areas, then you might already be on the case with this trend. Zoning has been popular with garden designers for a while now, to clearly show how different areas of the garden are to be used. Tall plants, bushes and even outdoor rugs are popular ways to separate sections and create privacy, but our favourite way – particularly through the evening – is to use lighting.

Fairy light curtains like these Edit ones can create a whimsical backdrop to a romantic dinner, while stake lights or ground lights can be used to mark out the edges of decking, or along paths.


Office space

So many of us are still working from home as we write this post, and many big businesses have taken the decision to allow employees to decide where they want to work in the future – whether that is office-based, remote, or a hybrid arrangement. With permanent returns to offices looking less likely, many of us are looking to create office spaces in our gardens, allowing us to work without interruptions. Small cabins, summer houses and garden office pods are in huge demand this year, and we expect to see even more popping up as home working continues.

Once the office space has been installed and electricity has been connected, in most cases, the office space can be decorated as an indoor home office would be. You’ll be shopping for a desk, book cases, appropriate office lighting and desk lamps and heaters, so that your new garden office space can be used year round.


outdoor garden office space


Cooking, dining and social space

Over the past few years, there has been a trend towards having cooking, dining and social space in your garden. Being able to go out for a quick drink, or for something to eat is much easier when the restaurant or bar is right outside your back door, and there is no need for taxis at the end of the evening! We love this trend, but at the same time, we don’t see a time when we won’t enjoy going out-out – whether that is to our local pub or to a great new restaurant. Nobody wants to have to do the dishes, after all! While the pandemic might have encouraged the trend, there is absolutely no doubt that there is a massive trend towards incorporating cooking and entertaining spaces in gardens throughout 2021 and beyond.

In bigger gardens, we’re seeing full outdoor kitchens that include barbecue grills, pizza ovens and sinks, while in smaller gardens just one of those elements are being installed, alongside al fresco dining areas and bar carts that allow for summer dinners to continue long into the evenings.

Outdoor cooking spaces need plenty of lighting, and we recommend strings of festoons for this purpose. That’s because they are flexible and can be arranged to provide optimum lighting where it is required, but they’re also pretty atmospheric, lending a celebratory, party atmosphere – which is just what you need when you have friends to visit!

Where dining spaces are arranged under pergolas and covers, there are some incredible lighting options. Festoons can be used of course, but we love outdoor pendant lights such as this Edit Vigo pendant porch lantern.


cooking dining and entertaining garden spaces under pergolas with pendant lights


Versatile space

If you have children in your home then your garden is almost certainly their domain – whether they’re outside kicking a ball around, playing at camping or they have sand and water play in their space.

But your garden isn’t just for children – and if you’re in a small house, then your garden may become your workout space, or chillout space, as well as your social space and the playground. If you need your space to be flexible, then add storage in the way of a small shed, or using garden storage boxes will ensure you can do what you want, when you want, and keep your workout stuff, toys for afternoon play dates, as well as tables, chairs, and cushions.

To create a really great amount of soft, ambient lighting, we absolutely adore this Edit Cloud 800 Outdoor Ground Feature Light – we can see it being fantastic for a movie night with the children on a picnic rug, while entertaining friends, or to provide just a little more lighting while doing a full moon yoga flow.



Many of us have become much more aware of the need to make more sustainable choices over the past few years, and in 2021, that means our gardens too. Eliminating plastic, changing the way we treat the soil and being careful to switch lights off when they are no longer needed are all not just on trend, they’re going to be essential for the survival of the planet. Choosing sustainable isn’t a trend all on its own – the perfect situation is where we can work with trends and be sustainable at the same time.


Furniture made from natural materials

Plastic furniture was once the cheap and cheerful option, with loungers, tables and chairs all being easy to find, but as we all become much more aware of the need to act sustainably, they’re becoming much less cool. Designers are sourcing natural materials that are much more robust for both indoor and outdoor furniture. Recently, wicker and rattan are becoming popular for garden furniture, as well as the use of reclaimed woods, and metals that will last much, much longer.

When it comes to adding lighting to your garden, it is possible to find fixtures that are made from natural materials, although of course, wiring still needs to use plastic to keep it watertight. In order to keep the impact on the environment down, buy from quality lighting specialists. Buying high quality means that you’re less likely to encounter your choice of lighting failing on you after just a few months, and reduce the need for you to replace them – and means fewer items ending up in landfill.

If you’re looking for table lighting, then this Alfresco LED Outdoor Table Lamp  or Lucide Fjara Lantern are great options, both supplied with a USB rechargeable battery.


Wildlife supporting plants & wildflowers

With insects such as bees at risk, many of us are choosing to plant more wildflowers, and plants that are known to support animals in the local ecosystems. Some gardeners are completely ‘rewilding’ sections of their gardens, but if that is a little to unkempt, or you prefer a more curated look, add wildflower seed to raised beds. Not only are they great for supporting the environment, they’re also incredibly pretty, and this idea works perfectly with the ‘English country garden’ trend that is popular at the moment too.


pretty English country garden


Growing food and medicinal plants

With so many people choosing to become vegan over the last few years and prices of food rising, the desire to experience garden fresh food has grown dramatically. That’s a great thing too, since home grown fruit and vegetables beat supermarket produce hands down in terms of flavour, and in terms of satisfaction too.

Growing herbs and small plants like tomatoes has been a summer job for many of us for a long time – and the good news is that you don’t need a huge amount of space to grow your own. Even if you have wall planters, patio containers or just a windowsill, you’ll still be able to make the most of growing. Beans, peas, salad vegetables and herbs grow well in small spaces, while if you’re really pushed for space, you can look at growing in hanging baskets.

Taking the trend another step, there has been a move towards growing plants that can be used for medicinal purposes too. Camomile and lavender are both well renowned for being great as a sleep aid, while growing mint and ginger in sheltered, sunny spots means you’ll always have them available for tea to relieve digestive discomfort when you need them.


Careful use of lighting

When choosing lighting options, sustainability means looking for solar powered outdoor lighting where possible, but also ensuring that you minimise the effects of your lighting on local wildlife. Adding timers to your lighting, or making use of PIR lights that are triggered to come on when movement is detected means that your garden lighting doesn’t create excessive amounts of light pollution, and won’t interrupt insect life cycles.


Final thoughts

While these are the trends that designers are working with at the moment, the most important thing to remember is that trends are temporary, and so while you might follow a particular trend to the letter, if you don’t love it, you will end up changing it sooner than you might prefer. Never forget that, while having a home that is on trend is great, having one that you absolutely love, and that you are comfortable in, will always be in style.



maxine clarke author bio

Maxine Clarke Senior Buyer

Maxine has been our decorative buyer since 2015. With her experience in working for consumer-led brands, she is the perfect person to pick out the latest lighting trends for both your home and business. Maxine has an eye for the best up-and-coming lighting from the UK and around the world and works tirelessly to add new brands to our portfolio. One of her trends to watch in 2020 is connectable garden lighting; with summer garden parties more and more popular, being able to build and extend your own outdoor lighting with spotlights, festoons and string lights has never been easier – simply plug and play.