Owner and founder of Garden Life, Richard Unsworth, caught up with Homes To Love to discuss gardening trends and what he sees as shaping garden design in the future.
What are people asking for more and more in their gardens?
Clients are seeking garden areas where they can relax and find connection with each other – for example, areas incorporating firepits and inbuilt seating – our gardens are about providing peaceful spaces where we can be at ease with ourselves and others we want to share time with.
What have you been doing differently lately?
We’ve been working with more indigenous and naturalistic planting styles – certainly in my own garden at Pittwater, and then introducing this knowledge and learning into our projects.
Have you seen any old trends coming back? Or is there an old idea you’ve been making new again?
Only that terracotta continues to be perennially popular for feature planters, and our handmade Moroccan and Italian terracotta pieces are in demand. Also, we keep returning to this movement of the natural, the raw, and making our urban gardens feel a little looser and wilder. We love using recycled brick and sandstone underfoot or just decomposed granite as a softer and more organic floor covering.
What plants and products are you excited by at the moment?
All plants excite me if they are placed in positions that they thrive in. People are becoming more interested in indigenous planting, and I’m excited about composing schemes that also incorporate tough exotic species that thrive in our climate, like euphorbias, aloes, and various grasses.
What have you noticed is going out of style?
Manufactured wood, glass pool fences, laser cut screens, besser blocks, formal gardens – less focus on hard constructed areas – with more engagement with organic materials, recycled bricks, local sandstone, gravels, deco granite, worn and aged timber. Planting is altogether softer and more mounding forms rather than box hedges and regimented placement.
Are there any trends from 2021 that you can see carrying over into the new year, or are things taking a new direction?
Trends in gardens are thankfully far slower than fashion, or interiors. We see a continuous high demand for urban gardens that reflect how the clients live in their space. For us, we feel it’s more about balancing the practicalities of the space, the surrounding environment, and the client’s dream list. Our role is to act as the conduit to incorporate all these aspects and infuse our own personality and style. In the end, it’s all about the joy that plants can bring into our lives, and we feel privileged to be able to do this in our work.
GARDEN LIFE. PLANT JOY.