Nat­u­ral in­stincts

This year’s di­rec­tions in gar­den de­sign are all about con­nect­ing with the great out­doors, writes Robyn Wil­lis

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It’s no se­cret that home prices in Sydney and sur­round­ing ar­eas are at a pre­mium. Lot sizes are shrink­ing and there’s sim­ply no room now for spa­ces that are un­der used. Which per­haps goes some way to ex­plain­ing some of the big­ger trends in gar­den de­sign we can ex­pect to see this year.

De­pend­ing on your in­ter­ests — or life stage — ev­ery­thing from ur­ban farm­ing and sus­tain­able de­sign to back­yard sport­ing fa­cil­i­ties de­signed to coax fam­ily mem­bers away from their screens are set to take hold.

While the idea of the out­door room where lines be­tween in­door and out­door spa­ces dis­ap­pear con­tin­ues to dom­i­nate, the struc­tural for­mal­ity of gar­den de­sign in re­cent years is giv­ing way to sport­ing pur­suits and hob­bies such as grow­ing your own food, rais­ing your own hens for eggs and even man­ag­ing your own bee­hives for honey har­vest­ing.

The big­ger pic­ture

Much of the credit for these gar­den de­sign di­rec­tions can be at­trib­uted to the world­wide trend to­wards a stronger con­nec­tion with the nat­u­ral world in its raw state.

Nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als such as solid tim­ber and stone, na­tive plants, prefer­ably from the lo­cal area and un­der­stand­ing ex­actly where your food is com­ing from are all strong driv­ers.

Even if you don’t have a patch of earth to call yours, the in­ter­est in leafy in­door plants en­sures the nat­u­ral world is never far away.

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