Technology is progressing quickly and homes are now becoming smart environments bringing a number of benefits. Energy can be saved as lights detect when you leave a room, solar panels can offset energy consumption, and doorbells can be answered from your wristwatch. These developments and gadgets are not only accessible but are also being improved upon every year. Now, they are entering the garden space.
In addition to technological advances, social trends and lifestyle preferences are also affecting the way we design gardens. A number of new trends are already occurring in response to the health crisis and resulting lockdown experiences. Our homes and gardens are being used differently and, when looking to the future, it seems that they may even be unrecognisable.
You might already be familiar with the iconic Roomba, an automated device that patrols and cleans your home’s floor, but have you heard about the robotic mower? These devices cover large areas of garden lawns and ensure that it is always trimmed, negating the need for you to control your weeds and trim your grass. Certain models also charge themselves via solar power and can be programmed to cover indirect areas, such as around the side of a property, too!
Garden environments are increasingly becoming host to outbuildings, those that offer a property extra indoor space that is nestled among nature. These annexes, summer houses, and log cabins are meeting the needs of homeowners who are seeking personal or professional space that is removed from their internal living space.
As residents begin to spend a greater amount of time at home, largely due to the ubiquity of remote working, our living spaces are becoming encroached upon. This is why relaxation spaces or professional home offices are now being established in gardens instead.
As individuals feel the pressure of responsibility that stems from climate change, homeowners are transforming their gardens into ecological spaces. There are a number of ways in which this is happening and, primarily, it involves reducing a home’s carbon footprint. This can be achieved with solar panels, often affixed to an outbuilding or shed roof, but might also manifest as composting containers and rainwater collection facilities.
In the interest of the local environment, gardens are also likely to become ever more supportive of local fauna and flora, as seen popularised by movements like No Mow May. Beehives, hedgehog boxes, and other similar homes are also becoming common features of residential garden spaces.
As any resident within the British climate will know, changing weather patterns can be problematic. It is remarkably difficult to design a garden that can survive well during winter as summer, at least not without significant maintenance. Smart garden designs, such as automatic rain covers and responsive draining systems, are changing our gardens, making them adjust landscapes and features to combat changes in weather. One particular issue occurs during winter, with fluctuating temperatures causing damage. Now, however, garden heaters are able to keep ponds and surfaces warm, negating the extreme effect of cold temperatures