As the first days of spring alight, and attention turns to the warmer months ahead, homeowners will be motivated to refresh the style and functionality of their outdoor spaces.

Many will be looking to adopt the latest trend, so staying one step ahead helps offer installers a competitive edge. Here’s your trend watch for 2024 and beyond:

Sustainability, Social Responsibility and Longevity

With ever-growing focus on climate, the environment and the future, savvy gardeners are becoming more clued up on sustainable alternatives, driving unprecedented demand. From peat- and plastic-free, to native planting and wilding, 70% of gardeners now cite that they ‘care’ or ‘care very much’ for environmental issues according to RHS. 87% also report having access to a garden whether rented or privately owned, highlighting the potential size of this environment conscious market. Businesses can capitalise on this trend by prioritising durable products and being selective about the materials that they use.

At Walford Timber, we prioritise our environmental stewardship by focussing on durability, longevity, and timeless appeal in our designs. We hold FSC Certification, further aligning with the 32% of consumers actively reducing plastic in their gardens. Manufactured in the heart of the Wye Valley, our transport footprint remains low, reducing carbon emissions, and we also prioritise low waste practices, utilising every part of the timber.

Health and Wellness

73% of consumers in the UK consider wellness an important priority in their everyday lives. With the rise of remote and hybrid working patterns, the allure of personal outdoor sanctuaries has surged. Research underscores the profound link between gardening and wellness, revealing those who garden every day have wellbeing scores 6.6% higher and stress levels 4.2% lower than people who don’t garden at all. ‘Wellness gardens’ have spiked in popularity, particularly since the Covid-19 pandemic, with consumers seeking solace in the outdoors, valuing fresh air and tranquillity as vital for mental health. Businesses can capitalise on this trend by offering lifestyle products that encourage dwell time in gardens including benches, tables, and chairs.

Additionally, the rising appeal of grow-your-own food represents a fundamental change in gardening attitudes, a trend that intensified by 11% in real terms during the pandemic and continues to attract newcomers to the sector. 25% of gardens had some form of ‘grow your own’ in 2023. Installers can support the trend by offering raised beds to provide an elevated, controlled environment where soil quality and drainage can be easily managed, either with raised-bed kits, or railway sleepers. Slatted, wooden compost bin designs can also optimise at-home composting to further boost the grow-your-own trend.

Wilding and Re-wilding

Gaining momentum, the term “wilding” refers to the practice of embracing a more natural and untamed aesthetic, promoting biodiversity and sustainability. Fencing that incorporates latticed features, such as our trellis panels provide the ideal frame for climbing plants such as wisteria or jasmine, enhancing a sense of enclosed tranquillity. There are also growing concerns about wildlife protection, with 1 in 3 gardeners making adaptations for wildlife. Hedgehog holes in gravel boards are now a key feature, and we’re proud to offer gravel boards featuring ‘hedgehog highways’.

Contemporary or Timeless

A newer fencing style that is climbing in popularity is slatted panels, which strike a delicate balance between privacy and openness. The clean lines of slatted panels allow light and air to pass through the garden, marking any property boundary clearly, or zoning a garden. This is a style that features prominently in our Premier Panels range, in particular, our Malvern or Marlow Panels.

Contrastingly, for those who prefer time-tested options, the enduring appeal of lap panelling and closeboard fencing remain steadfast in popularity. These traditional, robust fences provide unmatched security whilst looking smart.

Shop the Walford Timber range at www.walfordtimber.co.uk.

Ben Walton