With the warmer weather coming, focus shifts from inside to outside as we start to spend more time in our gardens and yards.

Whether your outdoor space is used for entertaining, family activities or just unwinding and relaxing, having a mixture of different areas is key to creating a space the whole family can enjoy.

Here LIFE:STYLE magazine consults the experts to share some of this year’s hottest trends . . .

Garden Layout

The layout of the garden is key to creating a multiple use space that family and friends can enjoy all year round. Raised flower beds and hedgerows are popular ways of adding structure to the garden, while creating selected areas for different activities; these areas can be adapted at different times of the year depending on your needs. Incorporating natural elements such rocks, boulders and bushes are also a great way to create structure while retaining a more natural look in the garden.

Bright and bold colours

Neutral colours may be trending in the home interior scene, but in the garden, it’s bright and bold colours. Some great summer flowers to provide that wow factor are Gloriosa Daisy and peonies. With its bright yellow and orange petals with a deep brown centre, Gloriosa Daisy can grow up to 3.5ft high and is perfect for the British climate.

Gloriosa Daisy attracts all kinds of wildlife into the garden including butterflies, bees and even hummingbirds. Flowering between mid-spring and early summer, the fragrant peony is available in a range of shades from white to pink and deep purple. They require very little maintenance and can live for over 100 years; the secret to having a long blossoming peony is careful planting, but once established are happy to grow undisturbed for many years.

Photographs and tips courtesy of www.oecogardenrooms.co.uk

Decorating your Garden

Colour is not just used in the flowers of the garden – in fact, one of the biggest trends this year will be colourful garden furniture and garden structures. Using pops of colour with your garden furniture will create an interesting space that will fit in with the character of the garden. Painting or staining garden sheds and garden rooms creates a focal point in which the whole garden can be built around.

While adding bright colours to garden structures help them to stand out, staining garden fences a dark colour allows the foliage to become centre stage, enhancing the natural colours of plants and flowers creating contrast throughout the space.

Garden Lighting

LED lighting has changed the way we light our gardens forever; not only are they more efficient and last longer than traditional lighting, LED lights are now available in a range of different configurations, meaning that there is a lighting scheme for every garden.

Café lighting and extendable light chains are on trend this year, especially when lighting a patio area to create that Mediterranean feel. Solar lights are also an efficient way to light up walkways and specific areas of the garden.

LED lights are now available in a range of colours and can even be controlled using a smartphone, great for adding ambience to the area when entertaining.