Modern Garden Designs and Ideas

This Clever Trend Allows You to Squeeze More Lovely Things into Your Garden Without it Looking Cluttered

There’s a big new trend this summer, and we couldn’t love it any more. It’s all about using elements that you can see through, so you can pack lots into your plot without it appearing enclosed. We’ve never really adhered to that design motto ‘less is more’, so we’re very happy to jump on this rather stylish band wagon. It gives us free license to add an outdoor sofa, plant more flowers and zone our living space to our hearts’ content, while still having a wonderfully modern and airy garden. Think minimalist metal benches, wispy drifts of blooms, open-weave seating and lacy fretwork panels. Because you can see through them to the rest of the garden behind, your space still feels wonderfully open. Get ahead of the curve now with our inspiring ideas and insider tricks before any of your neighbours cotton on!

Modern Garden Designs and Ideas


The international fashion shows are the catalyst behind lots of the trends that cascade down to the high street, home and garden markets. For spring/summer 2020, one of the key looks is ‘see-through’ or ‘transparent’, perhaps alluding to bigger political memes. And so we’re seeing an increase in the number of garden manufacturers and retailers copying the trend and producing cool and clever products, making them a must-have in your modern garden and addin a bi dash of designer st the bargain.

Modern Garden Designs and Ideas


As well as outdoor seating made from strips of galvanised steel, there are stunning moulded polypropylene and whip-thin plastic options to choose from. The big look for wicker and bamboo furniture in 2020 is open-weave, which fits this trend perfectly too. And these bring added benefits. Think about the usual garden sofa set: it’s most likely solid-weave or heavy wood, concealing the wall and ground space behind and under it. Now imagine a lovely open-weave set that allows your gaze, and plenty of sunshine, straight through it. That otherwise dead space behind your sofa is now filled with potential. How about positioning some pots full of fragrant lavender there? They’ll be happy basking in the sun, and you’ll be happy as you can enjoy the fragrance up close!

Modern Garden Designs and Ideas


Your boundaries can be see-through, too, without compromising a step too far on privacy. Slatted fence panels with horizontal gaps in-between each thin slat ooze modern style and can let more light into your garden. Or you could try swapping out your original fence with a Screen Fence from These have a solid bottom panel topped with a fretwork upper half, bringing you the best of both worlds.


Modern Garden Designs and Ideas

How about trying metal divider panels that have large cut-out, see-through designs? They can be placed where you want to distinguish one space from another but not completely block it out, such as between a barbecue or outdoor kitchen spot and a relaxing area. Modern, stylish and super-easy to install, most cut-out garden panels are made from thin galvanised steel sheets and fixed onto side frames that you plant, or dig, into the ground. Depending on your garden scheme, you can choose from grey, black, rusty Corten steel or customise a colour to match. Try Full Height Bamboo Shoots privacy screen H2.4 x W1.4m, £509.99,


Modern Garden Designs and Ideas

Zoning’ a garden has been a buzzword for years, but for small or long, narrow gardens, it’s tricky to work out how to create different ‘rooms’ without taking up precious space or hiding areas that you actually want to see. Using strips of open, barely-there planting is the answer, as Henry and Verena Day have done in their compact plot (page 50). Dig narrow planting beds or add long and thin stylish troughs between areas and fill with tall-stemmed, wispy blooms that will waft in the breeze and create an ever-moving boundary that defines without blocking the view.


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