As we’re in a living breathing digital age, sadly it is becoming increasingly difficult to justify time to mowing the lawn or sculpting hedges. As a result, there is a rapidly increasing trend of people reducing their lawn space, says Jelson Homes’ landscape gardener Michael Spencer. “But rather than dwell on a lack of green stuff, we’re seeing this as an opportunity to add a little innovation to green spaces by creating garden beds, borders, shrubs and perennials – to make a statement. “The ideal now is that the garden is both beautiful and functional, while simultaneously being low maintenance.” That’s not to say there isn’t still major spending in the outdoor industry – it seems, getting a fancy addition to the garden is rather popular. Patios and terraces were the most frequent upgrades in 2015/16, with gazebos, pergolas and trellis also popular. There is also a big trend in homeowners wanting to extend their living space into the garden, with outdoor kitchens, furniture and fire pits. Jackie Woodward, sales manager for Jelson Homes, comments: “Many of our homes have varied sizes of garden depending on the house type so whether purchasers have green fingers or not, we would encourage them to pay one of our developments a visit and witness the potential for outdoor living at its very best.”