There is a growing fashion in landscape design for the use of hard surfaces and structural features that is in tune with today’s shift away from plants being the main feature of a garden. This is a trend that is encouraged by the popular media while glossy magazines and garden renovation shows on television zealously endorse urban gardens of hard landscape design where beforehand they sanctioned colourful gardens adorned with flowers. This trend has been brought about by modern social and lifestyle changes that have accompanied high density and fast paced urban living. The change has also been influenced by the modern trend towards a Feng Shui lifestyle.
As today’s homeowners become more and more busy and find themselves in homes with less outdoor living space in which to express themselves, they have a tendency to be drawn towards more purposeful and resourceful landscape designs that are easier to look after and more geared towards city living. The implications of this phenomenon in landscape design has been the cause of some concern in the upper echelons of landscaping, where there is apprehension about where this trend will take us, and whether we have seen the last of the green garden. Renaissance and Modernist schools of landscaping always relied on a coalescent mixture of built features alongside the traditional English floral garden. There are plenty of historic examples to back this up, and gardens that include a strong built component tend to be more vociferous and meaningful than their traditional counterparts.