Date: September 2017
The warmer months bring your customers outdoors and get them in the mood for entertaining and relaxing in their gardens, which inevitably makes them far more willing to start new outdoor improvements, including creating decking, sprucing up patios, adding seating areas and repairing fencing.
The last thing you need is missing out on the chance to cash in on a wave of gardening enthusiasm by not having access to the right stock or the materials likely to be most in demand.
The British summer is fickle, and you would certainly be excused for not having a crystal ball. However, you need to be ready with a good source for supply for the things that are most likely to be trending in gardens this summer. Not least because when the sun shines and customers request garden improvement projects, being ready means hopefully bolting on a host of other sale opportunities, such as plants and garden furniture.
Snows Timber has rounded up the latest news, ideas and reports to provide a guide to help you decide what’s in when working outdoors.
Staycations and 'improve not move'
Well, there is definitely good news for the landscaping gardeners, DIY retailers and relevant merchants in the UK at the moment.
For one thing, the current period of economic and social uncertainty means that more Brits are staying at home than embarking on expensive foreign holidays. 'Staycations' are very popular, which means that homeowners want to make their gardens and backyards as attractive and functional as possible.
There is also a downturn in the numbers of people moving house, due to the same atmosphere of economic caution. So the British want to 'improve not move' and are more content to make the most of what they have, rather that undertaking a costly house move.
All of this throws the spotlight on landscaping and gardening improvement projects to make the most of every square foot of the outdoor space homeowners have.
The British are also becoming increasingly aware that landscaping is a great way of adding value to their properties. By landscaping their gardens, creating decking, gazebos, terraces and outdoor cooking areas, they can make their home far more attractive to future buyers - and enjoy the fruits of their labour in the meantime.
This is just one reason why Snows Timber is stocked up and ready for growing demand for landscaping projects.
Back to nature
Another reaction to the uncertain times – but also a trend dating back some time - is that Mother Nature is well and truly back in the spotlight. The emphasis on nature and the environment is also finding its way indoors – with natural products, wood furniture and repurposed items trending, alongside the use of greens and natural light within interior design.
This increased love of all things natural and real also means homeowners are busy creating better outdoor facilities – such as decking – to enjoy being living in the open air as much as possible.
Families are starting to take more interest in their gardens, too. They are embarking on projects, buying fencing and commissioning garden redesigns to create edible gardening plots or better play areas for the kids.
The emphasis on using natural materials and having everything stripped down and authentic means using timber for garden projects is on trend. Snows Timber keeps its customers well stocked with the best that nature can provide, from sustainable sources.
Framing and zoning
Zoning in UK gardens and homes is increasingly impacting on landscape projects - though often in a creative and aesthetically pleasing way.
This could include, for example, using timber and paving blocks to frame a particular plant or garden feature, or zoning outside areas and creating pathways that lead from one part to another.
One of the joys of highlighting specific garden features and bringing clarity and order to outside areas is that it is relatively inexpensive to achieve. It also enables homeowners to create outdoor play areas for their children, while still having space for grown up relaxation on the new decking, or areas for edible gardening that can be protected with attractive fencing.
Mixing and matching
Alongside all of the other landscaping trends – and fitting in perfectly – is a willingness to mix and match more, including old and new, timber and stone, and artisan and contemporary sleek design.
This could include, for example, a modern outdoor wood stove placed on new decking, alongside planters made using repurposed boots, teapots, boats and even toilet bowls.
Take a look at Snows Timber's sleepers and how they can be used to create stepped beds at various heights for a great way of varying flower and edible garden projects for your customers.
Boutique and bijou
Even the owners of flats and small houses are making more of their opportunities for outdoor living these days. Roof gardens, verandas and backyards are all being creatively refurbished to incorporate the latest landscaping trends.
This can sometimes mean using decking and decking accessories to vary the height of small gardens and other projects. Snows Timber can help you create structures that add height and layers to increase interest and available space in confined spaces. This helps customers with small outside areas to think big!
Low maintenance and sustainable
Landscaping commissions and projects that are low maintenance are always popular with homeowners and commercial clients, but this summer there has also been an upturn in interest in sustainability.
Therefore, irrigation systems, water features and other garden additions need to incorporate the latest technology to ensure they work seamlessly, and have a green footprint.
Using Snows Timber to provide landscaping materials can help, as the company only provides materials that are sourced from FSC and PEFC approved, sustainable suppliers.
Getting the right products
Another trend for 2017 is less tangible, but an important consideration for anyone who provides landscaping services and materials.
Homeowners and corporate specifiers are a great deal more savvy these days, not least as they can carry out their own research far more easily, and they are far keener on cost effectiveness. That’s why working with Snows Timber makes sense.
Your customers may well ask more questions than ever before about the credentials of your products, and to be able to say you buy timber from a company with impeccable credentials – at a highly reasonable price – is a competitive advantage.
Snows in summer? Choose Snows for year-round quality products at the right price.
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