No longer content with a simple front porch swing, homeowners are expanding their outdoor spaces to suit their modern lifestyles, well-being, and to show a greater respect and appreciation for nature around them. These are the qualities that play a part in the upcoming landscape trends. Here are 5 Landscape Trends to watch for in 2017.
- Outdoor Living Spaces
Research shows that time spent in nature reduces stress and increases well-being. Homeowners everywhere are proving that they are willing to invest in moving their indoors, out. While this trend is not new, it keeps growing and shows no signs of stopping. As a result, patio areas are increasingly being expanded to include outdoor kitchens and living rooms for both relaxing and entertaining while the surrounding landscapes are being designed to create private retreats in suburban settings. Both large and small water features are being added to offer a soothing element to an ever-stressful life.
Naturescaping is a landscape concept that works with the land – rather than against it. It brings in native species of plants that are suited to your soil and weather which means little to no fertilizer, pesticides or constant watering. As a result you create a natural habitat that is relatively maintenance free for native birds, insects and butterflies. Your yard doesn’t have to completely become a conservation area to naturescape though. Adding a perennial bed with pollinator plants for butterflies or planting shrubs that provide berries in the winter for birds are two ways you can work with nature and create a beautiful garden at the same time.
- Tech Savvy Irrigation
With drought being a severe threat across the U.S. along with water restrictions imposed by city and state authorities, many homeowners are becoming far more mindful of their water usage. Looking far beyond the common rain sensors that will typically just delay when the irrigation system starts running, modern technology can allow the system to measure the rainfall amounts and then calculate what your yard needs. While it seems like a simple concept, this allows for less water usage, less excessive run-off and more chance of plant survival since over-watering is one of the top reasons homeowners’ plants die. Add in the ability to remotely control your system from your phone or laptop and systems with cold weather shutdowns that suspend all irrigation in the event of a potential freeze, today’s irrigation systems are designed to be both cost saving and conscientious.
- Home Grown Gardens
The demand for locally sourced, organic food is growing and what better way to know where it comes from than to grow it in your own back yard. Unfortunately, we aren’t all blessed with large yards to create the perfect garden, in fact there is a downsizing trend across the U.S. as populations are shifting from the suburbs to city living. With new varieties of dwarf, edible plants that are bred for both self-pollinating fruit production and a tidy appearance, today’s fruit bearing shrubs are able to fit into any back yard landscape or in containers. In fact, why plant annuals in your ceramic containers when you can plant a garden?
- All That Glitters
Gold and Metallic materials have been trending in the home for a few years and is now working its way outdoors. Metal accent pieces and pottery with metallic finishes add a sparkle to a garden while gold plants allow for a pop of radiant color to your landscape. The gold of Lemon Daddy Hydrangea and Golden Japanese Forest Grass will brighten up a semi-shady spot in your garden, while the delicate heart shaped leaves of Hearts of Gold Redbud become a spectacular specimen when surrounded by a sea of green.
Ultimately your garden or landscape is home. It’s meant for a relaxing morning cup of coffee or playing with the kids, reading a book in the quiet or entertaining family and friends. It’s an extension of you and your life and sometimes that means, regardless of the current trend, a simple front porch swing.