Smart technology, thoughtful — yet simplistic — design, and sustainability are the keywords when it comes to landscapes today.
“Savvy homeowners are seeking smart landscape solutions, which means we’re finding new ways to adapt to environmental elements, making continued advances in technology and taking outdoor living to the next level,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs at the National Association of Landscape Professionals. “At the same time, a return to simple plantings reflects that although innovation in landscaping continues to accelerate, savoring the effortless beauty of the outdoors remains a top priority.”
The National Association of Landscape Professionals released their list of the top trends to watch in landscapes this year:
1. Incorporating a variety of greenery. Greenery isn’t just Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2017 but the color is adding pop to exteriors too. “Combining greenery of various textures and shades, such as a formal hedge of green velvet boxwood, a border of green lilyturf, and dense Boston ivy-covered trellises, is just as impactful as a garden filled with a rainbow of colorful flowers,” NALP notes.
2. Infusing “hygge.” Hygge is a Danish concept that is centered on creating an atmosphere of coziness and embracing the simple pleasures of life. “Decorating with light, arranging seating for close-knit conversations, planting aromatic flowers, and adding water features to encourage mindfulness are a few ways to integrate hygge into landscapes, and to find more enjoyment and fulfillment in outdoor spaces,” NALP notes.
3. Cooking up tech-centered outdoor kitchens. More homeowners are adding exterior kitchens, but they’re going beyond your basic grilling station and dining set. Outdoor kitchens are now including smart home technology, such as built-in consoles on refrigerator doors, mobile app-controlled LED lighting, and ovens integrated with Wi-Fi.
4. Combining materials. More landscapes are interweaving several forms of hardscape materials, such as pebble paths with stone planters or wooden decks with iron gates and railings. The pairings of different materials are creating a less formal look to landscapes, NALP notes.
5. Adding pollinator gardens. “Increased attention on the importance of pollinators to our ecosystem has inspired homeowners to develop gardens that specifically attract vital honeybees, hummingbirds, and butterflies,” NALP notes. “More homeowners are asking landscape professionals how to select native plantings that are abundant, year-round nectar sources throughout their yards, and the best ways to maintain these natural havens.”
6. Creating smart lawns. Landscape professionals have made advancements in developing cultivated grass varieties, called cultivars, that are known as being a form of smart grass. “They can better withstand the elements while still delivering an aesthetically beautiful and healthy lawn, making them especially desirable in drought-prone areas,” NALP notes.