Spring is quickly coming upon us. With it meets a renewed vigor to begin our landscape projects. This is our busiest design season - helping people re-imagine their outdoor spaces. Over the past several years there has been a strong shift in design styles. Clients typically begin redecorating or renovating their interior spaces then shift their focus outside. The contemporary style de jour has been swiftly gravitating toward modern design. Sleek profiles and geometric shapes have become a prominent fixture within our commercial and residential projects. Seamlessly flowing from interior to exterior spaces these design transformations have come with specific needs from our clients. Here is what is on the horizon for 2017 landscape design trends.
Many do not want to fully envelop their living spaces with modern embellishments. Instead of completely converting their home and landscape it is becoming a prominent trend to merge traditional with modern. This could be exhibited with built elements in the landscape through a sleek trough-like water feature, a minimalistic seat walls, or oversized poured in place concrete pavers. Accent pieces of contemporary pottery and outdoor furniture are design elements that give a new feeling to a space. These items can be juxtaposed on existing traditional elements like a brick patio or statues with an old world feel. We have played around with plant combinations in our demonstration gardens that lend to this idea. Placing structural plants - like Agave and succulents - amongst roses and fruit trees create a modern cottage garden that is aesthetically pleasing.
Using color and a bold suggestion to the overall atmosphere is becoming more prominent. Instead of focusing on each individual space consider how the area works together in its entirety. From furniture to plants, from wall color to pottery – look at the space in broad strokes with significant focal points. Create bold masses of monochromatic plant material that cohesively accentuate a bold focal point, such as a specimen plant or piece of pottery. In patio spaces you can paint a focal wall that will enliven the patio furniture and potted arrangements.
Outdoor Active Spaces
It is becoming more prevalent for people to create a diverse outdoor entertaining space. Creating play spaces for social gatherings has quickly come in as a second request to outdoor kitchens. Bocce ball courts, fire pits, putting greens with artificial turf, and dining areas are all hot ticket items. Constructing an environment that is dynamic and functional makes the yard a usable space instead of a weekend chore.
People have reevaluated their use for their landscape since going through a drought. It has become a common request to include plants that are useful to our everyday lives. Many have the mindset that if they are going to irrigate the space, they want to utilize the vegetation they are watering. Concepts of permaculture have become commonplace within our landscapes. Including herb gardens near the door, dwarf fruit trees in pots or within the landscape and continual integration of edible and ornamental plants is increasingly growing in popularity.
We have redesigned a tremendous amount of yards these past few years with little to no lawns. I feel that this is a strong trend people are going to pursue this coming year. Clients are analyzing what they need their lawn for and then making the decision of how much they need. If you want a traditional lawn for your kids or pets stick with Bermuda. It is tough and has the lowest water requirement of the lawn varieties. If you want to explore some lawn alternatives look into native bunch grasses, such as Carex, for a meadow effect. You can also consider ground cover shrubs that have low water requirements. Species of Myoporum, Cotoneaster, Ceanothus, or Baccharis are some of my favorites.
From shrubs to edible trees, people want smaller. Less pruning and maintenance are a welcoming addition to the live-in yard instead of the work-in yard. Those who are fans or ornamental grasses consider Pennisetum ‘Hameln’ or ‘Little Bunny’ for a dwarf version of the ever popular Fountain Grass. Green leaves give way to low white plumes barely reaching two feet tall. Traditional favorites, such as Loropetalum (Razzleberry), Hydrangeas, Plumbago, and Azaleas have new varieties that mature to half the size of their original counterparts.
We love all things home and garden and would love to help you get started with your spring project. Come by The Gardens for plant advice or schedule a design consultation.