When you think about trends, you think about fashion, cars, technology, even movie genres. You don't necessarily think about trends when it comes to landscape design and install. New plant introductions are made and people move towards the brand name plant material, but as far as sweeping changes, that's reserved for other areas of our lives.
However, with time, there have been some trends developing that are certainly worth looking at and incorporating into your customers' or your own landscapes.
- Edible Gardening. There has been a huge move in this country towards personal sustainability and personal wellness. With so many unknowns in the food growing trade, many people are incorporating edibles into their own landscapes. And not just by putting a few blueberry bushes or a fig tree here and there, either! Flower beds and foundation plantings are being reinvented to include small fruit trees and shrubs, vegetables, and herbs. They're being mixed right in with your bread and butter hollies and loropetalums. There's comfort in being close to the food you're putting in your mouth.
- Drought Tolerance. This isn't new to us in the South. We've been planting with drought tolerance in mind for years, but it's worth revisiting because this past year we got so much rain, we technically aren't in "drought" conditions anymore. More than drought tolerance, general tolerance is something important to keep in mind. Making sure you choose plants that don't need more or less care than you are willing or able to provide them should be job one.
- Water Features. Besides their beauty and ambient sounds, water features can provide hours of calming conditions for you and your family. The sound and sight of running water has been shown over the years to have a very therapeutic effect on people. Self-contained units are easy to install, urns are available, or more complicated features can be custom built. Whatever your budget or need, there's a water feature out there for you.
- Outdoor Living and Kitchen Areas. This isn't such a new trend, as it is one that has really latched on and stuck. There's no outdoor living area too small or too large. You can choose to DIY or have a contractor install a world-class area for you. If you can imagine it, you can have it in your yard!
- Native Plantings. The use of native plants can be tied back to drought tolerance. When you use native plants in a landscape, you are inviting back wildlife, beneficial insects, and other "critters" that belong in your area. Most native plants are beautiful, drought tolerant, low maintenance, and can even be showy.
- Homesteading. The urban chicken fad seems to be here to stay. Going along with edible gardening, people find themselves wanting to be closer to their food, therefore keeping chickens to provide them with eggs is a viable option. If you're interested in keeping chickens, you should check and see what your local laws say about backyard farming.
- Color. Pops of bright, bold, striking colors is very in. Oranges, yellows, bright reds, and even bright white will show up against green foliage and most houses. This is easy to incorporate using containers and even window boxes.