Landscape Trends: What’s Hot For Summer
The one thing that stays consistent in nature is that it is always changing. Both seasonally and structurally, homeowners love the ability to express their personality & lifestyle through outdoor living spaces. Homeowners maintain value inside the home by remodeling and freshening up outdated looks, and the same is true of the areas outside the home. Keeping in mind the growing importance of outdoor living spaces as a major part of a home value, let’s take a look at the hottest trends in landscaping for 2015.
Custom Fire Pits and Fireplaces
It’s all about FIRE! Most landscape design projects now include at least one element of fire. Homeowners love the look and it adds to the ambiance of evening entertaining. While a wood burning fire pit has long been a staple in landscape design, the use of fire in the landscape has evolved. Look for gas logs or installed gas lines to fuel fireplaces, fire bowls, fire torches and lanterns. Glass rock as a decorative finish continues to be popular.
New and Unusual Stone and Patterns
Differentiated and personalized hardscaping is a big trend in landscape. The artistry of stone work combined with the explosion of new natural stone and paver options provides limitless options for patios, paths and driveways. The request for wet cast pavers, which have been used in Europe for years, has been occurring more frequently. Wet cast pavers mimic the look of natural stone. They do not fade, offer an amazing variety of colors and patterns and can be slightly less expensive than specialty limestone. Additional trends in hardscaping include the use of patterns and a move toward pale, modern stone in place of darker hues.
Outdoor Kitchens and Grills
Outdoor kitchens and entertaining areas maintain their popularity and are now considered an integral component of the home. Besides grills, sinks and refrigerators, homeowners are incorporating pizza ovens, warming drawers, ice makers, kegerators, cocktail stations, flat screens, and smokers to match their favorite entertaining styles. Custom structures such as pergolas, custom trellises and garden entrance arches add charm and shade to any backyard.
Mass Groupings of Plants
Let’s talk plants! Over the last 5 years there was the strong trend away from strictly ornamental plantings to more native plants. Currently we seem to be settling into a hybrid of the two by employing native species in a more ornamental way, massing and incorporating with ornamental plants. Envision masses of ornamental and native in groupings versus an inter-planted prairie. Native perennials are readily available and are being used more for harsh urban conditions such as road salt. Many of them are drought tolerant and can also be featured in rain gardens.
Save the Bees! (More Blooms, please!)
We can’t leave out the butterflies and bees! “Save the Monarchs” is a major force in social media this summer. Planting a butterfly garden is one way to attract beneficial insects, bees, and of course butterflies. Using both annuals and perennials, a butterfly garden will be in bloom most of the planting season and offer a rainbow of color. Favorite host plants (for the caterpillars) are parsley, dill and milkweed. Favorite plants for nectar sources include perennials such as salvia, coneflowers and butterfly bush and annuals such as agastache, zinnia, and ageratum. Homeowners can even register their own certified Monarch Waystation online at monarchwatch.org. What a great way to beautify the landscape, create a better sustainable environment and have fun outside. Planting a butterfly garden is also a wonderful project for families. Consider hanging a hummingbird feeder above the garden. It’s a thrill for kids and grownups alike to watch these tiny birds in action!
Would you like some assistance incorporating these trends into your landscape? Contact us below for a consultation or just give us a call at 847-658-3883.