Summer is the perfect time to think about your landscaping. You have a few months before the weather gets cold again, which means you can comprehensively rethink the ways in which your property can reflect your lifestyle and preferences so that you can truly answer “What are the best landscaping ideas for me?”
But where do you get started? A major shift in landscape design is not to be taken lightly. Once you make changes to your outdoor living space, those will likely stay in place for years to come. That's why it makes sense to get a few inspirations for potential landscape design plans first. Additionally, incorporating the right outdoor design element like a beautiful fire feature or a tasteful renovation of your driveway can have a serious impact on the resale value and curb appeal of your home.
You may be wondering what are the top landscaping trends of 2019? With 2019 well underway, we have already seen a few trends that have staying power for the next few years. Consider these 7 landscaping design trends for 2019 before you embark on your own project.
1) Minimalistic Designs to Show Natural Beauty
According to the most recent National Gardening Survey, millennials now make up 29% of the gardening population in the U.S. But even beyond that environmentally conscious group, we're increasingly seeing a return to nature with minimalistic (but very intentional) human touches.
That means designating specific spaces within the property to leave alone, and just letting it grow while focusing most of the attention on a more defined part of the yard. It also means building more low-maintenance landscapes.
These landscape designs tend to include native and drought-resistant perennial plants, planted not in mulch but the natural soil in which they would grow in nature. That way, some pruning and mowing will be all that's needed to keep the yard looking beautiful over the year.
Make no mistake: these designs still tend to be intentional. Beautiful patterns, strategically placed boulders and benches, and an interplay of trees and bushes can create a natural architecture that is easy on the eye. It's just designed with a minimalistic eye in mind that showcases not manmade structures, but natural beauty.
2) Multifunctional Spaces to Grow Plants and Enjoy Your Space
Another increasingly common trend lies in the ability to create spaces and constructions that serve multiple functions at once. This originally came from urban gardeners having to deal with minimal space, but has expanded to properties all over the country in the recent past.
Think about the possibilities gardeners across the United States are already realizing. The National Association of Landscape Professionals has some examples:
• Vertical gardens that also serve as privacy fences
• Retaining walls that offer seating or entertainment space
• Garden beds that serve as property dividers
• Raised flower bed with built-in storage for exterior furniture.
The key here is maximizing the functionality, without minimizing the aesthetic beauty of your property. Why limit yourself to one function when the possibilities are only limited by your creativity?
3) Pollinator Gardens to Build Better Ecosystems
As gardening becomes more holistic, pollinator gardens are taking center stage. The dangers that bees, butterflies, and other pollinators encounter are well-known. Setting up a pollinator garden can make you feel good about helping these vulnerable creatures—even as you focus on beautiful flowers, bushes, and plants.
Pollinator gardens, of course, are not necessarily new. They're just becoming popular as the need becomes obvious. A number of plants tend to be present in these types of landscape designs:
• Anise Hyssop, a culinary herb that honey bees love. Speaking of multi-function: the leaves are popular ingredients for anise and mint-flavored teas.
• Aster, which blooms later in the summer and can keep your garden colorful during that time. Especially monarch butterflies love it.
• Bee Balm, a classic in pollinator gardens, loved by both bumblebees and monarch butterflies.
• Blazing Star, with its feathery blooms attracting a wide range of butterflies. For homeowners preferring shorter stalks, Kobold is a nice, similar alternative.
• Milkweed, which hosts the caterpillars of monarchs. Its orange color makes you feel as good as the fact that you're helping a disappearing species of butterflies.
• Foothill Penstemon, attracting not just bees and butterflies but also hummingbirds.
Of course, these are just a few of the many options for homeowners. As pollinator gardens gain in popularity, finding the right flowers to populate them can transform your entire property.
4) Private Getaways Within Your Own Space
American properties are not always private. Even when they are, sometimes you just need a getaway from the hustle and bustle of regular live. That's why secluded privacy spots are becoming increasingly popular in American gardens.
Usually, these spots are surrounded by high plants or specifically planted hedges that hide you from prying eyes and make you feel one with nature. It might be a patio area away from the house, perhaps with a comfortable outdoor chair or two to spend more time. Even fireplaces aren't uncommon.
A private getaway can be as simple as a chair, and as complex as an entire seating area with a pergola (More on that below). The biggest benefit, privacy, will always be at its center.
This trend is actually coming from East Asia, where private gardens are popular within larger landscape designs. We wouldn't be surprised to see the trend becoming more popular over time as people seek to balance busy personal lives with the need to just relax and breathe for a bit.
5) The (Re)Evolution of Pergolas
It would be silly to call pergolas a trend for this year. They've been around for decades. What is changing, though, is the sophistication with which homeowners are leveraging the many benefits that a pergola can bring.
Modern pergolas are more than just a landscaping feature or roof for a seating area in your backyard design. They can include a number of upgrades:
• Roll-down windows and walls to protect from bugs as needed without sacrificing the outdoors.
• Exterior kitchens to spend even more time outside and host get-togethers within the space.
• Space-heaters and air conditioning systems to regulate the temperature and enjoy the space regardless of weather. An electric radiant panel can be an even safer option for adding supplemental heating to your pergola.
• Lighting and sound systems, and even outdoor TVs for greater luxury and usability.
• These are still not quite identical with the more solid pavilions. The roof still gives way to crossbeams with lattice work for plants to grow (which lends itself to a more natural feeling). The upgrades, though, make them a serious contender for the next garden feature in properties around the United States.
6) Integrated Landscape Technology Solutions
Technology is revolutionizing entire industries, so why should landscape design be any different? Not surprisingly, especially with the average age of gardeners in the United States getting lower by the year, homeowners are beginning to integrate tech into their yards and gardens in a variety of interesting ways.
We already mentioned the integration of electricity and tech into pergolas above. That's not where it ends; homeowners across the country are starting to implement a number of other features:
• Robotic lawn mowers, which are rising in popularity because they save valuable time. Similar to their indoor vacuum counterparts, these lawnmowers need minimal oversight as they take care of your yard.
• Programmable irrigation systems regulate the water for your entire landscape, allowing you to plant even time-intensive plants that require extremely specific amounts of water.
• Advanced lighting and electrical systems help your lawn become as smart as your home, turning on automatically as it gets dark out, feeding information to your smartphone, and more.
The goal of these technologies tends to be the same: they allow you to relax and enjoy the space more as your property takes care of itself. The result: a better experience, not just in designing the landscape but spending time in the space for years to come.
7) Snow Melting Systems for the Winter
Granted, summer doesn't sound like the right season to think about snow. And yet, more and more homeowners in climates where it gets cold are preparing their landscape accordingly. That's why snow melting systems are our final trend for this year.
Think about the problems with snow on a regular basis. It snows overnight, and suddenly your driveway needs shoveled before you get to work. And walking through your property becomes a hazard before you've salted the walkways.
Snow melting systems can take care of all of these issues. A heated driveway, connected to a sensor that knows exactly when to turn on, is the perfect solution to get to work on time in the morning. The same is true for a heated walkway. And for those private spaces with fireplaces mentioned above? Imagine knowing they are clear and you can huddle around a warm fire even with snow on the ground everywhere else.
While these systems can certainly improve your ability to enjoy your outdoor spaces, the most important benefit that they provide is peace of mind. A snow melting system will not only remove dangerous ice and snow but it can also be set up to continue running the system so that the melted water evaporates completely.
By the time winter comes, it will be too late to install these systems. That's what makes summer the perfect season to think about your snow melting system. Winter is coming - now is the time to prepare for it.
We can help you take advantage of this increasingly popular trend. Contact us for questions about installing a snow melting system. You can also find out how much a snow melting system would cost for a driveway, walkway, or patio by getting an instant quote from our Quote Builder tool.