Trending in Urban Landscaping

The cold or the gloomy day is a good one for some introspection. And for writing a landscaping column about trending topics and designs. Things that are likely to be popular next year. Briefly, we will mention a couple dozen items and styles that appear to be on designers, landscapers, and homeowners minds as we pause and spend some of the long hours of dark dreaming of things to do when it’s warm outside again and another growing season rolls around. Many of these mentions may get a whole article devoted to them in the coming year.

Simple and layered. Usually low maintenance, but some actually love the tending of their gardens.

Asymetery. The pair of shade trees, one in either side of the lawn that is divided by a straight path to the street or the mailbox is stuffy and dated. A big tree on one side, and a grouping of three shrubs or a bunch of flowers or clumps of grass on the other side of a curved walk is so much more chic.

Divide and conquer! Carve the outdoor spaces into segments. Outdoor rooms can be for recreation or for the quiet zen experience. Different “rooms” for different folks. And different occasions.

Transition from inside to outside is not real clear. Blurring that distinction is trendy.

Add water! Waterfeatures are making a comeback. Remains to be seen if they become as popular as fifteen to twenty years ago. Fire is also in demand, and lighting.

Add “wow” to your place! Graceful sweeping lines, focal points, garden structures, and hidden rooms that open into that lush get-a-way place without leaving the security and serenity of your own yard.

Green walls, living walls. Living rooftops. Container gardens on what was a concrete patio or walk.

Multi-functioning areas, small gardens, including real veggie and fruit gardens. Urban gardening is a “growing” trend! Pergolas and huts are still in style. Succession gardening is in vogue.

Natural materials are replacing plastics and fake stone. Gravel and stone or woodchip paths are replacing concrete ones. And paving materials that don’t cause flooding runoff in heavy rains are gaining in popularity. And something called “wilding” is increasingly popular.

Black is a color trend, weathered steel is too. Gazing balls are “last century”. Grasses are replacing both lawns and perennial and shrub beds.

Sunken gardens. Sunken patios. (The elevated deck; not so much.) Private spots is the point.

Pay attention to the look from above! The view from second or higher floors of neighboring properties is a concern for having some privacy and as communities get more crowded this concern has grown. (Now you also have to be concerned with drone footage and satellite views!)

Even if you’re not one to follow the latest craze, maybe you’ll find it useful to know and anticipate things your neighbors may be doing in the coming seasons.

The author is a landscaper. Comments and suggestions welcome.