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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


10 Outdoor Living Trends You’ll Want for Your Space

Renee Valdes
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Outdoor trends with Hampton Bay Mill Valley 7-piece patio set

What are the top trends for landscaping this year? Entertaining outdoors, a low-maintenance, native landscape, and good lighting. 

So having the right mix of colorful perennial plants and design elements for relaxing, fun outdoor spaces will continue to be a focal point, according to Chad Danos, president of the American Society of Landscape Architects and director of landscape architecture for Duplantis Design Group in Baton Rouge, La.

Rumblestone Fireplace Kit

Danos says there’s continued interest in spending three seasons outdoors.

“People are looking to create outdoor spaces where they can spend time and maximize the use of it for several seasons,” he says. “People’s lifestyles are busy. They still want beautiful gardens and spaces, but they don’t want to spend the time maintaining them.”

Need some ideas worth considering for your outdoor space? Check out our list.

10 top outdoor living and landscape trends:

  1. Outdoor living. Three-season outdoor living and entertaining continues to be trendy — think outdoor living rooms with fireplaces, fire pits, heaters, misters, umbrellas, pergolas, sail shades and string lights or other lighting.
  2. Color. Lots of color in your landscape — from plants and blooms to your window boxes and porch. It extends to your outdoor furniture and accessories, too. View these galleries for inspiration.
  3. Low maintenance. Keeping a low-maintenance landscape allows people to enjoy their outdoor spaces without as much hard work. It also helps your landscape lower its watering needs. It’s a simple as adding mulch, to help keep weeds at bay and keep plants moist, so they don’t require as much water. Another tip: Reduce the size of your labor-intensive lawn by planting more garden beds and using groundcover, such as juniper, creeping Jenny or thyme. 
  4. Conservation. This trend is about composting, growing your own vegetables to eat, permeable pavement, xeriscaping and other ways to preserve natural resources while lowering your carbon footprint.
  5. Native plants. Native plants are indigenous to an area. When you go native, your plants are naturally adapted to the landscape, including harsh environments and soil conditions, so they grow with little effort. Natives include perennial ornamental grasses in most U.S. plant zones.
  6. Perennials. Because perennials come back year after year, you’ll save time in the garden. Many are adapted to cold and hot spells. Most just need mulch to stay warm in winter. See our top five perennials for your garden in our Plant Finder and read about perennials that can take the heat.
  7. Water features. With more interest in serenity in the landscape, fountains, ponds or saltwater pools have become popular.  
  8. Rain gardens. Building on conservation, rain gardens can put rain to use at the root of your plants, including perennials, ornamental grasses and more. Bioswales, or indentations in the landscape to steer the rain, are also popular, especially where drainage is an issue. In this case, you’ll plant greenery to soak up the runoff. Rain barrels, which often capture drainage from your gutter, fit in easily with rain gardens.
  9. Garden art. The elements of design in your landscape might include abstract or playful art in the garden such as statues or shiny whirligigs that catch the wind.
  10. Storage. With all the entertaining outside, you’ll need a place to store all the extras, such as in a shed or a deck storage box.   

See our inspiration gallery below with more trends.

Got questions about this article or any other garden topic? Go here now to post your gardening ideas, questions, kudos or complaints. We have gardening experts standing by to help you!