Garden Design Trends

D you treat landscaping as an art or is it your passion? Perhaps you just need ideas you can show to your designer and let someone else take care of the hard work. So what is hot currently in garden design? Here’s what according to

Form of Art?

Dubbed the slowest of the performing arts, gardening can seem trend proof. After all, you can’t hurry an oak’s progress from acorn to shade tree, and making a garden isn’t like buying a new throw rug for your home but rather stitching a few glimmering threads of your own into nature’s rich tapestry.

And yet tastes do change in gardening, as your once-obsessed African violet-growing parents or grandparents could tell you. Those who work with the buying public are especially attuned to what’s hot and what’s not. With that in mind, we asked designers and retailers across the country to share the biggest trends they anticipate for 2017. Here are trends they say we’ll be seeing more of.

Natural Materials

After years of minimalist dominance in hardscaping materials, furniture, and decor, designers are noticing renewed interest in natural materials and a less geometric style. Designer Julie Blakeslee at Big Red Sun in Austin, Texas, says, “Rather than clean and modern, clients are asking for a more old-fashioned, more DIY look in their gardens.

The Stone block walk path in the garden on water

We’ve been using railway ties, free-form decks, smaller outdoor furniture, and swing seating. I think clients are looking for something more authentic and real. The Dwell look has been replicated so many times. People may be yearning for something more organic in their gardens.”


Lawn Reimagined

Long a symbol of the American dream, the expansive and neatly manicured lawn continues to take a hit, due in part to drought, water shortages, and concerns about the environmental impact of fertilizing, pest-control treatments, and other traditional maintenance. Lawn-like alternatives, however, are hot.

“We’re installing a lot more grass mixes that don’t need to be mowed, like Habiturf [a native turfgrass blend for the Southwest], and also taller, prairie-type mixes,” says Moring. While he doesn’t anticipate the end of traditional lawns anytime soon, his clients who do want a lawn are opting for smaller ones than in the past. “These are lawns that will be used as opposed to being just for show,” he says.


Despite controversy over its environmental impact, faux grass continues to grow in popularity, thanks to improvements in how natural it looks. “We are still installing a lot of artificial turf,” says Blakeslee in Austin. Designer Sue Goetz of Creative Gardener in Tacoma, Washington, is too, especially in small spaces that clients don’t want the bother of mowing and for pet play areas.

“I have had more requests for artificial turf in the last year than ever,” Goetz says of her Washington clients, adding, “I’d always thought it was just a California thing.” She believes it has to do with how far the product has come in the last few years. “It looks and feels real. It also speaks to a desire for low maintenance.


Old and New Mash-Up

Choosing one style and sticking doggedly to it, whether modern or traditional, is passé, designers say. “Mixing old and new, a trend in interiors and architecture, is about to arrive in gardens,” says Hartlage. “It used to not be OK to mix styles, but now it’s acceptable. It’s not about modern or traditional anymore but how you combine the two in a compelling way, either by putting modern elements in a traditional garden or incorporating bold, traditional elements in a modern garden.”



Dwarf Shrubs

American yards are shrinking as houses grow larger on ever-smaller lots. Along with less space for plants, designers are hearing ever more requests for gardens that require little day-to-day maintenance. Dwarf shrubs to the rescue! “Baby boomers are aging, but they still love their gardens,” says Goetz. “We are finding creative ways to get rid of high maintenance, like using evergreen shrubs.”

Hartlage agrees. “Shrubs are strong due to their low maintenance needs,” he says, “and dwarf summer-blooming varieties are well suited to smaller gardens, like hydrangea ‘Bobo’ and ‘Little Quick Fire’. If you only need a 2-foot plant, why plant something that’ll grow to 4 feet and then spend the next 20 years clipping it? It’s all about plants that are the appropriate scale for the garden.”



Landscape Garden Design Tips

So you want to design your dream garden, re-do your front yard, or dramatically transform your backyard?? Here are some landscape design tips courtesy of


If you’ve never tackled a landscape design before, you might be overwhelmed by all the choices you can make. But the same principles that guide your room setup inside should guide your designs outside, too. Here are seven ideas for landscape design for beginners.


Idea 1

Make a list of needs and wants. Do your kids need a play space? Do you want to grow vegetables? Would your family gather on a patio? Do some very rough sketches of the yard with thoughts of where you want to place things; it’s a great organizing principle for landscape design for beginners.

“These aren’t master plans, just ideas,” says Marianne Lipanovich, author of the Big Book of Garden Designs (Oxmoor House, 2008). “The one I did for our front-yard overhaul was literally a few lines and a couple of circles, but my husband understood the plan, and we went ahead with formal planning out on the site. You can easily play around with ideas without a lot of time and commitment.”

Idea 2

Study the sun and wind patterns. You might want to place a patio on the west side of the house, but it will get lots of afternoon sun, which means dinnertime in August won’t be relaxing — just hot. And wind whistling around a corner will quickly extinguish a fire pit. Those are common mistakes in landscape design for beginners. Your design should take into account what the sun and wind do at different times of the day and year. “You’ll need solutions to temper the problem,” Lipanovich says.

Idea 3

Live with it for a while. Coming to quick conclusions about your yard can lead to choices that don’t work in the long term. “In our yard, there are certain areas where you want to go and sit that I wouldn’t have thought of when we first bought it,” Lipanovich says.

Idea 4

Start small. Home and garden television shows are masters at revealing complete outdoor makeovers in just three days — but they have a crew of 60, which is not a situation enjoyed by landscape design for beginners. Part of creating a landscape is slowly developing a plan and enjoying the process. From your master plan, start with a small flowerbed.

Go out and work on it for an hour or two when you have the time, and worry less about filing everything up right away. “Give yourself some time to see how things develop. Plants grow and things fill in, and people forget that. The point is to take time and do it in pieces so you are happy with the final results,” Lipanovich says. “If you get into this thing and want to get it done, you’ll take shortcuts and be too sloppy and tired to do it well.”

Idea 5

Work around a focal point. Any good garden design has a focal point or series of focal points, and it’s an easy principle to put in place in landscape design for beginners. That may be a sculpture or a stunning plant, a tree, or a series of shrubs. “The point is to draw your eye and move it through the landscape,” Lipanovich says.

Idea 6

Focus on scale and pacing. It’s the trickiest principle in landscape design for beginners, but scale and pacing give your yard a pulled-together look.

There will be variations in size, shape, and color, with tall plants against a building or in the back of a flowerbed, and paths that lead people through the space. “You’ll want to repeat some elements, whether it’s a certain plant, a common color, or even a shape, so there’s a sense of cohesion,” Lipanovich says. “But you also don’t want it to be monotonous, so try adding an occasional element that’s different from the landscape and will stand out.”

Idea 7

Be open to change. Unless you’re strongly devoted to something, be honest about what you like — and what may fall out of favor. “I find myself over the years discovering that I really liked one thing and that it now no longer reflects me, so I take it out,” Lipanovich says.

Remember: Patience is key to landscape design for beginners. If all of that bare space is too much to look at, and the kids and dogs are tracking in mud, rely on temporary solutions — annuals, fast-growing groundcovers that you don’t care about for the long term, even mulch — to cover an area while you’re figuring out what you want.

“Large landscaping features like trees can be hard to move; annuals can be taken out, and small perennials and shrubs can be transplanted if you realize they’re in the wrong spot. But in the meantime, you have something out there,” Lipanovich says.


Organic Gardening Tips

How you care for your garden says a lot about you ans your beliefs. Is there any other topic of gardening that causes as much debate as organic gardening? Should you go all natural or give nature a helping hand?

Regardless what you feel is best anything that focuses on operating in the dirt and also counting on nature and time is what makes organic gardening extremely satisfying. That could appear frightening to a new organic garden enthusiast, which is why we have put together the list of ideas below.

It is very important to turn your organic plants on a regular basis when you are attempting to expand an indoor garden. Plants bend towards any place a source of light is. If you do not rotate your plants there is a good chance that they will certainly all bend toward one side which will limit the amount of veggies that grow on the plants.

Spray your plants with aspirin dissolved in water as this will make them battle ready for combating parasites and the environment. 1-2 tablets dissolved in 2 gallons of water can be a wonderful enhancement to their health- not only is aspirin good for adults!  For maximum effect you should spray your plants with aspirin once every 3 weeks.

Dealing With Pests

Hang shiny silver things throughout your yard,  – I’m not joking, here’s why. These can serve very well as natural parasite deterrents; no requirement for chemicals. The representations can disorient flying parasites such as aphids that call for the sun to route their trip, as well as may frighten off bigger parasites such as birds, or even bunnies or deer if you have a large expanse.

If you have a problem with bunnies getting involved with your vegetable garden, attempt this easy and also organic remedy to get them to hop off. Just use 2 tbsps of cayenne pepper, plus 1 tsp of horticultural oil in a quart of water, put this in your watering can or sprayer and apply liberally to your plants.

The oil will make the pepper spray stick to the plants. Splash your plants occasionally with this mixture especially in summer seasons and you will never see a bunny again chewing up your vegetable patch.

A wonderful pointer that could help boost your natural gardening repertoire, is to start keeping a gardening journal. Noting every one of the modifications that take place and when they happen, can be terrific details to have. A horticulture journal could aid your next year of gardening to be far more successful than the previous one.


Water Recycling

To save water when you’re gardening, make sure to utilize three inches of natural mulch. The mulch will help your plants to soak up the water gradually, enabling you to make use of less water and also to prevent you over soaking your plants. All-natural products like mulch make great compost, they consist of decaying leaves, bark and compost.

Incidentally you can use your own leaves once they fall off any trees you have in the garden. With regards to rainwater recycling for the more hardened organic enthusiast you can store water in a tank or container. You can buy many of these in garden stores or online, many even look like planters, and can look like nice water features.

Or you can use your own containers, and why not. Organic gardening is as much about recycling and managing resources as it easy about staying chemical free.