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From avoiding invasives to xeriscaping, these are the landscape requests to anticipate from homeowners.

Landscape Design Trends

A xeriscape design in Los Angeles for low water use and easy upkeep.

 

Tilly, which offers outsourced landscape design services (profiled in Turf Spring 2021), has a unique perspective on what landscape customers want. As an affordable online service, landscape design is all they do and homeowner-clients are located across the U.S. So what do they anticipate will be the most-requested yard features in 2022? As expected, environmentally sensitive design will continue to be increasingly embraced, but there’s some sheer fun on the horizon too, like dog-influenced design. Backyard bars also made the list—perhaps not surprising as the ongoing influence of COVID-19 puts an emphasis on at-home, outdoor entertaining. Here are Tilly’s predictions.

Environmental Trends

  1. Avoiding Invasive Plants. Homeowners are starting to become extremely savvy about their yards—and not only what looks good, but what is good for the environment. While specifying native plants has been a focus for many years, residential clients are becoming more knowledgeable about the harm of invasive plant species. Some towns are even offering free removal of invasives. This concept can be a struggle for landscapers and growers since demand for invasive plants still surges in certain areas.
  2. Low Water Usage Landscapes. With droughts, extreme heat waves, and water shortages, xeriscaping will continue to grow in popularity across the U.S., but specifically boom in the West and Southwest. (Xeriscaping is creating a landscape that requires little or no irrigation to maintain.) Landscape designers savvy at making this pragmatic landscape look chic, sophisticated, and natural will be in demand. (Keep an eye out for Turf’s June issue dedicated to Water Management.)
    Landcape Design Trends

    Permeable pavers to help drainage were part of the design for this Dallas, TX home.

     

  3. Storm Water Mitigation. Homeowner’s will actively seek natural solutions to help eradicate drainage and flooding problems they experienced in 2021. Since stormwater runoff is a major source of waterway pollution, expect 2022 design to include more:
    Drainage solutions. While underground drainage systems aren’t a part of the visual landscape, water damage has forced people to revisit and improve their grading and systems. Investing in a good drainage system, drainage swales, underground seepage tanks, and french drains, will be a must.
    Rain gardens. While rain gardens are increasingly common on commercial or municipal properties, expect to see more residential installations.
    Permeable pavers. Consumer awareness, as well as tightening zoning laws, will help drive use of this environmentally friendly but more expensive paving option.

Design Trends

  1. Herb Gardens. During the pandemic, many dove head first into creating vegetable gardens, but then learned it’s a big commitment of time and attention. As lives get busier again, Tilly predicts homeowners will downsize and focus on herb gardens, which are less upkeep, need less space, and can be used for cooking or drinks.
  2. Dog-Influenced Design. Many people brought home dogs during the pandemic and homeowners will start making design decisions that support dog-friendly areas. Since dog urine can create dead spots in a lawn, adding synthetic turf for dog “relief” areas might be an option. Homeowners will also invest in fences and dog runs.
  3. Backyard Bar & Grill. People will continue to look for ways to maximize backyard functionality. Outdoor kitchens have been popular for a while, but generally consist of a grill and mini fridge. Tilly predicts more elaborate projects, specifically with “bar areas” like counters and stools for people to relax and converse.
  4. Incorporating Smart Outdoor Technology. While smart irrigation controls sprinklers, there’s much more on the market. Robotic mowers, soil sensors, TV’s that can be used in direct sunlight, outdoor speakers and projectors, pool cleaners, and more create the ultimate entertaining space with new weather resistant tech. Outdoor lights can be voice controlled and can set the mood with any color. Home and shed security systems that can be accessed with fingerprints. Furniture that comes with hotspots will no doubt eventually launch for the residential market.
    Landscape Design Trends

    A vertical garden, as seen here, is just one way to “find square footage.”

  5. Finding Square Footage. Since the outdoors has taken on new meaning, landscape designers will continue to find new ways to maximize yard space and “find” new square footage. For example, pergolas won’t be covered in vines, but instead have Sunbrella awnings to make spaces more usable. Inground pools or hot tubs with moveable decks will be more common. Landscape designers will be expected to get creative—like using a retaining wall to hang an edible garden, or making the side of a shed an outdoor cinema screen. Tilly recently turned a client’s under-stair space into bike and BBQ storage. For a long narrow space, add a bocce court that can triple its use as a work out area or a spot for a table when entertaining. Requests for cocktail pools, or ‘spools,’ have risen as people are seeing the benefit to having these entertainment features.
    Landscape Design Trends

    The request for “cocktail pools” is rising, as pictured in this Dallas, TX residential design.

     

  6. Creative Upcycling. You’ve seen the classic yard upcycling trends, such as using a tree stump or a claw foot tub as a planter, but we expect homeowner’s to extend their creativity further: using tree stumps for childrens’ playspaces; using vintage bar carts to shelve plants vertically; mounting old windows, mirrors, or chalkboards to fences. Tilly had a client use an old bathtub as a small pond ecosystem and another hang a vintage door horizontally to liven a boring stucco wall. Push clients to get creative and have fun!
  7. Paving Patterns. Paving patterns have been rising in popularity in interior design and Tilly predicts this will extend into the outdoors. Unexpected paving patterns can quickly take a space from functional to stunning. Large pavers in a running bond pattern will be the new contemporary look, rather than multiple sized pieces. Paving with a smoother finish, rather than a textured or rock faced aesthetic, will be a go-to style. We expect porcelain paving to rise in popularity as well. It doesn’t get as hot as bluestone, so is a great option around pools.
  8. Indoor Inspirations. Of course, the indoors always inspires outdoor trends and we’re seeing a shift in color popularity. Gray has held court for years, but we expect design to shift from cool colors such as grays and white to more warm earthy colors like tans and browns. New styles will emerge, including: Retro – such as bright colored hammock weave patio chairs and retro shaped coffee tables and deck shapes. Modern Farmhouse—such as adding a long sleek couch next to barn/stable doors, or lantern-inspired lights with flower blooming shrubs. Rustic style, which, places an emphasis on rugged and natural beauty, will play well with the greenery and plants in a yard. Contemporary spaces with full plantings, rather than a minimalistic aesthetic, will be popular. California Modern and naturalistic styles will be huge in Texas and Western states, with a focus on drought tolerant plants or modern designs softened with grasses and perennials. Cottage style gardens will trend in the Southern and Midwest States, with a more modern and classic take on the style in the Northeast.

Tilly For Pros is an outsourced design solution for landscapers and contractors. Learn more here.

All Photo Design Renderings Credit Of Tilly.

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