Popular garden trends that will transform your outdoor living space

There’s no doubt about it: backyards have become the new meeting place.

And this simple truth has led many homeowners to re-evaluate their current outdoor living conditions.

Considering a redesign but not sure where to start?

Here, Joseph Richardson, landscape architect based at NoVA and founder of Joseph Richardson Landscape Architecturebreaks down the latest trends in backyard design.

Bring out the inside

More than ever, homeowners are blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor living by working with architects or builders to develop interior floor plans that respond to the spaces surrounding the home.

An example of this would be connecting indoor spaces such as a dining room or kitchen with an outdoor patio, deck or garden.

“It’s definitely a trend that has evolved over time,” says Richardson. “It’s become kind of an expectation at this point and a regular topic of conversation when our customers come to talk to us.”

Another way customers do this is to use a designed view from inside offices or bedrooms, Richardson notes.

For example, they may want a focal point in the garden like a sculpture, a birdbath, or a flowering tree.

“Views are a way to connect spaces,” says Richardson. “And a lot of people are working from home now, so that view from the office has become much more important.”

Focus on ecology

There’s also been a noticeable increase in customers who are more eco-friendly or environmentally conscious, Richardson says.

Using pollinators and other species to attract wildlife to the yard has become a priority for many clients.

“We also received many more requests for native plant species to minimize the use of pesticides and herbicides,” he explains.

Once established, native species require little or no irrigation.

“Composting and organic gardening have also become very popular in recent years,” he says.

dog friendly yard

Pet-friendly landscapes

Another trend that has taken off recently is adding pet-friendly areas to your outdoor landscape.

With more people spending time at home and the rise in pet adoptions during the pandemic, Richardson says they’ve designed more spaces exclusively for pets.

“One of the hottest trends right now is a dog park, which is basically a fenced-off part of the property that their dogs use to play,” he says.

This trend can also include small areas of artificial grass or gravel for dogs to use for relief without destroying the grass or spaces that owners have spent money to develop.

“Both can be easily maintained, and it’s a great technique for keeping lawns healthy and safe for children to play in,” says Richardson.

tree-lined outdoor terrace

Add privacy

While creating privacy isn’t exactly a new trend, it’s something that’s been on people’s minds as they start spending more time outdoors when they’re at home. .

“It goes hand in hand with blurring lines and creating views where conversely you may also be trying to block views so that when you’re sitting outside you don’t feel not as exposed,” says Richardson.

It could be as simple as planting an evergreen tree or even a wall of greenery, he adds.

Megan Herr is an editor and writer residing in the Shenandoah Valley. She earned a journalism degree from Penn State University.

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