Darlington Designs

Landscape Trends for 2018, Part 1

We are at the end of another year and season. As we finish out our last clean-ups, blow away the last of the leaves, and see the glow of holiday lighting installed and illuminated, we start thinking ahead to the landscapes of 2018.

Every year, Garden Media Group from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, issues a trends report highlighting what’s going on in the landscape industry, what people are doing and wanting more of in the outdoors. Our next two blogs will feature our take on seven of these landscape trends as we see them in our corner of Southern New Jersey:

1. Wellness in the Landscape.

Wellness as an industry is growing, so related industries are seeing an upturn in growth as well. Garden Media reports that “being in nature and around water shift our brains . . . away from stress.” Having a beautiful landscape, especially one with a water feature, provides a spa and resort-like atmosphere in our clients’ homes, creating a retreat and escape right outside their doors.

2. Climate-Controlled Landscapes.

Another landscape trend is climate-controlled gardens and landscapes, especially where need for wind-resistant landscapes helps create a more comfortable outdoor space as well as to help shield the home from cold winter winds. We see much of this, especially in newly-constructed homes built on what had formerly been farmlands. To help remediate these site challenges, we make plant selections to include plants that have flexible stems, narrow leaves, needle evergreens and grasses. Not only do these plants hold up to wind, but they take what would have been a site deficit and turn it into a site asset: these plants look great when the wind is blowing on them by creating a motion-dynamic in the landscape. Large trees and shrubs can be planted as a mixed border, creating a wind-break and some relief for smaller plantings in front. Another aspect of a climate-controlled landscape is to include small stone walls in the design. These walls can also help with some wind relief while also providing some visual elevation differences to help break up open space and create some vertical interest.

3. Natural Stone Use as a Landscape Trend.

In addition to wall construction, rocks are a trending aspect to landscape designs. Large or small, natural stone in the landscape adds a sense of permanence, a sense of grounding, to the otherwise more herbaceous aspects of the landscape. Natural stone boulders also provide seasonal interest when they are coated with snow in winter or wet with rain. This design feature in the landscape is also about as maintenance free as it comes!

Check back in a few more weeks for another installment on the 2018 Landscape Trends.