Darlington Designs

Landscape Trends for 2018, Part 2

In our last issue we reported on Relaxation Gardens, Climate-Controlled Gardens, and Natural Stone as landscape trends for 2018. This list is adapted from Garden Media Group and their Trends Report.

On to more landscape trends for 2018.

4. The Social Network as a Landscape Trend.

This is about how plants in the layers of the garden, from trees down to shrubs and then to ground cover, have their own “Social Network” and band together in the landscape as a plant community, not as a plant collection. Solid landscape design begins with this strategy which helps with the care and management, instead of maintenance, of a landscape. Part of this are plants that are good neighbors with each other, not aggressing each other for soil and water resources. Sometimes this means a design that mimics the natural landscape beyond the property borders, other times it means finding the plant communities that can thrive in the site
and design to it.

5. An Outdoor “Breathing” Room.

A place to go where you can turn off the noise, even turn off the phone. Covered porches are very popular as they are an extension of the home and certainly a landscape trend we see at Darlington Designs. Filled and surrounded by plants, they become havens for clearer air and better breathing. Plants, by their respiration process, take in carbon dioxide and in return, provide us with oxygen. Trees adjacent to a home, not only provide this gift of oxygen but also cool the area under their canopies by about ten degrees. A beautifully designed landscape beyond the covered porch creates a real haven.

6. Rain-Scaping.

Some communities are beginning to incent homeowners to implement best-practices of water management on their properties in effort to keep water from the storm drains. These Rain-Scaping systems are not utilitarian only; they can be wonderful and modern design elements as well. Some specific landscape trends under this category include rain gardens, rain harvesting systems, and pebble walkways that provide for permeable surface. Trees with ground cover plants below help slow down run-off both by barrier and by absorption.

7. Big Water Features.

This includes anything from swimming pools to plunge pools to wall fountains and bubblers. From what we see in the office, we know that this is one of the biggest landscape trends. Water surfaces reflect architecture, the sky and clouds, and tree canopies. Fountains, bubblers, pool laminars, also provide the visual interest of movement that is always so exciting in a landscape. Pools can be active places for play and your own “social network,” as well as places that can be more quiet and peaceful. Whatever your reason for wanting big water feature in your landscape, it is an investment in your home that you will enjoy for decades.