Landscape design has reversed course over the seasons, as the indoors further move outward and the outdoors become an extension of household living. The trend, ever evolving, shows no signs of slowing down this year, either.
“The latest trends reflect the desire to bring the indoors out—to create comfortable landscapes that are both functional and beautiful,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), which recently released its annual forecast. “At the same time, we’re seeing a shift toward sustainable landscapes that reflect a renewed sense of mindfulness for the Earth and its ecosystems.”
The NALP forecast predicts the following trends will take root in landscapes in 2016.
1. Edible Landscapes – Fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables will add texture and color variety to landscapes in 2016, while also providing an endless supply of delicious ingredients.
2. Freshwater Features – Rain barrels, rain gardens and stone retaining walls will add dimension to lush landscapes this year, serving an important purpose of collecting, cleaning or stopping water. Other non-plant features, including sculptures or pottery, will also become focal points.
3. Fully-Customized Outdoor Living Spaces – Beyond the deck or patio, hardscapes will transform into full-service kitchens (think brick ovens and grills), living and dining rooms featuring fireplaces and fire pits, and canopy bedrooms. Themed spaces, such as yoga gardens or bocce fields, will help personalize these outdoor retreats.
4. Lighted, Tech-ed Out Landscapes – Naturally derivative of outdoor living, landscapes this year will see dramatic, boldly-colored lighting, twinkling accent lighting, backyard Wi-Fi and television installations.
5. Native Gardens – Landscapes this year will adopt the concept of “naturescaping”— selecting and growing native plants to attract birds, insects and wildlife. Naturescaping encourages the use of low-maintenance perennial native plants and innately manages water runoff.
6. Soothing Hues – Expect soft, nature-inspired pink and blue hues to bloom in gardens this year with heritage rose bushes, Catherine Woodbury daylilies, Angelique tulips, blue lace delphinium, French hydrangea and others.
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