2014’s landscape and gardening trends are all about personalizing your outdoor space to suit your own tastes. This idea revolves around themes of sustainability, color, simplicity, and details. While there are many more trends, following are a few that we’ve seen develop over the past year in the Indianapolis area:
Outdoor living is all about expanding your home’s capacity to accommodate your lifestyle. This can be accomplished by creating new living spaces or refining existing outdoor areas. This current trend on the landscape home front is one that, if done well, can add tremendously to the value of your home and can be a rewarding outlet for personal expression as well.
Dramatic Landscape Details
If your landscape is lacking in dramatic effect, introducing fire and flame in the form of a torch, fire ring, or outdoor fireplace could be that beautiful and bold gesture that will bring your outdoor space to life.
Current lighting technologies are providing many opportunities to accent the residential landscape in dramatic, yet smart and sustainable ways. New on the market are photovoltaic LED glass pavers (illuminated bricks that can be incorporated into a walkway, patio, or other hardscape design), new LED fixtures that are sleek and stylish, and technology that allows for more convenient and reliable ways of managing and controlling an entire lighting system. Think devices and apps.
Outdoor kitchens continue to increase in popularity with pizza ovens currently being at the forefront of the conversation. But the possibilities with outdoor kitchen are limitless, ranging from mini kitchens containing the basics to fully-loaded kitchens that come complete with state-of-the-art appliances.
As the quality of concrete pavers continues to improve, so does their use in various hardscaping projects. Pavers are becoming the stylish and affordable alternative to natural stone or brick. Whether seeking an old world style or a more contemporary line, it’s all about getting the right blends or pattern. Newly on the market and currently trending is a narrow linear paver that can provide the effect of planking; a great choice for “patio decking.”
Is your outdoor room in need of ground or floor treatment? Try the latest in durable outdoor rug décor or use pavers in patterns that can create rug-like effects.
When it comes to planting, the trend is toward building garden habitats. The goal of this type of gardening is to put together a sociable community of compatible companions that will grow and thrive together as a low maintenance, self-sustaining planting. Nurturing bio-diversity is a large part of this and many are starting to adapt pollinator friendly practices to counter habitat loss.
With all of the improved varieties of perennials, grasses, and continuous bloom shrubs available on the market, the choices are many and the opportunities are endless. For a useful guide in planning this type of garden, check out Roy Diblik’s Small Perennial Gardens: The Know Maintenance Approach.
When it comes to your lawn, the latest research shows the smart alternative to pure Kentucky Bluegrass is a Turf-Type Tall Fescue / Kentucky Bluegrass blend. The resulting lawn combines the visual effect of a lush green and fine texture with drought tolerance and disease resistance.
For something new overhead, consider some unusual vines as cover for arbors and pergolas, like hardy passion flower, porcelain berry vine, or even hops. Yes, hops. For effective tree canopy, select from some of the more unusual or under-utilized shade trees on the market, like new disease-resistant elm cultivars or the Japanese katsura tree, for instance.
No longer just a trendy buzz word, sustainable design is here to stay. Sustainable materials with eco-friendly attributes are increasingly available and are often the smart way of doing things. Green roofs, green walls, rain gardens, keyhole gardens, and permeable pavement are components that can be a part of the residential landscape. And it’s becoming more appropriate to do business with companies that are environmentally responsible and that match your own personal values.
Pantone’s Color of the Year
Each year a color of the year is chosen by Pantone. Colors are selected based upon in-depth research surrounding global trends in fashion, design, entertainment, art, and even technology. On December 5th, Pantone announced its color of the year for 2014: Radiant Orchid— described as “a captivating, magical, enigmatic purple.” Take a cue from Pantone’s research and try incorporating this vibrant and exotic color into your home, garden, or landscape.
Previous colors of the year include Emerald (2013), Tangerine Tango (2012), Honeysuckle (2011), Turquoise (2010), Mimosa (2009), Blue Iris (2008), Chili Pepper (2007), Sand Dollar (2006), Blue Turquoise (2005), Tigerlily (2004), Aqua Sky (2003), True Red (2002), Fuchsia Rose (2001), and Cerulean (2000).
We hope that you find these ideas useful as you begin planning your landscape projects for 2014. In the meantime, download our FREE landscape and garden calendar for the Indianapolis area.