Landscape Trends for 2018


Landscape trends of 2018.

January is such a great time to reflect back and look forward. It’s not January if you haven’t looked at the trends for the year ahead. I’ve been designing landscapes for the last 20 years and have watched as trends come and go.  It’s especially interesting to watch landscape trends recirculate every 10 years or so. My dad is a landscape architect so I’ve been involved with landscapes for 4 decades. I was excited to work on a trends post this year because I think it really does help us look forward but more importantly it helps us appreciate that each landscape we inhabit has a unique reason for being there. Now a days people always ask me, why on earth did this homeowner plant those junipers or who would have planted these trees so close to each other. That’s just it, 40 years ago those junipers were all the rage, and heck yea, they are still freaking alive so there must have been something exciting about them. However, perhaps the highly allergenic aspects of them were not well known. Meh, this is just how it goes.

Today, I’ve pulled together 5 landscape trends of 2018 that deserve being noticed. Most are easy to incorporate in your own yard.

  1. Craftsmanship: Bringing back the makers, craftsmanship is making a come back. I’ve been seeing this trend on the rise over the last year. Local stores carrying handmade items have been popping up, maker markets are on the rise, and my clients are asking for more specialty one of a kind pieces in their yard. An example would be a stacked rock wall, we’re calling in specialty masons to construct these for us. Carved woodwork in our shade structures. Being I live in the Southwest, there is NO lack of inspiration for us to draw on. Our natural landscapes are repeatedly  jaw dropping, these inspire beautiful outdoor mosaic works such as this one by Gaye Goodman in the picture below.

2. Year round gardening with house plants: They are back, but wait, did they ever leave? I’m not sure they did, I think we are just using them differently. The actual plant type does go in and out of style with certain species trending each year more than others. Succulents have had their day in the sun and now I see that the big and bold are here to stay.   They are a complete win, offering unique style, a natural look, and health benefits. Why have I personally not used them, to be honest the reason I haven’t had house plants in 10 years is directly related to the birth of my first son. I recall some were poisoness if eaten so I limited their use but let’s be honest, it was really because new babies are a TON of work and I subsequently forgot to water my plants. You can guess how that ended up. There are a few tips and tricks to keeping these plants alive and in check, we’ll talk about that in a separate blog post.

3. Landscape Lighting: Affordable new technologies are making lighting assessable to all. Café lighting might still be popular at the café’s and it’s still a winner today giving soft glows over large spaces. It’s also easy to install and affordable. The most popular these days are the ones being sold at Costco. I’m also noticing due to their affordability and longevity, we can easily add in simple LED solar spot lights for our residential projects. The high quality ones are proving to be long lasting.

4. Color in the garden: Color is always a trend to keep up with. This year I am seeing a lot more jewel colors. Yep, it’s just what you are imagining. Those typical colors you see in gemstones like blue Safire, ruby red, aquamarine, green garnet and dark purple amethyst. There are a few ways we use color outdoors, the most obvious is in our plants. Another way we express color may be in our paving, walls, furniture and fabrics. The easiest way to change out colors in your yard each year to stay up with the trend is through the use of fabrics like pillows, blankets, and seat cushions. Red, turquoise, black, violet/dark purple, jewel colors.

5. Low maintenance: always a winner in these busy times where most families have two working parents with a lot on their plate, or a retired couple who is DONE with keeping up with their yard. (they tell me they are literally so over that.) Low maintenance is just what is sounds like, it’s the idea that you plant a well designed garden that needs little upkeep. One tried and true way to do that is to choose plants that are from your area. Ones that are meant to thrive in your US plant hardiness zone (  Low maintenance allows you to plant plants meant for this location, native plants that need no care in their native landscapes and therefore need little care in town. Plus, I honestly want you to spend more time relaxing and using your garden then cleaning and deadheading. One thing that I always mention to my residential clients is that sometimes maintenance is what you make of it. Your impression on (that has been built over many years) what a landscape should look like may need to be changed. Seed heads left on all winter might have made you cringe a few years ago but that was before you realized how sculptural they look in winter and how useful they are for foraging birds. Perspective my dear.


SO what’s on TREND for you this year? What will you  be doing in your yard? Will it involve plants, furniture or will it be a large undertaking? I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a message in the comments below……….

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