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Top Home Landscape Design Trends For 2016

By Therese Ciesinski, In The Dirt Editor

What do people want from their home landscapes in this day and age? According to a survey of its members by the American Society of Landscape Architects, sustainable design, water conservation, and lower maintenance are at the top of many homeowners’ wish lists for their outdoor living spaces. The theme that emerges is the importance of conserving, storing, and efficiently using water. This is good news for the environment as well as homeowners, especially since droughts and increased costs for water usage appear to be here to stay in many parts of the U.S.

Expect to read and hear a lot more about these top trends from the 2016 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey. In order of interest, they are:

Rainwater/graywater harvesting – 88%
Native plants – 86%
Native/adapted drought tolerant plants – 85%
Low-maintenance landscapes – 85%
Permeable paving – 77%
Fire pits/fireplaces – 75%
Food/vegetable gardens (including orchards, vineyards, etc.) – 75%
Rain gardens – 73%
Drip/water-efficient irrigation – 72%
Reduced lawn area – 72%

The numbers are the percentage of the total of the landscape architects who responded to the survey.

As for making our outdoor living spaces more enjoyable, fire pits (75%), landscape lighting (67%), and internet connectivity (66%) are reported the most desirable. Perhaps driven by home shows and design magazines, the enthusiasm for outdoor kitchens is only increasing. The day may not be too far when a complete outdoor kitchen with all the bells and whistles is an expected feature in higher-end homes.

When it comes to gardens, interest in native and drought-tolerant plants shows no evidence of slowing anytime soon. Plants with these attributes go hand in hand with the desire for landscapes that require less maintenance, including less lawn.

To read more about the survey, go to ASLA.org.


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