The Landscape of Homeowner Desire

Native plants, drought-tolerant plants, and low-maintenance landscapes are all expected to be the most commonly requested features in landscaping.

May 30, 2018
Plants outdoor
Photo: Unsplash

Sustainable and water-wise plantings, flexible-use space, and charging stations are among the outdoor features that will attract homeowner interest in the coming year, according to the latest trend survey from the American Society of Landscape Architects. The annual poll of landscape architects from across the U.S. rates the anticipated popularity of a variety of outdoor elements.

Native plants, drought-tolerant plants, and low-maintenance landscapes are all expected to be the most commonly requested features in landscaping. Other sustainable elements expected to be popular this year include permeable pavers, drip and water-efficient irrigation, rainwater harvesting, recycled materials, solar-powered lights, and compost bins.

Though many of the trends from this year’s survey showed little had changed compared with 2017, there were some differences. The survey scope this year was broader and included features attractive to those who live in multifamily projects, as well as those in single-family homes. The change in focus highlights a demand for flexible-use space for activities such as outdoor movie and media events and yoga. Charging stations for mobile devices rounded out the list of top 10 features cited.

The most popular outdoor structures for 2018 are expected to be enhanced railing systems, which have glass or cable—a new choice added to the category in this year’s survey—as well as pergolas, decks, and fencing. ADA-accessible structures such as ramps, bars, and shelving were also cited as being in increasing demand. Fire pits and fireplaces, lighting, and seating/dining areas remain popular, besting outdoor kitchens.

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