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Your Home: Landscaping Trends in 2016

This article explore the latest landscaping trends

As the excitement of the New Year fades and the quiet of winter settles in, many homeowners begin to plan projects for the spring.

Long-time gardeners may curl up by the fire with their favorite seed catalogs while others scroll through Pinterest on their phone for inspiration.

No matter how long you’ve been in your home, there’s always room to add a few new design elements to your outdoor landscape.

On trend this year

As with every other industry, the movement to go green continues to rise in popularity as homeowners use organic techniques, as well as water-wise and native plants in their landscaping.

In fact, a survey from the American Society of Landscape Architects supports this movement nationwide, reporting last February that native plant projects account for 85% of consumer demand. Because these plants naturally thrive in the local environment, they are extremely low-maintenance and are an attractive option for busy homeowners.

Not sure where to begin or which plants are native to your area? “Your local extension office is a good resource for native plants, and one of the more underutilized,” says Ted Blackwood, owner of Blackwood Landscaping in Asheville, North Carolina. “These folks are master gardeners with years of volunteer experience, and they can also help you get free soil tests.”

Another option for DIYers is Facebook, where you can find groups focused on plant identification or weekend projects.

Out with the old

As 2015 came to a close, so too did outdated trends. According to Blackwood, “We’ve been ripping out trees that get too big. People are becoming conscious about plant size. When I first started, customers wanted instant gratification with big plants, but they grow so fast they take a lot of maintenance.”

Not only do consumers want fewer large trees, they also want less grass. “We’re doing less grass than we’ve done in the past. It uses so many chemicals and it’s not naturally occurring,” says Blackwood.

Boxwoods are also on the outs, with many people preferring different kinds of hollies.

Rest assured however, southern classics—like crepe myrtles and forsythia—never go out of style, with traditional varieties continuing to thrive throughout the Southeast.

Evergreen tips for the outdoors

Another au courant trend? Maintaining your curb appeal.

Not only will you keep your neighbors happy, you’ll also be ready to sell your home when the time comes. “A first impression is a lasting impression,” says Jamie Tingen, owner of Pistol Tingen Realty based in Greenville, NC.

When listing your home, he recommends quick fixes like adding a fresh layer of mulch outside, power washing your siding, and clearing the roof of debris. “The outside tells us a lot about the inside,” says Tingen.

Regardless of your time and budget there are plenty of ways to stay on trend when it comes to landscaping. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of your local resources and ask questions about what works for your area.

And if all else fails, there’s always Pinterest.

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