When designing a landscape, I take into consideration that trends will fade and only style will remain the same, so I have to be loyal to certain style. Clients are looking to have more interaction and be closer to nature from within their homes. They are looking to install vegetable gardens, which can be designed in different ways, either in elevated beds or with planters in sunny areas.
Another option is to have a cutting flower garden that will always produce fresh flowers for the inside of the home. Multicolored gardens are totally in, gardens with vibrantly colored flowers and different kinds of textures are being requested more frequently. The growing trend has been toward mixed hedges, not only with evergreens, but also with deciduous trees and shrubs of different shapes for screening around properties. Tree houses are becoming another very popular new trend.
Not only can they be used for play but also for entertaining as a dining area. The idea of having dinner under a tree canopy can be lovely and romantic. The tree house concept is definitely a strong trend, with some tree houses even being made as a miniature replica of the main house.
The more traditional rectangular shaped swimming pools are now starting to be replaced with more free form shaped pools. They’re not exactly designed the same way that pools were in the ’70s and ’80s. These free form swimming pools are closely integrated with plantings to make the edges of the pool disappear, essentially giving the effect of a pond because the pool is so well incorporated into the surrounding landscape. Patios with irregular cut stone will compliment swimming pool areas, replacing the use of geometric cut stone.
Using the same flooring material for both indoor and outdoor areas is an innovative construction idea because it makes spaces appear larger by creating more depth and consistency. Certain projects will include the same flooring materials on the patio and swimming pool area for a very unique visual effect.
Eco-consciousness is no longer just a trend, but a lifestyle. It has had an overall positive effect on landscape design by making clients more willing to take the time to understand the advantages of creating a landscape utilizing native and well-adapted plants. These plants are simply better suited to a given area as they use less water and require far fewer fertilizers or pesticides. These are all benefits as they protect the soil and water table while promoting natural wildlife, birds and butterflies. The next new ideas come every day, but most importantly, whatever is next should be done while taking great care to preserve, interact and promote the pureness of both nature and people.
Landscape designer, writer and lecturer, Frederico Azevedo is the founder of Unlimited Earth Care, Inc., providing high quality landscape design and maintenance to the Hamptons since 1993. For more information, call 631-725-7551 or visit unlimitedearthcare.com.