The new year is a time for personal resolutions. It’s also a great time to make resolutions for your landscape. Breeze into the new growing season with the newest design and planting ideas by checking out the top 2020 landscaping trends according to green industry professionals.

Eco-Friendly Landscapes

Sustainable design is working it’s way into every industry, and it’s on the mind of more consumers than ever. Landscaping lends itself to sustainable design naturally, but there are still outdated designs than can be improved with new and natural approaches.

The biggest impact can be had by simply removing your lawn. Cutting your grass for an hour can produce as much pollution as 100 miles of driving (not to mention the use of fertilizers and constant watering). And all that maintenance time can eat into your weekend. Replacing lawns with native garden spaces remove pollutants and invite birds and insects back into the landscape.

Lawn replacement is a big way to move your landscape closer to nature, but sustainable design can be at the heart of every part of your yard. Native and pollinating gardens welcome wildlife back to the neighborhood. Low-impact gardening can replenish your soil without the use of chemicals and reduce the need for watering. Proper plant selection and placement can even reduce the need for heating and cooling your home.

A pollinator garden in Pittsburgh, PA. This landscape design includes elements of native planting and select pollinating plants to create a natural, earth-friendly feature.

Landscape design can create pleasing and useful spaces outside the home, but incorporating sustainable practices into our designs makes them easier to maintain than ever.

Outdoor Living Options

A good landscape isn’t just something to look at – it’s something to be lived in. Outdoor living elements are growing more popular every year, and project to be one of the top 2020 landscaping trends.

Proper design expands the livable area of your home, and is a great way to add to your home’s resale value and curb appeal. Fire pits, patios and outdoor kitchens all create great gathering spaces. They can be enhanced by newer landscape design trends, like covered pergolas and landscape lighting.

Hardscaping and other durable elements often create these usable outdoor spaces, which can be balanced by plants and garden design.

Spending time outdoors shouldn’t mean spending time pulling weeds and cutting grass. By combining these outdoor living elements with eco-friendly gardens, your lawn can become a place for gathering, rather than working.

Low-Maintenance Landscapes

Low-maintenance landscaping options are a great way to make time sure your outdoor time is leisure time. Many eco-friendly options are also low-maintenance options. Removing labor-intensive design elements and unsuitable plant selections will naturally make your landscape more eco-friendly. As your gardens become healthier, they also become easier to maintain, naturally.

Constant lawn-mowing creates space for weeds to invade your soil. Non-native plant species also make way for weeds to invade the garden, and can crowd out native plants that would otherwise suppress weeds on their own.

The image of a green-thumb gardener is one of a person who’s always got their hands in the dirt. But the best landscaping practices remove the need for constant maintenance. Native plant species, grouped in carefully designed plant communities, will naturally create a pleasing and low-maintenance landscape on their own.

Durable earth elements also reduce the need for maintenance. Hardscaping, xeriscaping or landscape construction creates long-lived elements in the landscape that won’t demand constant attention.

Mixed Landscape Elements

Filling the landscape with plants is great, but why limit yourself? Designing the landscape with a mix of landscape elements can also create a mix of possibilities, combining design with function and ecological benefit.

A mix of landscaping design elements can bring new levels of form and function to the landscape.

Wood, stone, plants, turf, trees and architectural elements can all play into the same landscape, even if they seem to be radically different materials. You can use plants to soften a large hardscape installation.

Stones and boulders are a great way to mix up the landscape. Large stones can be selectively placed within gardens to recreate the natural look of Western Pennsylvania wilderness. Water elements, landscape lighting and landscape architecture all take these main ingredients to the next level.

The “Year-Round Yard”

Pennsylvania winters can be a gray affair. Even though the growing season is put on pause, your landscape doesn’t need to lose its color, too.

A creative mix of plants is the best way to ensure your landscape has something to offer year-round. Evergreens are the best choice, but aren’t just limited to spruce trees or the dreaded hedge of yews.

Many species of arborvitae and juniper create great winter color in the landscape, and can even lend shelter to wildlife that is active during the winter months. Some semi-evergreens, like pieris, daphne, boxwoods, azaleas and rhododendrons, offer a soft and year-round splash of color. Ornamental grasses, left uncut, lend a touch of gold to the landscape, as well as vertical interest.

There are also species of perennial shrubs that will drop their foliage in the winter but still offer plenty of color. Redtwig dogwood (cornus), winterberry holly (ilex verticillata) and evergreen sedges like carex can bring a splash of color to the landscape until the growing season resumes.

Are these 2020 Landscaping Trends Right for Your Home?

Contact us

Sylvan Gardens is now scheduling design & installation jobs for 2020, and our book is filling up fast. If you’ve got plans for your home landscape, contact us today. We offer free consultations, and our design team can help you create an outdoor space that makes the most of these 2020 landscaping trends.