Every year, experts make big bets on what will happen in the next year on almost any subject, including landscaping. But how often do they go back and analyze those trends? To kick off the new year, we thought it would be beneficial to talk about which of last year’s predictions came true.
Some of these trends are a bit subjective, but overall, they serve as a good barometer for what’s happening in the green industry for both landscape suppliers and landscaping firms.
This trend was hyped as something to see in 2018—the downsizing of yards and less lawn. According to experts though, this trend was a bit off. What we’re really seeing in the industry is a desire by homeowners to have more lawn and fewer beds.
In fact, for those who don’t want a big lawn, they usually choose a home that doesn’t have one in the first place. The smaller lawn trend may actually be a side effect of developers hoping to squeeze in more lots as part of the building boom that’s happening across the country.
The Year of the Tulip
The National Garden Bureau named 2018 as the “Year of the Tulip,” a flower that announces winter is gone and spring has arrived. While tulips are beautiful and available in lots of colors, they typically aren’t the first choice for landscape designers.
The problem with tulips is that they are attractive to deer and bunnies, who will tear and destroy them. Thus, if using tulips, it’s best to plant them in a protected area.
One area where tulips are a go is in the city where wildlife is less of an issue. Here, tulips got a boost in 2018.
Havens for Wildlife
Another predicted trend for the year was that homeowners would want to create areas to attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. These types of features often require more work so the impact of this trend has been dependent on how low maintenance homeowners want their landscaping. Of course, some don’t consider this since they use a firm to maintain their greenery.
While not an overwhelming trend for 2018, it’s something we could see more of as more millennials become homeowners. They are known to be a generation that appreciates nature and want to help sustain it.
Small spaces are a reality for some but that doesn’t mean they don’t want something lush and colorful. The key here is landscape designers need to be creative and think about how they can create a lovely garden with minimal space.
These small gardens are giving people private areas even when they live in settings that don't offer much room to breathe.
People love their animals! In fact, many homeowners think about their dog’s needs when shopping for a new home. This trend was completely spot-on, and dogscaping is a real thing.
Pet owners want space for their pups to run and play but also discreetly do their business. More landscape designers are having to consider the needs of our four-legged friends.
Because so many people now think of their exterior as more living space, they want to stay outside longer. Naturally, they need some heat to enjoy their outdoor living space when temperatures drop. The popularity of fire pits and heating features have been steadily rising as a response to this trend.
From elaborate permanent pits to portable ones, there’s an option to fit most anyone’s needs. Additionally, adding water to fire features has also been red hot in 2018.
There was talk at the beginning of the year that landscape design needed to be more adaptable to changing climate conditions. Experts say that looking back at historical climate trends doesn’t necessarily accurately predict what’s going to happen—hence the expected trend toward flexibility.
An example is a wind-resistant garden that includes plants with flexible stems and small, narrow leaves. Another possibility is using more hardscaping in drought-prone areas. This trend did not register too highly on what we’re seeing, however, it’s possible that this could be something we see more of as weather continues to change.
Now that spring is getting closer, it’s a good time to look back at your year and identify the trends you saw. As a supplier, find out what your most purchased plants were. As a designer, determine what design ideas kept coming up with clients.
Before you start your new year of business and begin looking at new trends, you should check out one that for sure happened in 2018—the rise of the online landscaping marketplace.
LandscapeHub has been able to bring together suppliers and firms from across the country, helping both sides of the equation do more. Learn more about how LandscapeHub works today.