Despite the sluggish economy, Americans still love their backyards, according to the 2012 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Landscape architects around the U.S. were asked to rate the expected future popularity of various outdoor design features.
Gardens and landscape spaces received a 94.9 percent rating as somewhat or very popular. This was followed closely by outdoor living spaces -- such as kitchens and entertainment areas --coming in at 91.5 percent. Water features got an 89.9 percent rating.
The landscape professionals expressed an 85.4 percent customer preference for native or drought-tolerant plants. Drip irrigation got an 81.7 percent score, while permeable paving received a 71.6 percent rating.
“The economic recovery continues to struggle, but residential design has remained stronger than other categories throughout the recession,” said Nancy Somerville, ASLA executive vice president.