Jan. 18 2019 03:00 AM

Functional landscapes, pergolas and automation make the list.


The National Association of Landscape Professionals, Fairfax, Virginia, announces its official list of the top lawn and landscape trends of 2019. Drawing upon the expertise of the industry’s 1 million landscape, lawn care, irrigation and tree care professionals, NALP annually predicts trends that will influence the design and maintenance of backyards across America in the year ahead.

“Homeowners yearn for beautiful outdoor spaces without the hassle of upkeep. With the rise of multifunctional landscape design and automated processes, consumers can spend more time enjoying their landscapes than ever before,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs, NALP. “This year’s trends reflect current lifestyle preferences as well as innovations happening in the industry that are transforming landscapes across the country.”

In 2019, NALP predicts these five trends will influence outdoor spaces:

1. Two-in-one landscape design. Functional elements are no longer a perk, but rather a necessity in today’s landscapes, as consumers desire stunning outdoor features that have been cleverly designed to serve a dual tactical purpose. An edible vertical garden on a trellis that acts as a privacy fence, a retaining wall that includes built-in seating for entertaining, and colorful garden beds that divide properties all combine function and style.

2. Automated lawn and landscape maintenance. The latest technology and equipment allow tasks to be more streamlined and environmentally efficient than ever before. Robotic lawn mowers continue to rise in popularity among both homeowners and landscape professionals, and programmable irrigation systems and advanced lighting and electrical systems are a few ways outdoor spaces are becoming extensions of today’s smart homes. Homeowners relish knowing that these technological advancements afford them with more time to relax and enjoy their outdoor spaces.

3. Pergolas. A staple of landscape design for years, pergolas constructed of wood or composite material are now becoming more sophisticated with major upgrades, including rolldown windows, space heaters, lighting and sound systems. When paired with a luxury kitchen, seating area or fire feature, pergolas can become the iconic structure for outdoor sanctuaries.

4. Pretty pink. Pops of coral and blush are anticipated to add a more feminine touch to landscapes this year. With Living Coral named the Color of the Year by Pantone, a leading provider of color systems and an influencer on interior and exterior design, landscape professionals predict that this rich shade of pink could bring fresh blooms of roses, petunias, zinnias and hibiscus to flower beds. Experts also anticipate light blush tones to become “the new neutral” and another option for hardscapes and stone selections.

5. Mesmerizing metals. Whether homeowners want a bold statement or whimsical touch, incorporating metals can bring new dimensions to landscape design. Used for decorative art, water features, or furniture and accessories, creative uses of metals including steel and iron can make for lovely accents or entire focal points.

NALP develops its trends reports based on a survey of its members and by drawing from the expertise of landscape professionals representing various regions of the U.S. who are at the forefront of outdoor trends. NALP says its trends support Americans’ growing passion for evolving the tried-and-true elements of landscapes: well-maintained lawns, outdoor living spaces, fire features and more. Along with industry insight, the landscape trends are influenced by broader lifestyle and design trends.