NALP announces its predicted trends for 2020

Updated Jan 15, 2020

The National Association of Landscape Professionals has announced its top five trends for 2020.

These trends were created based on feedback from professionals across the country.

“Foundational landscape elements remain on homeowners’ wish lists, but modern updates and technology are now a top priority,” says Britt Wood, CEO, National Association of Landscape Professionals. “With a wave of design and technical innovations, our members report that ornate hardscaping, contemporary features, lush gardens and smart irrigation are all trending and will influence landscape designs across the country in 2020. This year’s trends showcase how homeowners of all generations desire a striking, custom and well-maintained outdoor space that benefits their community and the environment.”

Below are the five trends for 2020.

Photo: Live Green Landscape AssociatesPhoto: Live Green Landscape Associates

Ornate, geometric hardscaping

Requests for intricate hardscape patterns have increased with designs such as waves, chevron lattice and basketweave sweeping the country.

Geometric designs have been used in the landscape for thousands of years. When used today, they often create a contemporary look.

These patterns are being incorporated on all types of hardscaping elements from walkways to patios to retaining walls and fire features.

Photo: Greener HorizonPhoto: Greener Horizon

Contemporary and transitional landscape design

Keeping the same vein of contemporary designs, NALP says baby boomers, Gen Xers and millennials are all in the market for contemporary, sleek and simple landscape designs.

Professionals are seeing this shift with the inclusion of contemporary sculptures and modern fire or water features. Contemporary styles are meant to be casual and natural with clean lines created by hardscape materials.

Contemporary landscapes shouldn’t be mistaken for modern landscapes, which focus on minimalist designs and materials like concrete or metal. Contemporary landscapes are uncomplicated yet focus on natural elements.

Customers are also seeking elements that can survive a range of temperatures as multi-season functionality is essential.

Photo: Exscape DesignsPhoto: Exscape Designs

Bountiful shades of blue

Pantone isn’t the only organization to select a blue as their Color of the Year. PPG has named Chinese Porcelain, a cobalt and moody blue, and Sherwin-Williams has listed Naval, a strong dark blue, as their respective colors of the year, so experts predict these tones will be present in landscapes this year.

While this color is relatively rare in nature, it can help create a soothing effect on the mind. Landscapers can help incorporate this hue by adding a blue sculpture or a water feature.

NALP suggests including plants such as blue fortune, delphinium, hydrangea, globe thistle or grape hyacinth to bring more blue hues into gardens.

Photo: Dennis 7 Dees Landscaping & Garden CentersPhoto: Dennis 7 Dees Landscaping & Garden Centers

Your style, your garden design

Gardening as a hobby is continuing to increase and proving to be an escape for many. With it comes homeowners realizing that they can design their gardens to meet their personal needs.

Whether it be creating an edible garden to create a farm-to-table experience or simply growing some of their favorite fruits, vegetables and herbs or a cutting garden to bring beautiful blooms indoors, consumers are wanting gardens that can serve a purpose.

When working with smaller spaces, suggest container gardens, vertical gardens or interiorscaping to create the garden your customer desires.

Photo: Bonick LandscapingPhoto: Bonick Landscaping

One-click, remote irrigation

As it becomes more common to integrate technology into the landscape, more homeowners are requesting high-tech irrigation systems that will help them conserve water and save money. With droughts becoming far more common, it is important to utilize weather-based controllers that ensure water is not wasted.

In order to maximize efficiency, these smart irrigation systems can be controlled from anywhere with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and smartphone apps.

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