Urban Programs Resource Network

News Releases

Index

Landscape Trends of 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2014

Landscape Trends of 2014

How does one predict the landscape design trends of 2014? Well they look at some of the most popular trends of 2013. In the past the landscaping was a row of perennials or shrubs around the foundation of a house, some nice shade trees and lots of lush green lawn. In 2014, gardeners are seeking more from their landscape by trying to create an outdoor living space which has been trending for a while. A place to drink their morning coffee, watch the birds and have family gatherings.

This leads to the first prediction: fire pits or fire grill because who doesn't want to enjoy the outdoors while grilling a steak or keeping warm on a cool night. These can be very easy for homeowners to install and come in an array prefabricated kits.

The sustainable gardener will rule in 2014 by conserving water and preventing runoff and erosion. Rain barrels will be placed under gutter spouts to collect the rains of the spring for the droughts of the summer. If it doesn't rain an inch every week then it is advised to give additional water to the landscape to keep the plants in good health. Many gardeners may be contemplating installing drip irrigation to save time and conserve water. According to Colorado State University, drip irrigation is 90% efficient in getting the water where it needs to be compared to sprinkler irrigation at 50-60%.

Rain gardens and permeable walkways may also experience a spike in popularity. Rain gardens are designed to capture storm water runoff from roof tops, drive ways or parking lots. Instead of going into local water ways the water is recycled back to recharge the ground water and filter out pollutants. According to Rutgers University, Rain gardens are 30% more effective than a patch of lawn. Plants like swamp milkweed, cardinal flower, penstemon and Culver's root should be employed in a sunny rain garden. For a shade rain garden use native ferns, Jacob's ladder and wild ginger.

Gardeners may also use permeable walkway pavers, pervious concrete or open celled concrete blocks instead of an old fashioned slab of concrete to help reduce runoff and erosion. They still provide the solid base but allow the water or melting snow to seep into the ground rather than washed into the storm gutters. If walkways or drive ways are near trees, this will allow the water to get to the roots.

Finally, the last predicted trend is less grass and more native plants. You don't have to be an experienced gardener to know that having a lush green lawn is a lot more work than creating gardens of native plants. Native plants do not need as much water or fertilizer, regular mowing, gets considerably less pests and diseases and once established can be home to wildlife like birds and butterflies.

Source: Kelly Allsup, Extension Educator, Horticulture, kallsup@uiuc.edu