Whether your yard is a small patch of green grass or a large lot with abundant trees and rolling hills, you want it to enhance the beauty and character of your home. Whatever the size of your yard, you can create an outdoor environment that reflects your lifestyle and fits your landscaping budget.
Take a look at top landscape design trends of 2017 that may be perfect for your Northern New Jersey home.
Sustainable Landscape Design
With concerns about rising energy costs, global warming, water conservation and environmentally friendly environments, homeowners across the country are promoting sustainable landscape design trends. Less turfgrass, drought-tolerant plants and low-maintenance gardens are more popular that ever in 2017.
A sustainable landscape design should be visibly pleasing, while promoting a natural balance with local environmental and climate conditions. It should be designed to reduce water needs, reserve resources and prevent air, water and soil pollution.
For a beautiful, practical and functional sustainable landscape, you must focus on planting the right plants for your existing landscape conditions and using organic fertilizers and pest control products that work without harmful chemicals.
There are five considerations to make when designing a sustainable landscape. These considerations include:
- Creating a visually pleasing yard.
- Using plants that are native to the area.
- Promoting water conservation and cost-efficiency.
- Promoting easy maintenance.
- Creating an environmentally friendly environment.
Whether you’re designing a sustainable landscape for your front yard, back yard or both, there’s a wide variety of drought-tolerant, low-maintenance trees, shrubs and plants that are native to Northern New Jersey. By selecting native plants, you will reduce irrigation needs and prevent certain problems with insects and outdoor pests because these plants have already adapted to local conditions.
By landscaping with native plant varieties, you can create a sustainable landscape that conserves water, reduces air and water pollution and provides an environmentally friendly environment for local birds and wildlife, as well as your family and pets.
The ideas of getting back to basics and living simpler lifestyles are appealing 2017 landscape design trends for many people. Homeowners love the idea of designing a landscape with edible gardens that create a visually appealing yard and provide a great way to enjoy, healthy natural food.
With an edible garden in your back yard, you can replace high-maintenance turfgrass that requires weekly mowing, weeding, watering and fertilizing with a bountiful harvest of fruit, vegetables and herbs for family meals.
Having your own edible garden right in the back yard is a great way to put healthy, inexpensive food on your table each day. Cooking from your garden with fresh, organic fruits, vegetables and herbs may seem difficult, but it’s easier than you think. With a little effort and the right plants, soil, light and water conditions, you can grow an abundance of edible flowers, berries, fruits, vegetables and herbs right outside your back door.
When choosing a garden location, it’s important to consider:
- A location that’s protected from the wind.
- An area that gets good sun and light most of the day.
- An area with rich, fertile soil rather than dry clay or sandy soil.
- Sufficient water and drainage.
Depending on your landscape terrain and the style of your house, you can design formal or informal edible gardens that will enhance the look of your property. You can design in-ground gardens with lovely intertwining pathways or gardens in raised container beds along property perimeters. If you plant in-ground gardens, be sure to plant with rich, fertile soil or add compost to promote healthy crops.
When starting your garden, begin with heirloom seeds. Vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, radishes, squash and beans are easy to grow. Herbs like basil, thyme and chives grow well in almost any soil and sun conditions. Flowers like pansies, violets and nasturtium make wonderful spices for sauces and a variety of food dishes.
If you want to grow fruit, like oranges, apples, lemons and figs, plan for shrubs and trees within your edible garden design. Edible gardens, a popular 2017 landscape design trend, are likely to be a growing landscaping trend for years to come.
Simplicity and Structure
In keeping with the well-known design statement, “less is more”, today’s homeowners are opting for landscape design trends in 2017 with simple styling and structure. Simple, lush, greenery will create a comfortable, relaxing outdoor atmosphere in your yard. By landscaping with trees, shrubs, plants and flowers in a variety of sizes, shapes, textures and colors, you can create a yard with simple, yet stunning, visual appeal.
Use a Variety of Plants
Select a variety of plants with different sizes, shapes, textures and colors. Place plants with broad leaves next to those with slender, spiky leaves. Place plants with shiny green leaves next to those with dull or muted leaves. Contrast will make your landscape look fuller and add visual interest.
Choose the Right Plants
When selecting landscape plants, choose plants that fit the size of your yard. If you plant seedlings or young trees, shrubs and plants, consider how large they will get when they reach maturity. If you plant the wrong size plants, it will create care and maintenance problems down the road.
Create Proper Scale
When designing your landscape, create interesting layers. Plant tall trees and shrubs at the back of the yard or along the property line, then stair-step shorter shrubs, plants and flowers toward the yard. Layering plants will create proper scale and emphasize height and depth in your landscape.
A well-designed landscape with the right plants and proper scale helps to soften hard edges on surrounding structures, define outdoor spaces and create relaxing outdoor ambiance. It also helps to buffer sounds from nearby homes, traffic on nearby roadways and noisy neighbors who like to throw late-night pool parties.
Nothing creates an inviting, relaxing atmosphere faster than the soothing sounds of running water. Outdoor water features are great 2017 landscape design trends that can turn a boring backyard into a tropical oasis overnight. Depending on the size and layout of your backyard, these landscape and design ideas will create a spectacular focal point in your landscape:
Natural Rock Waterfalls
Create a natural rock waterfall in a quiet corner of the yard surrounded by lovely trees, shrubs, plants and landscape lighting, or design a tiered waterfall with trickling water that falls into a stream below.
If you have a small yard, a fountain is a great way to provide water sounds while conserving space. In the front yard, a fountain will create a welcoming entrance. In the backyard, it will create a relaxing atmosphere.
If you want a great landscape feature that family and guests will love, consider an outdoor pond with underwater lighting, plants, flowers and colorful koi fish. Add a small ledge with a trickling waterfall for running water sounds.
Outdoor Living Spaces
Outdoor living spaces are growing landscape design trends for 2017 that are extremely popular with today’s homeowners. Decks, patios, terraces, arbors, gazebos and pergolas equipped with outdoor fabrics, comfortable furnishings, spas and hot tubs, outdoor fireplaces and exquisite outdoor kitchens create inviting outdoor areas that increase indoor living space.
A relaxing, stylish outdoor living space or outdoor room will increase the value and appeal of your home and provide a wonderful area for entertaining. With creative planning and protection from the elements, you can enjoy an outdoor living space year-round, even in Bergen County winter weather.
Here are important considerations:
Fabrics and Furnishings
Whether you’re creating an outdoor room on a patio or garden gazebo, you’ll need fabrics and furnishings that are easy to clean and maintain. Beautiful, easy-to-maintain outdoor fabrics now come in a variety of stylish patterns and colors that support 2017 landscape design trends for great outdoor living spaces.
Protection from the Elements
Any outdoor living space needs protection from the elements. Whether you’re relaxing with family or entertaining guests, your gathering can be quickly ruined by wind, rain, intense sun and cold weather. To keep out wind and rain, hang outdoor curtains or shades. For overhead shade, install a canopy or plant-filled trellis. For extra warmth, install free-standing heaters or an outdoor fireplace.
To keep out wind and rain, hang outdoor curtains or shades. For overhead shade, install a canopy or plant-filled trellis. For extra warmth, install free-standing heaters or an outdoor fireplace.
With growing interest in the environment, using green materials that are environmentally friendly are major landscape design trends in 2017. In Bergen County, homeowners want to promote a healthy environment for their family and cut down on air pollution and toxic gases in the atmosphere.
Hardscaping materials used for garden walkways, retaining walls, fencing, decking, outdoor kitchens and landscape lighting are going green.
Popular hardscaping materials used for garden pathways and walkways include natural stone, brick and slate pavers, sun-dried tiles, flagstone, rocks, wooden stepping stones, gravel and pea stone. All of these materials come from natural, rather than man-made resources that promote green living principles.
Outdoor features like retaining walls, outdoor fireplaces and outdoor kitchens are being built out of natural stones including granite, slate, travertine, limestone and stacked stone. These natural stones have an earthy, yet elegant, appearance that enhance any style home and blend into any landscape with ease.
Although landscape lighting comes in a wide variety of low-voltage, LED and halogen fixtures, many homeowners want solar fixtures to reduce energy costs. Solar fixtures now come in uplights and downlights that accent landscaping features, pathway lights that light up walkways and motion detectors that provide home safety.