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What’s Trending?: Expert Landscaping Tips

Given the Sunshine State’s generally hot climate for the majority of the calendar year, the start of spring has no real effect on the weather in Orlando—except to make it even hotter. Instead, local landscapers and designers are noticing a wide variety of trends that homeowners are taking advantage of this year. Whether it’s plant life, amenities or hardscaping, the latest trends will keep you up to speed and in the know while ensuring your yard rivals your neighbor’s green oasis.

Photo by Lorin Lukas

The heart of your landscape comes from what’s growing and what its purpose is in your garden. A majority of landscapers have mentioned the most popular trend with plant life is having a garden filled with plants that will attract pollinators.

“While people previously wanted to see just butterflies in their yards, they are now excited about seeing bees as we learn about their importance in our environments,” says Keri Byrum, assistant director at Harry P. Leu Gardens. “The importance of pollinators ties directly in with growing fruit, vegetables and herbs, and our guests understand this.”

Byrum says the connection between wanting to attract pollinators like butterflies and bees runs parallel with the growing trend of homeowners wanting to create their own sustenance. “We see more and more people attending classes to learn how to grow their own fresh food so they will know exactly what is in it—or more importantly what is not,” says Byrum.

In addition to attracting pollinators, Byrum says her clients are really into making their gardens vibrant. “Most people want to have color in the yards, whether that is from brightly colored leaves like crotons and ti plants, or with bright flowers like hibiscus,” says Byrum. “These are very ‘Florida’ plants, and while they don’t love cold winters, they do provide color throughout the entire year.”

Photo by Lorin Lukas

Amenities

Remember, landscapes do not stop at well-maintained green grass and flowering gardens. Now more than ever, homeowners are taking advantage of adding amenities into their yards to really create the “oasis” effect.

Eric Kobb, owner of Rolling Green Landscape Solutions, says homeowners are spending more than ever right now. “Landscape renovations and enhancements are the most common projects,” says Kobb.

“Landscape lighting is very popular as well,” he adds. “We are seeing a lot of requests for fire pits, outdoor seating and privacy a round [clients’] homes.”

Kobb further mentions that his company has started to see more water conservation with his clients in regards to irrigation systems. He also says artificial turf is “all the rage” in newer homes and more modern designs.

Hardscaping

After putting so much work into keeping your yard and garden well-maintained, most homeowners go the extra length and look to incorporate hardscaping. This option provides an outlet of areas to be able to enjoy a landscape oasis.

Colette Paquet, landscape designer and sales at Lukas Nursery & Butterfly Encounter in Oviedo, breaks down the popular yard trends—both in front and the back.

“[In] the front yard, definitely pavers; people like to have a nice entrance,” says Paquet. “Sitting there even at the front porch, sometimes they want to extend it into a little paver area to enjoy their garden and yard.”

For the main event—or as we call it, the backyard—Paquet says people look at it as an extension of the living area of their home.

“We have eight to nine months of great weather here in Central Florida where you can really enjoy the outdoors,” says Paquet. “[For] the outdoor spaces in the backyard, I’ve noticed people want an outdoor room like a nice paver patio or stone, maybe a sitting wall that gives you more area for entertaining, outdoor kitchens, pergolas and water features.”

Photo by Colette Paquet

Paquet also says people want more of an “oasis” feeling as they go into their backyards.

Before adding any of these trends into your own oasis, Kobb reminds homeowners to plan ahead when thinking of a new landscape project. “Allow plenty of time to get the project designed, bid, scheduled and completed,” says Kobb. “Landscape professionals have more work than they can handle right now!”

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