10 Landscaping Trends You Will See in 2020

The new year is fast approaching, which means that spring is right around the corner! Here are the top 10 trends you'll see in your neighbors' yards this coming spring.

Vertical Gardens

Vertical gardens are a great way to grow for any size yard you have. Whether you have little space to grow a regular garden, you need more room to expand your garden, or you just think it's cool, the vertical garden is for you! These vertical gardens don't just provide lots of space for your flowers or veggies, they can also double as a cover-up for an unappealing fence or dirty siding on your house. The best part about vertical gardens? They can be grown inside or outside!

Water Features

Although water features like fountains, water walls, and waterfalls have been popular for some time now at commercial buildings and fancy restaurants, they have slowly been becoming more popularized in residential homes. Fountains are typically looked at as being "formal," but in 2020, you'll be seeing many natural-looking water features. Adding a natural bubbling vase or water wall will create a relaxing and refreshing atmosphere in your backyard, especially when summer comes around! If you are looking for a conversation starter in your landscape, consider a pond-less waterfall, or even a rocky waterfall leading into a man-made pond. Consider adding a water feature to your landscape in 2020, and see how it gives your yard a fresh look, and adds value to your home.

Versatile Plants

The hostas and boxwood shrubs in the front of this house provide a beautiful yet easy-to-maintain landscape! This front yard also features trees of all different sizes, which add to the yard's overall look while still being versatile.

Come 2020, we know that landscape is not just about looks anymore. Now, landscaping must have form and function; trees and plants must now look good, and serve a purpose besides beauty. Strategically placed trees and shrubs can save you up to 25% on your energy bills in all seasons, as they can provide shade in the summer as well as protection from harsh winter winds. The plants that are in high demand are those that do not require much upkeep, are drought resistant, and sustainable. Consider planting native plants and trees, as those will be the easiest to upkeep, and are great for the native environment. Larger plants are easier to maintain, as they will look beautiful no matter how often they are trimmed! Hostas and shrubs are easy to take care of, and flowers like lavender, hydrangeas, and peonies brighten up any backyard no matter how large they grow!

Simple & Natural Materials

Out with all of the fancy fountains and complicated patio patterns, and in with simple, natural style. Keep an eye out for casual paving patters on patios, large wooden pergolas, and lots of natural green plants. In 2020, we'll see more people than ever using clean-cut and natural rocks for their water features and pools, and simple-style wooden furniture and accessories. Wooden adirondack chairs, man-made ponds or waterfalls, and raw stones will be featured in backyards, including the aforementioned, easy-to-maintain plants.

The adirondack chairs, raw stonework, and small water feature create a simple but welcoming oasis. The surrounding trees provide lots of shade, and the natural-looking greens create a beautiful and affordable set up!

Monochrome & Dark Colors

The dark mulch and green shrubs create a clean-cut effect, complementing the grey shades of this house and walkway! Notice the simple paving pattern on the sidewalk, and the raw-cut stone at the base of the pillars.

Long gone are the days of white picket fences, which have been replaced with darker stained, natural-colored wooden ones. This goes hand-in-hand with the "simple and natural" trend we will see this spring, as the trend of monochrome and dark colors is based on the desire for that simple look. Replace those light brown rocks in your flower gardens with dark brown mulch, and create a charcoal-colored stone wall surrounding them instead. You will see less colorful flowers in frontyards, which will be replaced with pure green plants such as hostas, boxwood shrubs, and ornamental grasses, as well as lots of white and neutral-toned flowers. Invest in grey and brown-toned accessories for your landscaping!

Raised Garden Beds

In 2020, we see that the ongoing theme is keeping things simple and practical. Raised garden beds do just that, as they are a lovely feature for the backyard, and take the strain out of gardening. Raised garden beds provide perfect conditions for plants, no matter what the actual ground soil conditions are. They also are great for gardeners, as there is no more need for extended periods of time hunched over their gardens as they harvest. Add these reasons on to the fact that the plants are also out of reach of most small wild animals, and you have yourself the perfect practical landscaping add-on! DIY or buy these raised garden beds for you backyard, and wait for the compliments to come rolling in!

The dark stain on the wood of these raised garden beds coordinates with the stain on the fence, and the rustic bolts paired with the raw stone pavers create a cohesive, warm look for this backyard.

Outdoor Heating

The flagstone patio, adirondack chairs, and raw stone details and accessories around this fire pit create a warm and welcoming space for family and friends to gather. The neutral color palette ties the whole space together!

Outdoor Heating

Little fire pits have been common in backyards for years, but we see 2020 as the year that outdoor heating becomes more accessible and beautiful. Do away with your metal fire pits from the hardware store, and invest in a built-in fire pit for your backyard. Whether it is metal or stone, in-ground or above-ground, a fire pit adds value to your home and ambiance to your backyard. Extend your backyard use by months with this heat source, and the best part of all--s'mores, of course! If fire pits aren't your style, there are so many more options for outdoor heating. Modern patio heaters can be hung from pergolas, hidden under tables, or even displayed as stand-alone accessories for your landscape. Even the smallest patio heater can add warmth to your backyard seating area, extending the amount of time you can enjoy it.

Outdoor Lighting

Whether it's a lit walkway when you come home after dark, or a string of lights hung up above the seating area in your backyard, outdoor lighting is making a classy comeback. Tiki torches, flashy Christmas lights, and motion detectors have gained a bad name for outdoor lighting, but 2020 will be the year that outdoor lighting turns itself around. There have been many options for outdoor string lights over the last few years, but if you're looking for something more subtle, consider placing lights under the overhang in your backyard, or on the posts of pergolas. If you are absolutely committed to the idea of outdoor lighting in your backyard, hang a light fixture over your patio seating! Line the walkway to your home with small, in-ground lights, or update your front porch light to multiple front porch lights. Whatever you choose, lighting up your home creates a welcoming space for visitors, and make you want to spend more time outside in your seating area at night!

These coordinating light fixtures will create a welcoming atmosphere when on, and look beautiful even when unlit.

These hardscaping lights built into this walkway are practical and lovely, as they light the way to the backyard patio at night.

Multi-Purpose Features

These steps led to a retaining wall, which led to being used as a seating space around the fire pit! This multi-purpose feature is beautiful and practical.

Lots of homeowners nowadays have limited space in their backyards for features that do not serve practical functions. However, in 2020, those features that were just for looks will now have practical functions. Retaining walls will double as seating areas, water walls will double as self-irrigation for plants, and those large hydrangea or peony bushes will double as a makeshift fence between neighbors, or add extra privacy to a yard. The bonus is, if you are already planning on adding a retaining wall or a water wall, they will have extra functions at no extra cost.

Technology in Nature

This automatic lawn mower cuts the grass into fine pieces that work their way into the grass as a type of fertilizer.

The last and possibly most popular trend you will see in landscaping in 2020 is the use of technology. Programmed lighting and sprinkler systems have been around for years, but have led to people wanting more technology for their landscapes. Gardening apps let you know when your flowers or vegetables should be planted, and send you alerts when you need to water or fertilize them. Self-irrigating systems can be installed for plants and gardens, which allow you to water them with a click of a button on your phone or device. The newest trend is automatic lawn mowers, tiny robots that look like vacuums, but cut your grass for you! This new trending technology is perfect for those who don't have the time to care for their yard, but still love to enjoy and maintain their lawn, plants, and flowers.

If you're looking to improve your curb appeal, increase the value of your home, or to find some new inspiration for your spring projects, these landscaping trends of 2020 will help you do the job. Come springtime, your yard will be the trendiest on the block! Remember to share your landscaping makeovers with us on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #PLGKC.

8826 Santa Fe Drive Suite 300,

Overland Park, KS 66212

Tel: 913-362-0089


© 2017 Principal Landscape Group, LLC

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