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Tapping into the latest trends in landscaping

March 19, 2008  By Joseph Salemi

Everyone is investing in upscale landscaping. Photo courtesy CNLA

Every homeowner wants a colourful, vibrant, unique and sustainable landscaped property. The Canadian Nursery Landscape Association noted a number of trends with its 2007 Trends in Landscaping report.

  1. Gardens in small spaces are big. Even the most humble yards are being converted into outdoor oases.
  2. Focus on front yard landscaping. What a perfect way to show off your home by putting water features, fences, courtyards and patios out in front for all to see.
  3. Container gardens offer variety. Clustering multiple pots, vertical gardening, placing pots in the flowerbeds, and using a landscape professional to design, plant and maintain your gardens.
  4. Irrigation systems are effective. These systems use drip tubes installed below the soil to water the plant’s roots. They avoid wasting water and are growing in popularity.
  5. Take the indoors outdoors. Outdoor living continues with kitchens, fireplaces, family rooms and more weatherproof furniture, sculpture and art.
  6. New decks and patios are popular. Weatherproof materials and wood alternatives are in demand and a wider selection of beautiful natural products, including tumbled stones and bricks, are paving the way.
  7. Water-wise landscape planning is key. Wise water use through plant selection, garden design, and proper irrigation and maintenance is more than a passing fad.
  8.  Exterior lighting extends garden enjoyment activities. Hard-wired lighting illuminating the garden, trees and the house sheds light on nighttime activities while enhancing security.
  9.  Water feature ideas are making a splash. Several water features throughout the yard, pond-less features and fountains enhance sight and sound and reduce and absorb noise pollution.
  10. Planning is where it’s at. Homeowners are researching garden plans on their own or hiring professionals to create well-designed yards to fit their lifestyles and their budgets.
  11. Environmentally sensitive gardens are in. Chemically dependent gardens are out. This trend grows every year. Organic product sales are up 200 per cent in the last five years.

Consumers are taking the indoors outdoors. Photo courtesy CNLA

The biggest trend in 2007 is the creation of the outdoor living space. Many homeowners are discovering the joys of dining, relaxing and entertaining in spaces landscaped especially for these purposes. What better way to spend an evening after a long day at work by enjoying your backyard relaxing in your own slice of paradise with an ice cold glass of lemonade and your favourite book. There are many ways to achieve this in just a few steps:

Plan your outdoor space. It’s really important to decide what use you will have for your new outdoor living space. Will it be entertaining friends and family or an intimate personal oasis?

A trellis, awning, or pavilion serves as a great cover from the weather elements while providing some privacy.

Add a comfortable, weather-resistant seating area. Wicker chairs and loveseats with weather-resistant cushions were top sellers in 2007.

Be sure to include a subtle container garden full of your favourite lush greens and summer florals to complement your outdoor living experience.
Escape from the pressures and the fast pace of everyday life when you get home by spending some time in your outdoor living space. Visit to find your local landscape professional to help you with your outdoor living space.

Joseph Salemi is the member services manager with the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association.


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