Landscaping Trends for 2010

Over the past decade, we've seen people put more money into their landscape design, realizing that this is a great way to add equity to a home. However, the trends for 2010 show the overall need for homeowners to scale back a bit. With the unemployment rate still fairly high and the cost of services increasing, these trends fill a much-needed gap by providing homeowners with a way to make big impacts with smaller budgets.

Trend #1: Outdoor LED Lighting

Outdoor lighting has been rising in popularity over the last decade, and with new technological advances, this kind of upgrade makes even more sense. You may not have the cash on hand for a larger home, but great lighting can increase your living space whenever the weather allows. LED options make it easy to light your garden without seeing a huge hike in your electricity bill, and even more eco-friendly options, like solar lighting, will be popular for 2010. Don't forget that proper lighting also increases your home's security, so there really are quite a few advantages to adding lights to your exterior.

Trend #2: More Natural-Looking Flower Beds

In 2010, lines of tulips and sections of color are out—the natural look is in. Instead of creating flowerbeds that look perfect, homeowners are beginning to realize that a more natural garden will be easier when it comes to maintenance. This extends to the rest of the garden as well. This year, choose plants that are natural to your area and work in harmony with other types of plants to create a wildflower field look. A little messy is ok when it comes to your garden.

Trend #3: Vegetable Gardens

No one sets trends like the First Lady, and she's been very vocal about the vegetable garden found at the White House. Vegetable gardens aren't just trendy; they are also a real money-saver. A packet of seeds or a few starter plants do not cost much, and with a little work every few days, your vegetables will flourish, providing you with food to feed you family. Your grocery bills will automatically be lower, and as an added benefit, you can control the substances (like pesticides) used around your produce. If you don't have the time for a full vegetable garden, at least consider an herb garden. These don't require much care, and can still help to save you money in the kitchen.

Trend #4: Oversized Blooms

Since most homeowners don't have as much money to spend on plants, the focus is on getting the most visual impact possible with just a single plant. Look for flowers that have large blooms or a large number of buds on the same plant. Bright colors can really make your garden pop, and in 2010, it's all about doing that without having to buy hundreds of plants. Although expensive, many consumers are opting for trees or bushes, as they can actually create the most impact for the least amount of money in the long run.

Trend #5: No More Ponds

While many homeowners do still enjoy the look of ponds and waterfalls, the trend in 2010 is for these fixtures to not be included in the landscape design. Even a small pond will cost a few hundred dollars, as well as a small sum for maintenance, and when the money's tight, a few fish just aren't worth the expense. That doesn't mean you can't put in a pond if you have the money, but don't feel bad if you choose to spend your cash in other places.

Trend #6: Entertaining Features

Lighting is just half the battle if you want to entertain outside. Many people are choosing to stay home to save money, so garden parties and barbeques are rising in popularity. Investing in a deck or pool makes sense, but if your budget is small, you can still follow this trend by picking up some outdoor furniture and buying an inexpensive grill.

Trend #7: Less Lawn

In conjunction with the trend to create more natural-looking landscapes, many consumers are moving toward designs with less lawn. Lawn care is expensive, and outdoor entertainment doesn't necessarily require grass. That doesn't mean that you should tear up your lawn to make way for blacktop or rocks, but consumers are planting more trees, opting for patios, and taking other steps to reduce their lawn sizes.

Remember, some trends are just that—trends. Before you make any changes, consider whether you're really doing your home justice and have the time and budget for the choices you're making. Some trends become “rules” so to speak; for example, green gardening isn't so much a trend as it is the norm these days, and that won't change anytime soon. However, don't ride a trend just because it is fashionable. Make choices that really work well for your home and lifestyle.

Posted by: aundidta
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