As the last signs of winter melt and the first tender buds and green shoots of spring begin to appear, all landscapers know the busiest time of the year is upon them. Now is the time to repair any damage caused by the elements — such as heavy snowfall or ice — and help your clients bring their landscaping visions for their lawn or garden to life.
Creating inviting outdoor spaces became even more important to homeowners as a source of entertainment and relaxation over the pandemic, transforming empty yards into vibrant gathering places. This trend will continue in 2023, as many seek to extend their living space with unique and creative outdoor designs.
Whether your client is looking for inspiration or you need new elements to pitch to customers, below is an overview of some of the year’s top landscape design trends.
Comfort and Conversation
In 2023, many homeowners are looking for ways to improve their living space by bringing the comfort of the indoors to the outdoors. Before they make a wish list or start populating a Pinterest board with their ideas, encourage them to think about what kind of experience they’d like for themselves and their guests.
For the client that’s a fan of getting cozy with a good book, consider setting up sumptuous lounge seating in a shady spot. If they'd prefer a place to host or entertain guests long through the night, an outdoor dining set or firepit with seating options might be more their speed. Even furnishing a sunroom or creating a screened-in porch as a spot to unwind after a long day can bring your customers closer to the outdoors without having to deal with sunburn or irritating insects.
If your client wants to create a technology-free outdoor oasis in 2023, you might skip this trend. However, those who enjoy the convenience of tech solutions at their fingertips will likely enjoy this: tech gadgets designed to make the outdoors even more enjoyable.
Tech solutions abound, ranging from the simple — like app-controlled outdoor lights, automatic sensors and Bluetooth speaker options — to tools designed to help the yard flourish. Green-thumb clients might enjoy automated irrigation methods for their yards or smart sprinklers that help them control their water use.
During the pandemic, many people examined their work-life balance and found new ways to make time for the people and causes in their lives. In this 2023 trend, we’re talking about creating a yard-life balance. Ask your clients how much time they want to invest in their yards per week. Depending on the answer, their best option might be one that requires little-to-no effort to upkeep.
Rather than introducing elements that need weekly maintenance and care — such as traditional turf lawns — explore the time-saving benefits of a simple, natural look. Transforming a grass border into a rock garden with native ornamental grasses can create visual interest and save time. Turning turf into a yard of clover or a similar “no mow” species eliminates the hassle of mowing entirely.
Home gardens flourished during the pandemic, drawing many comparisons to the “Victory Gardens” of World War I and II. This trend is poised to continue in 2023 as a way to capture gardening’s positive mental health benefits while combating inflationary food costs.
There are many ways to bring the joys of home gardening to your clients, whether they’d prefer to plant directly into the ground or in raised beds and planters. For gardeners with limited space, consider growing plants vertically using pre-made materials or DIY solutions to help maximize their efforts in a manageable footprint.
All gardens require continuous upkeep and management but remind any first-time gardeners who are venturing into the world of growing their own vegetables, fruits or herbs that it can come with unique frustrations. Consider adding fencing, underground barriers and natural repellants to prevent animals from eating their hard work.
As more brands, businesses and governments commit themselves to sustainability efforts, many landscapers in 2023 are also throwing their sun hats into the ring. While these practices have been around for a long time, they’re finding new life among those looking to be more eco-friendly in their everyday lives.
- Rock a Rain Barrel – Whether connected to a gutter downspout or a rain chain, rain barrels capture water from the roof and hold it for later use. Many have convenient spigots or hoses, making it easy to use the water for household tasks, such as watering plants or cleaning the car and walkways. Before purchasing or making a rain barrel on behalf of a client, look up their local laws regarding rainwater collection. Some states restrict the amount of rainwater collected, how it is collected and where it can be used.
- Get Creative with Composting – An easy way to get rid of food scraps and yard waste, composting is the natural process of recycling organic matter into valuable, nutrient-rich fertilizer. There are many options for clients looking to incorporate composting into their gardens. Traditional open-air bins keep compost contained but require manual aeration to encourage the breakdown of scraps. Many companies sell tumbling composters, which can take the bulk of the labor out of the process.
Many landscapers are turning away from creating a “perfect” landscape in favor of a healthy one that supports local plant life and wildlife. While landscapers and gardeners can achieve this in many ways, here are some common themes:
- Water-Wise Wonders – A landscaping practice that reduces or eliminates the need for irrigation, xeriscaping is experiencing a surge of interest among homeowners in increasingly drought-prone areas. Xeriscaping helps preserve water for people and animals as it relies more on rainfall than the regular watering schedule needed to keep yards looking healthy in drier regions. Transforming a traditional greenscape into a xeriscape takes considerable planning and work upfront. Still, once it’s started, customers will enjoy a low-maintenance yard for years to come.
- Plan for Pollinators – Gardeners of all types can enjoy the benefits of creating an oasis for pollinators. Regular visits from insects like bees, butterflies and moths can improve vegetable and fruit yields and the overall health of your garden. Many resources are available on the best practices for creating a pollinator garden; the standard practice is choosing a variety of plants that bloom at different times. This way, pollinators can enjoy colorful blossoms throughout the growing season. Always be careful to avoid using harmful pesticides, even in areas of the yard away from the pollinator garden. Once pollinators realize there’s a regular supply of food, you can enjoy their colorful antics throughout the growing season.
From social butterflies looking for an outdoor oasis to the proud supporters of real-life pollinators, you’ve got ideas to pitch to all types of clients in this list of 2023’s top landscaping trends. Before logging any exciting new projects, however, ensure your business is covered.