2016 Landscaping & Outdoor Design Trends

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The landscape and outdoor design trends for 2016 reflect the lifestyle trends that are taking place all around us. A longing for a softer, more romantic time and a sense of home are driving these trends as we move into a new season.

Growers are offering many new varieties that have changed the color palette, reimagined the outdoor space, and taken homeowners back to a time when life seemed a little slower. Getting in touch with our environment and making choices that lessen our impact on the earth continue and grow, as does our desire to bring a little less dependency on commercial products.

Our desire to connect with others and expand our social circles has taken hold in a big way in our outdoor spaces. It is going to be an exciting year in our industry and we cannot wait to help it unfold.

Trend 1: Grow • Share • Feed

It happens every year. You plant your backyard garden, planning to down size and keep it small for just your family and yet, you still have way more food than you can eat. Great gardens produce a bounty of delicious and nutritious goodies well beyond what your family can consume.
You are not alone!

Thanks to today’s technology age, the world is smaller and your “neighbors” have multiplied. Avid gardeners and hobbyists alike have been turning to sites like AmpleHarvest.org and Nextdoor.com to spread the wealth. These types of sites have taken the community garden concept to the next level – creating fun interactions, new friendships, and great food! Many are finding new and exciting ways to help one another, share what they have learned, and truly enjoy all that the earth gives us.

Trend 2: White Makes It Right

This year’s hot “color” – White! It’s classic, cool, and it’s elegant. From a stark, bright white to an old English “dirty” white, nursery buyers cannot get enough. As many homeowners look to settle in and plan to stay where they are, they are turning to white to create relaxing, harmonious spaces to relax and entertain. There has been a trend in interior paint colors towards white and that is making its way into our outdoor spaces. Clean, crisp, and fresh, white is white hot!

Trend 3: Retro Is Cool Again

Life is cyclical – so is your landscape. There has been a major drive in the floral market towards locally grown products incorporating edibles and old-fashioned flowers mixed with romantic florals. Begonias, peonies, Hostas, and even Pachysandra are moving fast and furious out of the garden center as people look to soften the feel of their outdoor spaces and take it back to a more romantic, elegant feel.

Trend 4: Light It Up

The landscape lighting industry is evolving at the speed of light. The days of old inefficient, maintenance intensive outdoor lighting system are gone. Today’s systems not only offer a lower light bill but also the ability to expand your outdoor space by expanding your system and best of all, there is an app for that! Many of today’s best companies offer the ability to adjust and control your lighting system from your cell phone giving you complete control of your outdoor environment in the palm of your hand.

The array of fixtures, lighting tones, and customizable features allow you to create a custom outdoor space that will change the way you experience your outdoor space. The best part, though the initial upfront cost may be a bit higher, you do get the lower energy cost and most importantly, a lot less maintenance and hassle! Upgrading your old system is easy and expanding to highlight specimen plants and unique structures brings a new feel to an old layout.

Trend 5: Going Big by Going Small

Many consumers are using Pinterest and other social media sites to find great ways to make a big impact in a small space. The use of pots, containers, and small space gardens can make any space your own private retreat. Creative use of annuals, edibles, and dwarf varieties of boxwoods, ninebark, and Weigela are bringing the big garden feel into easy to manage small spaces. Keep your eye towards new and more compact shrub roses and hydrangeas as this trends catches fire.

Trend 6: Gather Round the Fire

Speaking of catching fire – Fire pits! The hottest trend in the industry is truly hot. As people rethink their outdoor spaces, the fire pit is all the rage. Fire pits, fire tables, fire pots, all create great places for kids to entertain their friends in the safety of their homes and for parents to spend some great family time outside. Simple designs are affordable and functional, while elaborate pieces create a living statement that can truly alter the feel of your relaxing hideaway.

Trend 7: Plants to Watch

We consulted the local experts to make sure that the recommendations provided would perform well right here in the Dayton area.

Mark Houston of Natorp Landscape Supply & Natorp’s Nursery
The tried and true plants such as, Sedum, Coreopsis, Heuchera and Dianthus are in high demand with new colors coming out every year. Grass-like plants like Hakonechloa (good for the shade) and Sedges (lower growing) have become more popular for homeowners who find it difficult to grow grass in some areas. Physocarpus (Ninebark) are plants that have interest in the winter (peeling bark) and during the growing season with a multiple choice of colorful leaves and sizes.

Anne Fisk of Studebaker Nurseries
We are growing a new Hydrangea called Bloomstruck. Very similar to Endless Summer but is has reddish stems.  I watched it grow in the pots last year and I really liked it.

Sarah Albrecht, our resident Garden Designer suggests
Shady Pot Combinations that Pop: The amazing Whopper Begonia, Rex Begonias, and Maiden Hair Ferns.

  • Rex Begonias offer striking foliage. There are many eye-catching varieties that play nicely with other flowers and foliage.
  • Maiden Hair Ferns offer softness and whimsy.
  • Creeping Jenny does well in full sun and shade. It adds brightness and offers contrast within a texturally diverse combination pot.

It’s going to be an exciting season and you can be a part of it.  Let our experts help you find the trend-setting advantage – contact us today at 937.433.5915.

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Kris McKee
Country Club Landscaping


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