Outdoor living space with fireplace, designed and installed by Jonny Nichols Landscape Maintenance in Dover, DE.
Consumers are spending money on residential landscapes, especially those used to relax and socialize. Commonly known as outdoor living spaces, these types of landscape projects, along with sustainable and low-maintenance landscaping, are the most popular among consumers in 2014, according to a survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).
Landscape architects who specialize in residential design were asked to rate the popularity of different landscaping elements. Roughly 94% said "gardens and landscape spaces" were either somewhat or very popular. Coming in second at 92% were "kitchens and entertainment spaces". Third was "outdoor recreation" at 76%.
Additionally, the following specific residential landscaping elements were noted as being "in demand" this year:
- Lighting – 98%
- Seating/Dining Areas – 97.7%
- Fire Pits/Fireplaces – 95%
- Grills – 94%
- Installed Seating – 90% (includes benches, walls, ledges, steps and boulders)
In terms of "landscaping garden structures", the following were cited as being in demand this year:
- Terraces, Patios, Decks – 98%
- Fencing – 89%
- Pergolas – 83%
Low maintenance and sustainability
The trend toward more sustainable and/or lower-maintenance landscaping continues to gain popularity year after year. According to the survey:
- 95% said low-maintenance landscapes are popular
- 76% said food/vegetable gardens are popular, which include orchards and vineyards
- 88% said native, drought-tolerant plants are in demand
- 85% said drip/water-efficient irrigation is in demand
- 79% said permeable paving is in demand
- 73% said consumers are asking for less lawn in a landscape
- 65% said consumers are requesting recycled materials to be used