Saturday, April 24, 2010

Top 10 Landscape/Garden Trends for 2010

Chuck Montera , of the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado shared these gardening trends for 2110.

Landscape Pros Identify What’s Hot and What’s Not
Warmer temperatures are a sure sign it is time to start planning and planting!  Before you begin, be sure to review the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado’s (ALCC) top ten landscape and garden trends for 2010.  According to ALCC’s professional landscape contractor members, this year’s trends involve keeping things local – from the food you grow in your garden to the entertaining you do in your own backyard.  

Top Ten Landscape Trends for 2010

1. Eat locally – out of your own backyard.  The momentum for kitchen gardening that started in 2009 is even stronger as more plants and ways to grow them are available.  It’s now pretty and practical to plant vegetables throughout your landscape as long as their needs for water and sun are compatible.

2. Outdoor rooms that cater to comfort and practicality are in.  Patios with food prep areas, grills, fire pits and restful spaces with plenty of shade and outdoor ambiance will be the top destination for family living and entertaining this season.

3. Greening-up your landscape.  Earth-friendly approaches to landscape design and maintenance are stronger than ever.  Homeowners want less area to water and maintain and are installing sprinkler systems that operate only when water is needed.  City-sponsored rebates are also rewarding them for their water conserving choices.

4. For annual color, vast, opulent displays are long gone.  For trends in container gardening, look for strategically placed annual flowers for maximum pop.  Also look for long-loved flower varieties in new combinations that are planted in non-traditional and attention-grabbing containers. 

5. Water features are now for everyone.  Once a luxury, it is common practice for homeowners to request water features in their garden design.  Coveted for their practicality as much as their aesthetic qualities, water features buffer street traffic, provide ambience and can feature plants that only grow in water – like water lilies.   With proper design and installation, they are also a water conserving element within the landscape.

6. Whether it’s your wardrobe or your yard, fashion basics never go out of style.  Lush grass that is well maintained through aeration, fertilizer and regular mowing is a timeless standard as are neatly pruned trees and shrubs.  A colorful palette of flowers and foliage—like any good accessory—makes an eye-catching statement.  Playing to these basics will keep your yard in style.

7. Light it up. Night lighting that highlights your house and landscape is one of the fastest-growing landscape innovations. Not only does it look great, but it increases home security. And new fluorescent and LED lighting options mean using less electricity. LEDs even come in multiple colors, adding variety to your nightscape.

8. Save money by doing it right the first time.  Homeowners who are watching dollars closely are wary of quick, cheap fixes that are short lived.  Find the right professional contractor for the job and use durable products that enhance property values, provide ease of maintenance and save money over the long haul.

9. Landscapes are growing native with lush, low-water plants.  Based on appearances, you might not guess that the vibrant plants now finding their way into Colorado landscapes are native and as water conserving as they are stunning.  Even their names sound exotic, like red birds in a tree, red torch lily and partridge feather. 

10. Gardening with a purpose.  Whether planting a kitchen garden to harvest many varieties of herbs, creating a meditation garden or designing a yard to attract more wildlife or to be more user-friendly to the family dog, gardening with a purpose is here to stay.  

With more than 700 members across the state, the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado is the premier professional organization for Colorado’s landscape contractors. ALCC has been at the forefront for more than 40 years helping the landscape industry address Colorado’s unique climate, and promoting responsible use of water and other natural resources. ALCC member firms provide a range of landscape services including design, installation, maintenance, consultation and water management. To find a qualified landscape professional or subscribe to ALCC’s lawn and garden “tip of the week,” visit the Web site

Images courtesy of Neils Lunceford, Inc. and Changing Landscapes, Inc.