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ASLA survey: Lighting, native plants trending in 2014

February 26, 2014 -  By
Photo: Landscaped gardens and outdoor trends

Landscaped gardens and outdoor lighting are among the hot trends for 2014, according to ASLA. Photo: Marion Brenner

Consumer demand remains strong for attractively designed residential landscapes that are perfect for entertaining and relaxing, according to the 2014 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). The survey also shows continuing popularity for sustainable and low-maintenance design.

The survey asked residential landscape architecture professionals about the estimated popularity of various design elements for 2014. It was fielded Jan. 16 through Feb. 14 and garnered 179 respondents.

Gardens and landscaped spaces received a 94.2 percent rating as somewhat or very popular; outdoor living spaces, defined as kitchens and entertainment spaces, were second most popular at 92.0 percent; and outdoor recreation came in third at 75.8 percent.

Across all categories, 98.3 percent of respondents rated lighting as somewhat or very in demand for 2014, followed by seating/dining areas (97.7 percent), fire pits/fireplaces (95.4 percent), grills (94.3 percent) and installed seating (89.6 percent), which include benches, seatwalls, ledges, steps and boulders.

“Homeowners know that designed landscapes add value to their lives as well as their property values,” said Nancy Somerville, ASLA executive vice president and CEO. “They’re interested in livable, open spaces that are both stylish and earth friendly.”

In the realm of landscape garden structures, terraces, patios and decks are high on people’s lists (97.7 percent), as are fencing (88.5 percent), pergolas (82.8 percent) and decks (82.3 percent).

Survey respondents noted the most popular landscape and garden elements for 2014 include low-maintenance landscapes (95.4 percent), native plants (84.5 percent) and fountains/ornamental water features (83.9 percent). Slightly more than three quarters of respondents (76.4 percent) noted food and vegetable gardens, including orchards and vineyards, will be in demand this year.

Decorative water elements—including waterfalls, ornamental pools and splash pools—were predicted to be in demand for home landscapes (86.1 percent). Spas (76.4 percent) and swimming pools (73.8 percent) are also expected to be popular.

The most in-demand eco-friendly design elements include native/adapted drought-tolerant plants (88 percent) and drip/water-efficient irrigation (84.5 percent). Permeable paving (78.9 percent), reduced lawn (72.6 percent) and recycled materials (65.1 percent) also were recognized as popular elements.

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LM Staff

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