Does Your Backyard Seem a Little Blah?
It could be due for an upgrade. Learn about 17 new trends
By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
Augmenting and renovating your landscaping and backyard space adds both pleasure for you and value to your home. Area experts shared what’s trending in area backyards.
1. “The trends are leaning to outdoor living spaces. It used to be heavy on planting with smaller patios. Nowadays, people want less maintenance, less mowing. The plantings aren’t as expensive as they used to be. We’re not planting nearly as many trees as we used to.
2. “The patio structures are larger and entertainment areas are more advanced. We’re seeing more sound systems and pergolas, fire pits, fireplaces with chimneys, wood burning and gas, barbecue and grill areas, plus pizza ovens.
3. “We’re also seeing many more pool properties with shaded structures and retaining walls.
4. “Some like water features. We do pond-less systems that have a waterfall and a creek that goes right through the back yard and re-circulates the water with a pump. Unlike ponds, you won’t have to add much water. They are very low maintenance.”
Gary Smith, founder, Nature’s Accents, Inc., Penfield
5. “It’s all about backyard living, with furniture, lights and kitchens outdoors. People want to live outdoors while the weather is nice.
6. “Homeowners want water features like bubbling boulders and waterfalls, but not ponds, which are high-maintenance.
7. “Pergolas with outdoor lighting are big, along with accent path lighting with low voltage LED lights. You can stay out later and enjoy this nice space you’ve created.
8. “Gray and natural stone pavers and hearth-scapes are popular. Wooden decks need paint and stain and still end up rotting. These pavers are here forever.”
Lee Frisbee, owner, Frisbee’s Landscaping, Ponds and Patios in Rochester
9. “People want their gardens to have more flowers and fewer bushes. They want more small plants. They’re easier to keep up than large plantings.
10. “People want edging put in. They don’t like the plastic edging around their gardens and want more modern stone edging. That really looks nice and will last a long, long time.
11. “I’m seeing more gray landscape blocks and black landscaping mulch around plantings. It changes how the whole house looks to update with new mulch.”
Stuart Westcott, owner, Westcott Landscaping, Webster
12. “Living coral is the color of the year. You’ll see pops of bright colors in the landscape, like bench cushions, umbrellas and plantings like roses, zinnias and petunias.
13. “They’re going high tech with portable charging stations and automated shade structures for the pergola. They’re doing a lot more with lighting. Instead of lights, you can see hung around the backyard and impressive fixtures, they want it streamlined and they’re having them recessed in the bricks and pavers.
14. “Even the pavers are getting streamlined. They always had a textured look. Now they’re smooth. Some are doing wood grain and even some that look light hardwood floors.
15. “I’m seeing more two-in-one retaining walls that are also seating.
16. “People want to create spaces that bring health, happiness and relaxation. As fast-paced as the world is, that’s what people want to enjoy the moments they are home.
17. “Low maintenance plantings are what people want because they want to simplify their gardens. They ask for perennials, since those come back. They plant shrubs that aren’t messy and native plants. They want irrigation systems so that at a push of the button, their gardens are watered.
18. “Food-scaping — growing fruits and vegetables right in the landscaping — is a big trend. It’s a two-in-one: something beautiful in the landscape, like edible berries.
Holly Cirella, vice president, Van Putte Gardens, Rochester