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Landscape Architecture Trends Released

Posted by Christina B. Farnsworth

Mar 6, 2014 1:53:00 PM

Consumers want sustainable, low-maintenance, attractively-designed landscapes that are perfect for entertaining and relaxing, according to the American Society of Landscape Architects 2014 Residential Architecture Trends Survey.

Ninety-four percent of landscape architects who specialize in residential design rate gardens and landscaped spaces as somewhat or very popular. Outdoor living spaces, such as outdoor kitchens and entertainment spaces are popular with 92 percent of survey respondents. Outdoor recreation is third in popularity at 75.8 percent.

More than 98 percent of the 179 survey-responding pros say lighting is somewhat or very in demand, followed by seating/dining (97.7 percent). Surprisingly fireplaces or pits (95.4 percent) narrowly edged out grills (94.3 percent) in popularity. Installed seating, which includes not only benches, but also seat walls, ledges, steps and boulders is popular with 89.6 percent

ASLA Executive Vice President and CEO Nancy Somerville says, “Homeowners know that designed landscapes add value to their lives as well as their property values. They are interested in livable, open spaces that both stylish and earth friendly.”

Not surprising, more than 80 percent of those surveyed rank garden structures (such as pergolas and gazebos), terraces, patios, fencing and decks as popular. More than 95 percent of respondents want low-maintenance landscapes. Nearly 85 percent want native plants. Some 86 percent want decorative water elements including fountains, waterfalls, ornamental and splash pools. Spas and food and vegetable gardens tied at 76.4 percent in popularity. Swimming pools were slightly less popular but still ranked at more than 73 percent. Thus it appears that more people want native plants and water elements to look at; fewer want the work of growing food products or actually getting into the water.

“The most in-demand eco-friendly 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) are other popular elements that will help American homeowners reduce their environmental footprint. For more information, check out the survey at  www.asla.org/residentialinfo.

Outdoor Design Elements (Overall rating for 2014)

Percent Rating Popular or Somewhat Popular:

Gardens/landscaped spaces – 94.2%

Outdoor living spaces (kitchens, entertainment spaces) – 92.0%

Outdoor recreation amenities (pools, spas, tennis courts) – 75.8%

Sustainable design practices – 74.2%

Vegetable/fruit gardens – 72.4%

Turf lawns – 54.0%

ADA/accessible design – 29.7%


Outdoor Living Features (Overall rating for 2014)

Percent Rating Popular or Somewhat Popular:

Lighting – 98.3%

Seating/dining areas – 97.7%

Fire pits/fireplaces – 95.4%

Grills – 94.3%

Landscape/Garden Elements (Overall rating for 2014)

Percent Rating Popular or Somewhat Popular:

Low maintenance landscapes – 95.4%

Native plants – 84.5%

Fountains/ornamental water features – 83.9%

Food/Vegetable gardens (including orchards/vineyards etc.) – 76.4%

Xeriscaping or dry gardens – 69.1%

Organic gardens – 64.0%

Ponds/streams – 60.0%

Rain gardens – 58.3%

Rooftop gardens – 53.1%

Plant walls/vertical gardens – 49.7%

Sustainable Design Elements (Overall rating for 2014)

Percent Rating Popular or Somewhat Popular:

Native/adapted drought-tolerant plants – 88.0%

Drip/water-efficient irrigation – 84.5%

Permeable paving – 78.9%

Reduced lawn – 72.6%

Recycled materials – 65.1%

Rainwater/graywater harvesting – 60.6%

Compost bins – 51.2%

Solar-powered lights – 42.7%

Geothermal-heated pools – 27.2%

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