Trends in landscaping | Living the Country Life

Trends in landscaping

Read up on the latest landscaping trends to see if your lawn is in style.

Radio interview source: Doug Jimerson, garden editor-in-chief, Better Homes & Gardens













Listen here for the radio story

My back yard might actually be in vogue for once. It's not a perfect lawn because all I do to it is mow. I don't use any pesticides on my lawn, never have. My landscaping is pretty wild and I have a lot of volunteer lilies.

Doug Jimerson, garden editor-in-chief for Better Homes & Gardens magazine, says they've been studying trends in landscaping and have found the green movement is having an effect on gardening, landscaping, and outdoor living.

"We're seeing a lot more people wanting to use natural materials," Jimerson says. "Local stone, local paving materials versus wood that's brought in. There's a sort of a getting back to nature overall design theme. Much more natural, less formal, more country if you will."

Jimerson says they did a study on what people want out of their back yards, and most responded that they want to enjoy family and friends in a place that's safe. They want to attract more birds and butterflies, and let pets roam without putting them at risk. That means moving away from the sterile, perfectly manicured yard and bringing back native vegetation.

"A lot more prairie plants are moving in, a lot more grasses, a lot more use of ground cover versus lawn," Jimerson says. "People are sort of encroaching on their lawn areas to not only make their yard maintenance a lot of easier, but to have a lot less chemical use, so you see a lot more ground cover use, or mulch use."

It creates an environment that's a fun place to be, not a stressful place where you're looking out and saying, "Oh my goodness, I've got to mow the lawn AGAIN!" You'll sit back more often and enjoy smelling the roses -- and whatever else you've planted -- because Jimerson says another big focus this year is on fragrance.

"There's a lot of heliotrope, necotianas, peonies, lilacs," he says. "There are some summer bulbs that are highly fragrant, as well as herbs which aren't fragrant necessarily in the air but they serve double duty. You can use them in the kitchen, but you can rub them and enjoy the fragrance. All these plants are becoming more popular than ever."

Learn more:

Landscaping 101: Landscaping an entire acreage can be overwhelming. Here's how to devise a plan that will work for you.

Elements of great landscape design: Want to make your garden more memorable? Incorporate these simple, yet critical, design elements.

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