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Landscape design trends for fall and winter

Alborn Supply of Ocean County provides its customers with 5 landscape designs that complement the colder seasons

Sometimes it's easy to mistake the spring and summer for being the only seasons with outdoor activities, but fall is also a prime time for landscape projects. The National Association of Landscape Professionals developed a list of the top landscape trends anticipated to receive increased interest and adoption by homeowners this coming season. Thanks in part to forecasts that predict a warmer-than-usual season in most parts of the United States, the association foresees an uptick in landscape enjoyment and projects this fall.

"The outdoor entertaining trend has been gaining momentum over the past several years, and this year has seen a further desire to bring the indoors out," said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs at NALP. "In particular, the warmer fall months will lend themselves to increased attention on outdoor spaces, as homeowners look to extend the summer outdoor entertaining season and adapt their landscapes for enjoyment throughout the year. By working with a landscape professional, homeowners can learn how to implement the latest trends into their landscapes and discover the options that work best for their location and lifestyles."

NALP forecasts the following as trends for fall and winter 2017:

Technologically advanced fire features. Fire features continue to be a top homeowner request. During fall, firepits and fireplaces are in high demand. In keeping with the home automation trend in the U.S., today's fire features offer advanced technological capabilities, with the ability to be programmed to turn on and off at different times or to be controlled from indoors or with a smartphone. This automation trend also extends to irrigation systems, which is especially useful during the typically wetter fall season to prevent excess watering of lawns and landscapes.

Contemporary twists on classic fall plantings. Flowers, shrubs and trees that highlight the rich, warm colors of the season and reach their peak blooming time in the fall and winter months, such as chrysanthemums, boxwood and maples, are hallmarks of fall landscapes. Several classic plantings are now engineered to be longer-lasting. This season, expect to see the classics married with modern-day style, with plants arranged in contemporary groupings, and landscape designs reflecting clean lines and simple sophistication.

Increased focus on lighting up landscapes for safety. While developing landscapes so they can be safely enjoyed is always a top priority for landscape professionals, more design elements of landscapes, such as LED lighting, prioritize safety. Proper landscape lighting is especially important during the shorter fall and winter days, ensuring walkways and outdoor play areas are well-lit and easily accessible through the evening hours. Not limited to lighting, the emphasis on safety also plays a role in fall landscape maintenance, when it is important to preemptively evaluate and manage tree branches or overgrown roots that could become property hazards.

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