Older people would remember that some years ago the latest trend was to bring the outside in with the use of floor to ceiling windows and some landscape design elements repeated inside. Nowadays one of the latest trends is to take the inside out. This is done by creating comfortable outdoor spaces that mimic the inside or creating an oasis to give you the feeling that you are on holidays in a nice Bali villa. There are outdoor kitchens, comfortable seating, fire pits or a chiminea to create warmth and solid pavement of some kind underfoot so we don’t get muddy feet should it rain.
In fact, there is often a roof over the space in order to shelter us from a sudden shower, or shade of some kind – perhaps from a sail – and don’t forget the windbreak. This can be a stone wall, or a lattice with vines growing over it, a clear plastic ‘wall’ or almost anything else that will create a little bit of shelter from the prevailing breeze.
Another trend is the use of water features. Once these were only seen in mansion landscapes, but the upsurge of smaller water features that can be easily installed by the amateur has made them available to everyone. What is now seen is a mid-cost water feature that does need to be installed by a professional, but is still not as expensive as what is often seen in the garden of a millionaire.
Lots of hardware is yet another trend that can transform an outdoor area into something amazing. Adding feature walls, a pond, outdoor seating and even structures such as a gazebo along with attractive stone garden edgings, interesting pathways and statues can take something from ordinary to extraordinary if it is done properly.
In some cases the old has become new again with rain barrels a popular way to save water and create what appears to be an interesting water feature. Those who are too young to remember that they were once an essential part of the pioneering landscape and the only way to save water for drinking and washing love them. Older people remember the barrel was often a forty four gallon drum saved when the fuel it contained was used up.
Less obvious but still popular trends in landscaping are rainwater harvesting and saving grey water. Both these trends will save on the use of water from the dams and rivers, with the former being quite suitable for watering vegetable gardens, while the latter is fine for lawns. And since vegetable gardens have just been mentioned, they too are a growing trend in the backyard, but they are planted for aesthetic impact as well as to provide edible garden produce.
Also popular in the old made new again arena are fruit trees and herbs. Landscaping that includes all these elements is not so easy to do by yourself, so having a professional landscape designer do it will save a lot of hard work.