ASLA has released its annual survey of residential garden trends, and the most popular elements continue to be outdoor living and garden areas with lots of entertaining space.
Almost 95 percent of landscape architects surveyed said that gardens and landscaped spaces were popular, followed by outdoor living spaces, which included kitchens and entertainment areas.
ASLA CEO Nancy Somerville said that although the overall US economy is continuing to struggle, residential design has remained stronger than other categories throughout the recession.
An encouraging trend for environmentalists is that turf lawns were preferred by only 50 percent, while sustainable design practices rated 70 percent. The top sustainable trends included native or drought-tolerant plants, water-efficient irrigation, and permeable paving.
More than 90 percent of landscape architects say homeowners continue to insist on terraces, patios, decks and fences; and among outdoor living featutes they prefer grills, fire pits or fireplaces, seating and dining areas and lighting. In the outdoor recreation category, ornamental water features top the list, followed by spas and swimming pools.
As for gardens, most homeowners want low-maintenance landscapes (is there such a thing???), followed by those who prefer native plants (86%) and food/vegetable gardens (81%). Organic gardens came in at a relatively low 61 percent.