An annual survey by ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) says consumer demand remains strong for outdoor landscapes designed for relaxation and entertaining, and for low-maintenace and sustainable gardens.
In the 2014 Landscape Architecture Trends Survey, gardens and landscaped spaces received a popularlity rating of 94.2 percent, while outdoor living spaces (kitchens and entertainment spaces) got 92 percent.
ASLA CEO Nancy Somerville said homeowners are aware that designed landscapes add value to their properties and to their lives. "They're interested in livable, open spaces that are both stylish and earth friendly," she said.
Popular elements included lighting at 98.3 percent, seating/dining areas at 97.7 percent, fireplaces or firepits at 95.4 percent, grills at 94.3 percent (is there anyone who'd want an oudoor space without a grill?), and installed seating (benches, seat walls, ledges, steps, boulders) at 89.6 percent.
Consumers are also in favor of terraces, patios, decks and fencing; outdoor furniture; and decorative water elements. As far as plants are concerned, native plants got a rating of 84 percent, food and vegetable gardens 76 percent, rain gardens 58 percent, rooftop gardens 53 percent, and reduced lawns 72 percent.
Items low in popularity (less than 50 percent) included gazebos, awnings, columns, solar-powered lighting, vertical gardens, along with outdoor showers, heaters, and hammocks. Strange that hammocks are so unpopular ... the perfect place for summer reading.