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Kevin Forestell
March 15, 2021

When the sun feels warmer and the weather gets nicer we all want to spend as much time outside as possible. Over the years, we see changing trends that come out in landscaping and design for outdoor spaces. As we look at some of the most popular landscaping trends of this year, it’s clear that a deeper relationship between people and nature – as well as technological adaptations that help to revolutionize the industry –  are changing how people look at their outdoor space.

Working with nature, being friendly to ecosystems and adapting to modern technologies in the industry itself are just a few things that have inspired popular landscaping trends for 2021. Check out these examples below!

Electric Equipment For Landscaping and Lawn Work

While it’s not really a “trend”, per say, since electric equipment is here to stay, it’s still worth mentioning as an up-and-coming game changer to the industry. Lawnmowers, line trimmers, brush cutters and blowers are just a few pieces of landscaping equipment that is now available as battery-powered.

Gas can get expensive, both as a homeowner or a landscaping professional. Plus, there is the added hassle of filling up equipment and making sure you actually have gas on hand for when you need it.

The accessibility of these battery-powered machines help landscaping companies find the level of efficiency and productivity that just wasn’t possible before. For homeowners, they are easier to handle, can be lighter and more efficient for small tasks around your yard.

In general, modern electric equipment is much more comparable in power and drive than it was to gas equipment a few years ago which makes it a great replacement. Brent Giles talked about this in his DirtStories podcast episode.

The transition to electric can take a specific mindset and the willingness to actually make the change. For landscape professionals, there are a number of other details to figure out such as charging the equipment between jobs and how much a machine can do before it runs out of juice. The adaptability of the industry to answer these questions, however, is amazing. One landscape company, for example, fitted their towing trailer with solar panels to recharge their machines while moving from job to job. 

It’s growing in popularity and it’s doing so for a reason. Going electric does not compromise power or strength and it’s cheaper than gas. The environmental benefits of it is just an added bonus.

Vertical Gardens

People who live in condo buildings or have smaller garden spaces don’t want to feel left out from the joys of landscaping and green-space. Whether it’s trying to maximize on what greenspace you can have in limited square footage or simply wanting more plants around you, a vertical garden is a growing trend that addresses both of these desires.

Either using the existing wall or building a planter or trellis, a vertical garden simply grows up instead of out. They can either be built using creeping plants or vines or by using a wire-like or pod structure to hold individual plants in a vertical fashion. Many people use this method to build mini succulent walls as an interior decorating piece. In interior spaces, vertical gardens are often called a living wall. 

The main difference between an interior living wall and an exterior vertical garden is that living walls often focus on air-cleaning plants to help purify the space. Realistically, though, vertical gardens could have any kind of plant and don’t need to serve any specific purpose.

Multi-Season and “Whatever The Weather” Outdoor Spaces

Outdoor living spaces are becoming more popular in landscape designs. The idea of having almost a secondary living room in your backyard allows people to take advantage of the nice weather. A simple google search for outdoor living space brings up hundreds of jaw-dropping photos and DIY tips and tricks. As outdoor living spaces became more popular, so did the desire of being able to use the spaces longer than just the summer.

Image borrowed from Circle D Construction

This is especially true in places like Canada where summertime can feel short and Bar BQ season lasts much longer than the sunshine. 

This led to the spark in multi-seasonal outdoor spaces. The addition of fireplaces, heating lamps, a kitchen area and permanent roof coverings keep people outside even when the weather turns. This way, whether rain, shine, or a chilly night anyone can still enjoy their outdoor living space.

Image borrowed from Houston Lifestyles & Homes

Eco-Friendly Landscapes

The concept of an eco-friendly landscape goes far beyond resisting pesticides. People have become aware of the importance or maintaining ecosystems and they want to carry this concept into their own lawns and gardens. This means using local flora and fauna, sourcing from local nurseries and reducing the number of non-native plants in your yard.

The benefit of using native plants in your landscape is that they are already adapted to the local climate. They are better suited for the local wildlife and any weather or soil conditions. 

Pollinator Gardens

We all know that the bees are in danger. We all know the importance of pollinator insects and the value of bees and butterflies in our environments. This is why many avid outdoors people are responding to the concern over these creatures by planting and growing pollinator gardens. 

Image borrowed from Gardener’s Supply Company

The purpose of a pollinator garden is to support and maintain pollinator insects by supplying them with the pollen and nectar they need to survive. If pollinators can’t find what they need in a certain geographical area, they will leave to find a better source. This can impact local crop and vegetable farms.

The trend of pollinator gardens goes hand-in-hand with eco-friendly gardens as selecting native plants is one of the best things for your local bugs and birds. It’s also important to not use pesticides on these gardens because the chemicals can be poisonous to the insects.

Image borrowed from Green Blog

The best way to plant a pollinator garden is to choose local flowers, in a range of shapes, sizes and colours that are rich nectar and pollen. It is also recommended to look for flowers that bloom early on in the spring. This is when bees and butterflies are often experiencing their largest food shortage. In fact, this need for an early-food boom is what is driving the next landscape trend we will look at.

No Mow May

As soon as the grass starts growing, it really starts growing. As concern about our bee population continues, one of the trends in 2020 is to not mow your lawn until June 1. Leaving your lawn to grow wild for May allows the growth of dandelions and wildflowers. While we often look at the dandelions in our yards with disdain, the bees look at them as a rich source of food right away in the spring.

Image borrowed from Post Crescent

No Mow May asks homeowners to leave their lawns untouched for the first month of spring to allow these important pollinators to grow and feed our bees. If you haven’t heard about this trend yet, you will this season.

Landscape trends often form and shape as our relationship with nature changes. The past 10 years or so have seen leaps and bounds in education about our planet, in respect for our impact on nature and the need to protect our environment. It’s clear that these changes are impacting how we look at the landscaping and how we want to work with nature.

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Kevin Forestell headshot
Kevin Forestell
Kevin Forestell is CEO of DOZR and one of the co-founders. Kevin first got started as an entrepreneur when he founded Forestell Landscaping right after graduating from University. His love and passion for the industry and desire to help solve an equipment problem that contractors faced every day is what brought the founding team to start DOZR. Kevin is proud of the level of efficiency brought to the industry through DOZR and hopes that DOZR will help change the standard way equipment is rented.
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