5 top landscaping trends for fall

Gardening Home Improvement
YardApes, a landscaping firm serving northwestern Conn., shows off its installation of a unique outdoor fire feature, complementing the fall backdrop.
YardApes, a landscaping firm serving northwestern Conn., showcases its installation of an outdoor fire feature, complementing the fall backdrop. Photo courtesy of Shayne Newman (YardApes)

Looking for a way to spruce up your home’s exterior this fall and enjoy your outdoor space deeper into the season? Well, the National Association of Landscape Professionals has released its top 5 landscaping trends for fall, including everything from practical outdoor heating and lighting to decorating.

“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 for the trade association. Using member surveys, qualitative data analysis, and customer opinions, the group pinpointed the following trends:

  1. Technologically advanced fire features

Remote-controlled, even smartphone-accessed setups that allow clients to enjoy bonfires or fire pits without gathering wood or tend the flame are popular. Nicholas DiBenedetto of ND Landscape in Georgetown has found that these automated fire pits and fireplaces have “blown up” in popularity over the past five years, as people look to bring heat and warmth into their outdoor spaces in the cooler months.

  1.  Contemporary versions of classic flowers

These plantings are grown to withstand the seasons and be disease-resistant, while also staying true to autumn’s rich, warm palette.

“It is particularly interesting how classic plants have been engineered to last longer, making things that people can usually only appreciate in spring and summer last longer into the fall,” Henriksen said. Her favorites are hydrangeas such as “vanilla strawberry” and “limelight.”

  1. Outdoor lighting

As homeowners invest time and resources in their outdoor spaces, they want to enjoy them longer, even as the days become shorter and daylight wanes. Pathway, playspace, and LED lights are particularly popular. Shayne Newman, president of YardApes in New Milford, Conn., uses them at his home and finds that not only do LED bulbs save energy, they rarely need to be replaced, keeping homeowners from having to maneuver into difficult spots to change the bulbs.

In this photo from ND Landscaping, classic plants and advanced fire features come together to create a beautiful outdoor patio area, perfect for the fall. —Photo Courtesy of ND Landscaping (Permission from Nicholas DiBenedetto)
  1. Low-maintenance, natural-looking materials

The latest hardscape materials mimic the look of real wood and natural stone without the associated maintenance, the trade group found, with porcelain tiles quickly becoming a material of choice, as they are less susceptible to degrading from harsh weather conditions. The association said the trend includes faux finishes and materials on outdoor furniture, such as synthetics that look like real leather.

  1. ‘Interiorscapes’

As the cold forces folks indoors, homeowners are creating indoor spaces with plants and natural lighting, giving them the feeling they are outdoors without having to face the icy blast. No longer limited to basic houseplants, large living “green” walls made entirely of plants create dramatic focal points in interior rooms and courtyards, while tropical container gardens, such as arrangements of edible citrus trees, bring a taste of the island life to properties in cooler climates, the trade group said.

With these tips and tricks, your outdoor spaces can be enjoyed long into the season, so grab your family and friends and head down the lighted pathway to the fire pit for a night of classic fall fun.