As with home interiors, there are design trends for 2022 for our exterior spaces as well. Here are some to consider for inspiration for your great outdoors:
Blurring the lines between our interior and exterior spaces continues in popularity. From transforming porticos and gazebos to outdoor workspaces, to patio firepits that have become our exterior hearths around which to gather with family and friends, our yards have truly become outdoor extensions of our homes. The trend continues moving forward, with a focus on creating outdoor areas for work, play and relaxation. Comfortable furnishings, beautiful lighting options and seamless functionality for electricity, heating, cooling and cooking are integrated with lush landscaping, green fencing and colorful container gardens.
Conversely, we’re inviting our gardens into our interiors spaces, with windowsill herb gardens, living walls (think moss) and window views that include baskets hanging from porch ceilings, vines that wrap around pillars and trellises, and clusters of potted cacti.
Dramatically Dark and Brilliantly Bi-Colored
The inclusion of dark foliaged plants adds instant drama to the landscape, serving as a stunning backdrop to showcase a variety of plants and flowers. A longstanding favorite is mixing a bright green potato vine like Proven Winners’ “Sweet Caroline Light Green” with its aubergine counterpart, “Sweet Caroline Raven.” A trend towards variegated plantings and bi-colored blooms further amplifies the drama in a garden in ways that look both striking and sophisticated. Try combining solid flowers in the component hues of bi-color blooms. For example, Proven Winners’ bi-color petunia Superbells® Evening StarTM looks great with deep purple Supertunia® Royal Velvet and soft yellow Supertunia® Limoncello.
On the flip side of dramatic is the soft side of serenity, and nothing creates a more beautiful sense of peaceful calm than a combination of beautiful shades of green. A swath of plantings that range from the quiet, silvery greens of artemisia and feathery ornamental grasses, to the mellow tones of herbs like sage, thyme and rosemary, to richer verdant hues like those found in Ivy, Hosta and Boxwood, creates a space that is rich in texture and acts as a soothing balm to the senses.
Gardening for Climate Shifts
We’ve experienced some definitive shifts in climate and weather patterns over the years, and landscape designers have recognized this, incorporating measures to adapt to these changes. For instance, here in the northeast, we’ve experienced periods of excessive rain and flooding, so landscape professionals use raingarden design principles to improve water runoff patterns. These can include opting for more permeable surfaces such as stone pathways rather than concrete to allow for permeable surfaces that let water slowly percolate into the soil, reducing runoff; incorporating deep-rooted plants, especially on hillsides, for better erosion control; and adding water-tolerant plants along low-lying areas or in places where water tends to collect.
While structured and formal gardens still have their place in the hearts and landscapes of many homeowners, others are turning towards a more integrated approach to outdoor spaces – one that balances the wants, needs and aesthetics of homeowners with the stewardship of the environment. This can take the form of working with site conditions and the use of native plants; plantings that encourage pollinators and work as natural pest control; and naturally diverse plant selections that help form and maintain a healthy, balanced eco-system. These landscapes, while perhaps less formally structured, are inherently designed to be rich in dimension, texture and bio-diversity with a dynamic energy that allows them to adapt to the rhythms and shifts in nature.