It’s never too early to give thought to your home’s curb appeal and the condition and cosmetic appeal of your yard and grounds. If you want to be prouder of the home you own and catch the eye of visitors and passersby, it pays to devote extra focus to landscaping improvements in 2023.
“Upgraded landscaping is always beneficial for a home’s curb appeal,” says Joe Raboine, director of Residential Hardscapes at Belgard. “If you’re planning on selling soon, it can dramatically improve resale value and draw in more potential buyers. But if you aren’t selling, it can also bring a needed refresh to your space, helping you enjoy your home and make it more aesthetically pleasing.”
Outdoor spaces have become increasingly important to many homeowners, especially those seeking to amplify al fresco entertainment and backyard parties as well as ecologically minded Americans.
Composite decking boards made of recycled plastics are part of the sustainability trend going on now in landscape design.
“Making landscaping improvements, particularly ones conscious of environmental and energy conservation, can be a great way to make updates while creating a pleasing outdoor environment,” says Sarah Barnard, owner of Sarah Barnard Design LLC.
Ask the experts and they’ll tell you the overwhelming trend in landscape design this year is sustainability.
“More homeowners are looking to upgrade their outdoor living areas in an environmentally friendly way through the use of materials like permeable pavers, which can be used in patios and other applications and mimic the way land absorbs water,” Raboine notes. “There are also other products made of recycled materials, such as composite decking created from recycled plastic components, that are increasingly popular.”
As further evidence of this trend, Barnard points to native plantings and climate-appropriate greenery that can minimize the use of natural resources and provide food and shelter for local wildlife.
Many people are converting large swaths of their lawn to prairie and native plantings.
“Native plantings are often more durable, as they tend to thrive in natural conditions and areas susceptible to drought. Swapping out lawns for local plant life or decorative hardscaping is a great way to reduce water usage and can be a more attractive alternative to thirsty grasses,” she says.
Jeremy Yamaguchi, CEO of Lawn Love, seconds those sentiments.
“Over the next year, we can expect to see many more regular lawns swapped out for meadow gardens. More and more people are tearing out their lawns and switching them out for large plants — creating a meadow effect in the front yard,” he says. “Meadow gardens support pollinators, don’t require harmful chemicals, don’t involve mowing, and can be done in creative ways.”
Adding native plants that can easily survive merely with natural rainfall and need little in the way of extra watering is also a great way to implement low-maintenance landscaping that decreases the time you spend working on your yard, according to Camille Cimino, owner of Los Angeles-based Nature of Things, a landscape design company.
“The good news is that most areas have native plant societies where you can learn more about the most beautiful plants native to your region,” Cimino continues. “Planting these species can attract wildlife to your garden — such as birds, butterflies, bees and other pollinators.”
Pergolas are a hot new landscaping trend for the backyard.
Playing with texture and color outdoors is all the rage, too.
“There are more ways today to integrate different textures through mixed materials like wood, glass, metal, pavers and gravel, which offers beautiful contrast and an elevated look and feel,” says Raboine. “Color can be further explored through patterns with different tones — like contrasting dark and light gray or opposite color pallets — or pops of color with accessories or plant life.”
Extending the indoors outside is gathering momentum, as well. Shade structures like pergolas and decorative panels offer extra privacy along with protection from the heat. And larger outdoor rooms are also becoming the norm, with more outdoor areas being equipped with a full kitchen, fire pit living room and more, adds Raboine.
If you only have the time and budget to do one simple project this spring, Cimino recommends at least planting a tree on your property.
“One tree can have a big impact and offer so many benefits, such as shade, fruit and fall colors,” she says. “Just be sure to select your tree carefully and consider how large it will grow and where the roots will go.”