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Landscaping Design Trends of 2022

Landscaping is hot, as homeowners crave comfortable outdoor retreats for entertaining and stress relief. Here are seven landscape trends to watch.

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Landscaping Trend: Supporting Wildlife and Native Plants

Homeowners are paying more attention to landscaping for wildlife, which includes birds as well as bees, butterflies and small critters. In 2020, 67.2 million households purchased at least one plant because it benefitted pollinators or birds, according to the Garden Trends Report.

Native plants are continuing to catch on as homeowners realize they’re beneficial to wildlife and more resilient to erratic weather. In support of this, the National Wildlife Federation launched a Garden for Wildlife collection of native plants intended to attract beneficial insects that feed most bird species.

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Landscaping Trend: Backyard Birding

People spending more time at home due to the pandemic have rediscovered backyard birding. As a result, their landscapes feature not only bird feeders and birdbaths, but evergreens and fruiting shrubs and trees that offer birds food or shelter.

According to the The Audubon Society, several companies reported 50 percent increases in birdseed and bird feeder sales last year. The Garden Media Group’s 2022 Garden Trends Report also noted soaring sales of both, while annual visits to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s live bird cams doubled.

“Whether it was being home or discovering a new park, people find birding an easy, inexpensive way to engage while also disconnecting,” the report says.

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Vegetable garden in seasonyoh4nn/Getty Images

Landscaping Trend: Growing Food

Another offshoot of the pandemic: The increased desire among homeowners to grow more of their own food. Vegetable gardens are becoming a more common site in the landscape.

While edibles are sometimes combined with ornamentals in front-yard gardens, more often than not they’re self-contained in raised beds in the backyard. With raised beds, homeowners avoid dealing with deficient or poor-draining soil in their yard.

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Outdoor Livingchuckcollier/Getty Images

Landscaping Trend: Bringing the Indoors Out

The longer people remain home, the more they want to spruce up their house and landscape, says the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) in its Landscape and Industry Trends for 2022.

“I think there’s a new realization of how people interact,” Miles Kuperus, Jr., LIC, owner of Farmside Landscape & Design in Sussex, New Jersey, tells the NALP. “They want to be home and minimize their exposure and enjoy the people they have on their property.”

Outdoor kitchens, pavilions, pergolas, outdoor fireplaces and fire pits are all expected to remain popular as homeowners seek a seamless transition from the home to the yard. Some of these outdoor living spaces can be extravagant, with popular features like outdoor televisions, refrigerators and full kitchens.

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Terrace gas heater on the street.Jose A. Bernat Bacete/Getty Images

Landscaping Trend: Accessorizing to Extend the Season

People are finding ways to extend the outdoor season to take greater advantage of these more elaborate spaces. “The longer through the year a customer can use their outdoor space, the better,” Tony Nasrallah, president and founder of Ground Works Land Design in Cleveland, Ohio, tells the NALP.

To accomplish that, Nasrallah noted more widespread use of space heaters and motorized shades to shelter the tops and sides of garden pavilions in outdoor seating areas. Landscape designs are increasingly incorporating accessories like these to make homeowners more comfortable deeper into fall and winter.

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Backyard Swimming PoolChiyacat/Getty Images

Landscaping Trend: Pools

Following a growing desire for “staycation” spaces, swimming pools remain in high demand, according to the NALP. Several industry professionals say some pool contractors are so busy they’re booked into 2023. “If anything, the pandemic has excelled large-scale installations,” Nasrallah tells the NALP. “Pools are at the top of that list.”

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Wisteria Blossoms on the Trellis with Sunlighttotororo/Getty Images

Landscaping Trend: The Color Purple

Neutral tones are out, and two colors in particular are in. One is purple, Pantone’s 2022 Color of the Year, with a vibrant, lively hue that’s regal and joyful. The other is clover green.

“It’s about renewal, rebirth and stability,” according to the Garden Trends Report. “And there’s no color that gets at that like green. Vibrant green reminds us of life, renewal and nature.”

Purple is easy to introduce into the landscape. Purple cultivars are available for a wide selection of flowers, including petunia, vinca, pansy, verbena, salvia and veronica. Green is even easier — after all, it’s the most common color in the garden. It’s also a natural, less jarring color for outdoor furniture and accessories.

Luke Miller
Luke Miller is an award-winning garden editor with 25 years' experience in horticultural communications, including editing a national magazine and creating print and online gardening content for a national retailer. He grew up across the street from a park arboretum and has a lifelong passion for gardening in general and trees in particular. In addition to his journalism degree, he has studied horticulture and is a Master Gardener.