The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) predicts landscaping trends every year. They are broad, national predictions that are influenced by lifestyle and design trends. Let’s take a look and see if they have held up, especially for commercial landscaping here in northern Michigan.
The NALP predicted commercial landscape designs to include some quality of life improvements.
“Office landscapes more frequently include walking and bicycle paths, dining areas or gardens to enhance the employees’ experience.”
In a word, yes, we’ve seen an increase in this landscaping trend in northern Michigan, with more commercial properties offering healthy and tranquil settings. Providing visitors and employees a useful landscape with a relaxing, multi-use experience often begins at the entrance with beautiful lawns, plantings and design elements that make a welcoming first impression.
In northern Michigan, we are not strangers to the need to accommodate for unpredictable weather patterns. It is no wonder that landscaping designs, whether for commercial or residential, call for:
“…landscape enhancements that withstand extreme conditions and allow spaces to be enjoyed on unseasonably cool or warm days.”
While this practice is long-standing in residential design, we see more features like pergolas, retractable canopies, and awnings, as well as outdoor heaters incorporated into commercial designs.
Hardier hardscape materials that can handle the drastic temperature fluctuations we experience in northern Michigan are also a must, along with weather-hardy plants.
Emphasis on Water Conservation
The NALP references sustainability, eco-friendly watering practices, native plants, xeriscaping (low water use plant design), and smarter irrigation technology. So how on the mark are they?
More than you might think! While we are not on the national radar for drought stress, there is a social-corporate responsibility for the environment that correlates with sustainable trends. We pay attention to how our landscape designs, installations, and maintenance promote conservation.
Integration of plants native to the region use less water, and the use of beautiful hardscapes, mulch, and aggregates are popular design choices that also help conserve water.
2018 predictions proved a little vague about enhanced technology and are a little less observable.
“..eco-friendly innovations. Many lawn mowers, leaf blowers… low or no emissions, are battery-powered, and are quieter… designed to stack or fold to fit in the garage or shed.”
However, there is an increase in both smart homes and businesses. Infrastructure and environments are being looked at harder than ever before, resulting in upgrades and use of more technology inside and outdoors.
Also, high tech solutions are being used when it comes to designing and installing your landscape.
Equipment has taken a turn for ease of use and storage while being mindful of eco-friendly innovations. Newer equipment features low or no emissions, battery-power, the ability to stack or fold, and things are quieter.
Industry insiders called for more splashes of color and patterns in commercial landscapes, as well as residential, with violet/purple as a mainstay. “Patterned” plants are also getting their time in the garden spotlight, with their intricate details, such as striped leaves or spots that draw interest.
“While the simple elegance of greenery was all the rage last year, 2018 will see a renewed interest in adding pops of color and whimsy to landscapes.”
Adding color to the greenery gives designers the opportunity to have a unique flare and create an exciting atmosphere all their own.
Here at Drost, we have been designing beautiful landscapes for commercial as well residential clients for decades. While tastes and trends change from time to time, aesthetics are a significant component of any design.
Now that you have a taste of the trends in commercial landscaping, that can also apply to residential, contact Drost Landscape. Clients all over northern Michigan have trusted us to design, engineer, and install countless landscapes for nearly 30 years.