Spruce up your Vancouver backyard for the summer patio season.

Whether you are designing a new garden or planning a yard makeover, the top 2010 trends for Vancouver homeowners include taking the indoors outdoors, going green, going edible and going low-maintenance.

  • The trend in creating outdoor living spaces is continuing with an increase in high-end outdoor grilling and patio furniture, outdoor kitchen accessories, and lighting. Decks and patios are becoming living rooms, kitchens and dining areas featuring innovative hi-tech equipment as well as luxurious yet hardy furnishings including chaise lounges, double ottomans, and armchairs with plush seating. The home bar is making a comeback. Dark wicker in shades of espresso and sleek, modern designs is the norm. The most popular accents include Moroccan lanterns and solar lighting.
  • When it comes to going green, water reduction is one of the biggest trends as Vancouver residents realize that even in rainforest the water supply is not infinite.
  • As part of the going-green movement, green roofs, green walls and eco-friendly yard and lawn products are on the forefront of consumer interest. Traditional Vancouver lawn and garden concepts are being replaced with enviro-friendly solutions including water-efficient, native plants and grasses. Organic lawn care solutions are becoming more mainstream, filling the shelves of garden supply centers.
  • While the recession has taken its toll on hardscape construction, the demand for regional, recycled and sustainable solutions shows no signs of slowing. Eco-friendly materials including reclaimed, permeable and locally-sourced products are replacing traditional hardscaping for patios and walkways. Asphalt is being replaced by stones that are available in the natural environment.
  • Going edible (replacing lawn and garden with food) is also a big movement in Vancouver as urban and community gardens flourish.
  • Interest in urban gardening is at an all-time high from community gardens to school field habitats, creating garden boulevards and traffic islands throughout the city. Special interest groups in urban farming are cropping up. It’s part of the back-to-the-land movement where consumers avoid the cost of buying produce at the retail and looking towards their own plots of organic.
  • While Vancouver homeowners and renters are putting more resources into their yardspaces, they want a low-maintenance, eco-friendly landscape that feels connected with nature. Delawning yards by replacing turf with a habitat that invites the birds and bees is on the rise as edibles and flowers encroach on expanses of lawn. Dictates on formal garden design have given way to rule-free eclectic mix-it-up gardening. Mother Nature has the largest influence: achieving the natural effect has replaced linear, color-segregated flower bed gardening. Traditional front yards are being transformed into meadowscapes and vegetable gardens. Edible plants will be interspersed with flowering shrubs, ornamental grasses and plants.
  • Container gardening is showing up in new forms such as boxes, barrels and bins that are portable and contain edibles such as easy-grow fruits and veggies include tomatoes, strawberries, lettuce and beans. A variation on container gardening that’s water wise includes portable potted water gardens with gold fish and water-loving plants.

Keep in mind that trends are just trends. Before you make changes to your garden or outdoor space, consider what works for your budget, aesthetics and peace of mind. There are so many ways to make your Vancouver home and garden look better and increase your enjoyment of your backyard space this summer in the city.

Image Credit: Bill Lapp