Pristine landscapes have always conveyed a sense of care, attention to detail, and tranquility. Today, the modern homeowner wants more than just a beautiful sight; the ideal landscape is a functional, multi-purpose environment. The outdoors is a place to relax, entertain guests, grow food, and last but not least, a place that must be kept healthy and alive. Your lawn and garden is a personal haven, your very own natural sanctuary. This year, landscaping is all about beauty and function. Take a look at the top landscaping trends of 2015 to see for yourself!

Environmental Sustainability

As consumers become increasingly aware of modern, large-scale farming practices, they are looking to buy and eat locally, as locally as their backyards. This year, the edible gardening movement takes the lead within the modern landscape. Small berry bushes, lettuce, herbs, and spices are all part of the “foodscaping” trend that can be done in suburban and urban areas. You can even find patio tables with built-in pockets to hold pots and plants, perfect for those trying to save space.

Sustainability also means conserving water and sunlight. It is very popular now to place solar lights along walkways and around ponds and seating areas. The lights are inexpensive and can last up to two years. As for water conservation, gardeners are eliminating watering costs by recycling greywater, and planting drought-tolerant native shrubs and plants.

Garden Fountains and Miniature Ponds

Fountains and ponds create a mini paradise within your landscape. They can be as big or as small as you’d like depending on the size and composition of your yard. Fountains can have a classic Roman architectural feel, or a more angular, geometric layout (think Frank Lloyd Wright). Focus on the details that will make your fountain or pond special – sprinklers, smooth stones, lily pads, Koi fish, underwater pots, or stylistic ornaments.

Living Outside

This year, create your very own outdoor living room, complete with lounge chairs, a barbecue station, a chiminea, and maybe even a fireplace. The home is a place to relax, enjoy some good food, and spend time outside while getting some fresh air. Bring the indoors outdoors this year by transforming a potentially unused outdoor space into a social gathering spot.

Invest in Native Plants

As people become more environmentally conscious, landscaping will involve an increased use of native plants. Native plants help sustain wildlife and insect life, particularly for bees and butterflies. Monarch larvae, for instance, feed off of milkweed, which can be incorporated in a garden space. The more native plants used in your landscape, the more you’ll support pollinating insects, and the less work you’ll have to do as nature takes care of the details.