Whether you’re an experienced landscaper or just starting out, it’s important to stay on top of emerging trends. By keeping up with the latest developments, you can better serve your clients and close more deals. To that end, Garden Media Group president Katie Dubow presented the 2024 Garden Trends Report at Cultivate’23 and shared some tips on garden paving trends 2024.
One of the biggest hardscape trends to watch for is the increased desire for multifunctional outdoor spaces, which can be used as extra living rooms, workout areas, home offices or guest suites. This trend is influenced by the rising need for homeowners to utilize every square foot of their property. It also aligns with the desire for outdoor spaces to serve as social hubs and act as extensions of a home.
The demand for multifunctional outdoor space is influencing the types of materials used in hardscapes. The most popular hardscape material is gravel. It’s often combined with wood slats, concrete pavers and other materials to create different decorative universes. Another popular material is terracotta, which can be used to create a Mediterranean feel in any environment. Its earthy tones pair well with both warm and cool colored plants and works equally well with contemporary and traditional architecture.
O’Dea says his customers are looking for something that reflects the style of their homes and is durable. Often, he uses pavers in colors that match the customers’ houses and mixes them with different contrasting shapes. He’s also seen an increase in interest for round or oversized fire features.
Other popular hardscape materials include boulders and cobblestones. Customers often want to use these as informal borders along sidewalks or at the bottom of slopes. They also work well with retaining walls. O’Dea has also noticed an increased interest in installing natural stone accents like obelisks and arches to complement the plants in the gardens.
In terms of color, he’s seeing a lot of greenery-inspired shades, particularly a dark, saturated blue called “cyber lime.” This shade is the ideal partner for white and black plants and works well with a wide range of textures and tones. He’s also seeing a lot of rust-brown planters and other metal furniture that matches the natural, earthy look of the trend.
In addition to these sweeping landscape and design trends, O’Dea is seeing more requests for low-upkeep gardens that spotlight native plants, drought-tolerant species and green gardening methods. These strategies reduce water expenditure, limit pesticide use and minimize environmental impact, which are all appealing to a growing number of environmentally conscious homeowners. He notes that this trend is also influenced by the rise in popularity of indoor/outdoor living, which is making more people stay at home rather than travel for work and leisure.