2020 landscape garden trends | Embrace Landscapes

2020 landscape garden trends

Just like fashion and interior design, landscape ideas often follow trends. This year is no exception. Take a look below at some of the top landscape design trends for 2020.

Low Maintenance

Your home’s outdoor areas are meant to be relaxing, providing you the opportunity to take a break from the stress of life. You don’t want to add to your stress levels by the amount of work required on your outdoor spaces. Low maintenance aspects are key to enjoying the outdoor areas of your home. 

  • Furniture – Look for furniture that will stand up to weather, sunshine, and temperature for years. Find items that will not need constant attention or protection from the elements. Look for non-fade fabrics and furniture that will not need painting and staining to keep it looking good. 
  • Structures – Whether it is your deck, your patio, your pergola, or your planters, look for quality materials that do not require constant attention to keep them looking nice. Choose a design for your deck or patio that will suit your needs and lifestyle, and then use quality low maintenance materials for their construction. 
  • Plants – Some people enjoy spending time pruning their plants and pulling weeds. Good for them! Many of the rest of us, however, prefer to spend our time enjoying our plants from more of a distance – looking at them instead of caring for them! Granted, all plants need some amount of care but choose more plants for your spaces that require less care. Native plants for your area are a great choice. 


Make your landscape design ideas work for you. Consider what you want or need from your outdoor areas, then design with that in mind. Do you need areas for children to play? Design with that in mind. Looking for comfort and relaxation? Work that into your plans. Will you entertain frequently in your outdoor space? Be sure you have room for others. Grilling area or outdoor kitchen? Include all those in your landscape design. One of the outdoor trends this year includes making your space multifunctional and extending its use. 

  • Add features to extend the use of your outdoor living areas. Can you use your space in the evenings? Add some lighting to your deck or patio to allow you to enjoy your space after the sun begins to set. Do you want to enjoy your space into the cooler weather of the fall? Include some options for heat and comfort. A firepit or fire glass bowl may be perfect for your setting. Perhaps you would prefer an outdoor heater for your space. IF you have an overhead structure you could add some outdoor curtains to block wind or sun to extend the use of your space. 
  • Comfort and relaxation are key features of your landscape design. Incorporate that into your plans. After a long winter or a long pandemic quarantine, most of us are looking to get outside. Plan your landscape for your enjoyment and comfort. This may include seating options, shaded areas, access to electricity for working from home – from your deck! 
  • Another landscape design trend for 2020 includes areas for growing food. Everything from lettuces to tomatoes, herbs to fruits, can be grown in your home gardens. Grow some of your vegetables and enjoy the ultimate in fresh food!
  • Many studies have shown that being outdoors in natural areas promotes mental health and calmness. Incorporate natural beauty into your landscape design. 2020 has been a stressful year so far; let the beauty of your natural outdoor areas work its calming nature on your stressed soul
  • Entertaining in 2020 is a challenge. Because of the ongoing pandemic, entertaining outdoors may be a better option this year. Plan your outdoor design to include areas for entertaining others. Consider having enough space for plenty of seating, places to set drinks, tables for eating. 


A key feature of landscape design in 2020 is sustainability. Design with eco-friendly elements, always keeping the natural environment in mind. Here are a few things to remember when designing for sustainability. 

  • Use more natural materials – Keep things natural, especially in your outdoor living areas. Deck or patio furniture can be made of recycled materials or environmentally friendly, natural materials. Wood, stone, cotton, sisal, are natural products that can easily be incorporated into your outdoor decor plans. 
  • Native plants are perfect for sustainable landscape elements. These plants will grow well in your area, will require minimal maintenance and care, and will not need to be watered as often as non-native plants. 
  • Permeable pavers are another feature to consider when looking for ways to add sustainability to your landscape design. Using permeable pavers in your hardscape areas will allow for better water drainage. These allow the water to soak back into the ground instead of accumulating in puddles on your walkway or patio. 

Intentional and Discreet Lighting

Outdoor lighting features are important aspects of your landscape design. Lighting matters for safety, it adds functionality, and it brings interest to different landscape elements. Choose your outdoor lighting elements wisely – you want them to look good, to function well, and to be unobtrusive.

  • Light for ambiance – Use your outdoor lighting to add interest, mood, and character to your landscape areas. Yes, lighting matters for safety, but the correct lighting features can add beauty and design elements to your outdoor spaces. Use light to highlight certain aspects of your garden areas in the evening. Hidden lights can make a water feature look stunning. The well-chosen lighting can showcase features of your landscape design. 
  • Discreet pathway lighting – Good lighting is essential for pathways, but the lighting should not stick out. It should blend in with your overall design, becoming a part of your total landscaped area. Use unobtrusive lighting – lighting that blends in with your landscape features but still provides for that safety factor.
  • Energy-saving (solar) lighting – In line with today’s trends for eco-friendly and environmentally aware energy consumption, use solar lighting in your landscape design. The trend for solar-powered lighting elements provides us with a vast array of options. Look for lighting elements that please you and will look great in your landscape plan.

Water Features

Every great garden design needs a water feature! Don’t worry, though – incorporating these features need not be overly expensive. Sure, you can spend thousands to add a pool or a koi pond, but you can also spend far less to add a small fountain or tabletop waterfall feature. Water features promote relaxation and peacefulness. They also provide benefits to the bees and birds in your area. They need water too! 

  • Ponds – If you have space, natural-looking ponds contribute to your landscape design. Your pond can incorporate rock features, water plants, and maybe even some fish to your outdoor area.
  • Fountains – Whether your fountain is free-standing or incorporated into your pond, this feature can add value to your landscape design. Moving water keeps mosquitoes from breeding. The water droplets from your fountain can catch the sunlight and sometimes provide miniature rainbows for your delight. 
  • Waterfalls – Who doesn’t love a waterfall? You could incorporate a small waterfall into your pond or pool, or you could use a small tabletop waterfall feature. Either one will provide the wonderful and soothing sound of falling water. 
  • Pools – Even a swimming pool, if done right, can add benefits to your landscape design. A pool will provide fun for your family and friends, and can be incorporated into your overall outdoor design. Using architectural design elements, lighting features, and perhaps even a small waterfall in your pool area will cause any pool to fit into your overall landscape design.

Back to Nature

Landscape trends of 2020 also include the “back-to-nature” idea. We want our outdoor spaces to be more natural, more eco-friendly. Being kind to the environment is a key feature of this trend.

  • Use plants to attract pollinators like birds, bees, and butterflies. Bee and butterfly populations have been having a hard time recently. Plant flowers to attract them and feed them. Birds often feast on the seeds of flowers – let some of your flowers go to seed to help the songbirds in your neighborhood.
  • Certain plants act as a natural insect and animal repellent. In our desire to use less harmful chemicals in our gardens and lawns, plants some of these natural repellents to keep your outdoor areas pest-free.
  • Using native plants in your landscape design is also a way to be more natural in your garden areas. 


Blue is the garden color for 2020. How can you incorporate blue into your landscape areas? Plant blue flowers. Blue is not the most common color for flowers, but it is not that hard to find blue flowers. Certain shades of purple could be considered “blue” as well. Another way to use the color blue in your garden areas is to use blue cushions on your outdoor chairs, or blue pillows on other outdoor seating. Consider using a blue tablecloth for a special dinner. You could even use blue bulbs in some of your outdoor 


Hi-tech Watering Features

No matter how low-maintenance your landscaped areas are, every garden will need some watering during the growing season. The 2020 landscaping trend for watering is to go high tech. Install a watering system in your landscape design that you control through an app on your phone. Why go outside in the heat to turn on the sprinkling system when you can have technology take care of that for you!

More Design in Hardscape Features

Hardscape features are those parts of your landscape design like walkways, patios, decks. These hard surfaces need to be long-lasting, durable, but also interesting.

  • Use different patterns in your hardscape features. Consider herringbone patterns, swirls, circle elements. Walkways don’t have to be straight; let them meander a bit through your garden and lawn. Consider using circle elements within a straight walkway. Add some design details to your patio or deck.
  • Mixing your hardscape materials will also add design features to your hardscape areas. Using grass between square pavers is one example of this. Combining stone with brick pavers is another way to mix your materials in your landscape design. Be creative and design a unique space for your landscape!

Food Gardening

Growing your food is a trend in 2020 landscape design ideas. As we look for more ways to eat fresh, to enjoy the “farm-to-table” experience, and to have quality food items, growing your food takes care of all of that! Imagine picking a tomato from your plant, mixing it with fresh basil from another plant, and serving it for dinner an hour later. Talk about fresh food! Incorporate areas in your design for growing vegetables, herbs, and even fruit.

  • Vegetable Gardens – Having a vegetable garden is a great way to teach your children where food comes from. It is also a good way to get them interested in gardening. Let the kids help choose some of the vegetables you plant. Choose something new or different, or maybe something exotic. Don’t worry that your outdoor areas will look like a farm – it doesn’t take much space to grow a couple of tomato plants, some lettuce, and maybe some green beans. Border your vegetable area with some flowers, and it will look lovely. 
  • Herb Gardens – Grow some herbs. Keep the “fresh” trend going. Add some basil, chives, oregano, cilantro, etc., to your outdoor areas. Plant them in your gardens, or plant them in pots. Use them with your fresh vegetables for delicious meals!
  • Fruit trees, bushes, plants – Your landscape design can even include fruit. Maybe you don’t have room for apple or pear trees, but you probably have space from some strawberry plants, some raspberry bushes, or even a rhubarb plant. 

Do any of these trending landscaping ideas pique your interest? Which of these design ideas can you incorporate into your outdoor living areas? Can you easily add some blue to your space? Add a relaxing water feature? Take some creative inspiration from these trending landscape design ideas and spruce up your outdoor space this week!

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