Top Landscape Design Trends of 2016

While some feature of landscape and garden design remain a perennial part of the landscape, it’s always interesting to see how popular trends in landscape design develop from year to year.

As our expectations of outdoor living become more sophisticated, landscape designers and architects are seeing a renewed interest in luxury landscaping, ranging from lux lighting to fully customised outdoor ‘living’ spaces.

6 Ways to stay on trend for your garden design or makeover

Fully Customised Outdoor Living Spaces

Landscapes are rapidly becoming an extension of our homes and personalities, complete with furniture and appliances – outdoor spaces where we want to chat, dine, entertain and relax with our friends. Look out for:
• Full-service kitchens with grills and outdoor ovens
• Fireplaces and fire pits that are separate from the cooking and dining area, and designed solely for relaxing and chatting together
• Themed gardens, such as ‘yoga’ or Zen gardens, water gardens or grassy lawn areas for your family activities such badminton, petanque and bocce ball.

Lux lighting and high-tech landscapes

With technological advances, it’s all about combining functionality with creativity. The latest tech-savvy trends include:
• Accent LED lighting that offers energy savings
• Backyard WiFi and TV installations
• Lighting schemes that can be controlled by smart phone to adjust dimming, brightness and on/off settings
• Themed lighting schemes (eg favourite sports team colours for a big game night, Christmas, etc.)

Sustainable eco-friendly and native landscape design

There’s a renewed interest in environmentally conscious landscape designs that work with the local ecosystem. Watch out for:
• Garden designs that use eco-friendly (and local) native species to manage your area’s environmental conditions and to create a more balanced and organic feel
• ‘Naturescaping’ that selects and grows native plants to attract birds, bees and garden-friendly insects

Freshwater features to manage storm water

Techniques used to manage storm water don’t need to be hidden in 2016, but can be fully integrated into the landscape design. Expect to see:
• Bioretention rain gardens designed to collect and clean rain water
• Features such as French drains and rain barrels that can assist with harvesting rain and also create a design feature
• Bio swales that can assist with managing silt and run-off

Edible Landscapes & Foodscaping

It’s all about ‘gardening with a purpose’ as landscape design moves from pure ornamental gardens towards edible landscapes that can include:
• Herbs and veggies treated as decorative foliage or as border plants within a traditional landscape (rather than in separate kitchen plots)
• ‘Garden to table’ features such as box planters, decorative containers, portable herb beds and planters on castors, and the latest – dining tables with planting pockets – to provide a delicious supply of fresh herbs, micro greens, citrus and veggies to harvest as you cook.

Soothing hues

• Pantone has announced the blending of two colours — Rose Quartz and Serenity — as its Pantone Colour of the Year for 2016. Expect these soft, nature-inspired pink and blue hues to bloom in gardens this year.

Designing your new garden or planning a makeover?

Give us a call at OuterSpace Landscapes in Canterbury, NZ. Our expert team includes professional award winning landscape architects and designers, structural landscape specialists, project estimators and landscape technicians, and a specialist planting crew. We can help with everything from design to construction. Phone 0800 100 750 or email

Jordan Frizzell