Landscaping trends for 2018 include functionality, color

The National Association of Landscape Professionals recently announced its top landscape trends for 2018, and it has a big emphasis on outdoor living, something we enjoy year-round in Southwest Florida!

The association predicts these five trends will influence landscape planning and design:

  • Experiential landscape design;
  • Climate-cognizant landscaping;
  • Emphasis on water management and conservation;
  • Enhanced equipment and technology; and
  • Plants in playful colors and patterns.

Let's take a look at three of these, starting with "experiential landscape design."


"Experiential" is defined as working from experience, which Crawford Landscaping has nearly 15 years of in Southwest Florida, having started in 2004.

That being said, that experience lends itself to creating the best possible landscape based on each client's space and needs. We're blessed in Southwest Florida to have a climate that lets us work and play outside most of the year.

That means outdoor spaces should reflect functionality, whether it's for your business or your home. For businesses, these factors could include paths for walking or bicycling, gardens or water elements, to name a few. Not only for your customers to enjoy, but your employees! A happy employee will make a happy customer, after all.

At home, landscape design can include spaces for play and for relaxing. It can be as simple as a patio with space for cooking out and entertaining family and friends, or as elaborate as a flowering garden with water elements such as a koi pond.

To add a dramatic flair to your landscape, landscape lighting (lightscaping) can be included at just the right places to really make your landscape stand out.

Either way, the point is to make guests feel welcome (and impressed).

Another trend this year, according to NALP, is "climate-cognizant landscaping," which is something we at Crawford have been doing from the start.

The weather here can be somewhat predictable in the summer, with skyrocketing humidity and those daily thundershowers. The "dry" season can make things a little more interesting when it comes to landscaping.

That's why it's important to know which plants, flowers and trees can withstand the harsh Southwest Florida climate to design a landscape (and elements) that can handle it.

Lastly, NALP reports that more people will want to go a little "whimsical" with their landscapes this year. Expect to see more purple colors in and around homes and businesses this year since Pantone named “ultraviolet” as the Color of the Year. They also said "patterned" plants (those with striped leaves or brightly-colored veins, for starters) will be more popular.

Be sure to come back and read next month’s blog that discusses the rest of the trends.

If you need help with your landscape design, Crawford Landscaping can handle every aspect from design to implementation. Call 888.581.5151.