The technology with LED lights has really changed . Though there is a bigger up front cost, there are long term energy savings, and the quality is getting better and better. LEDs are warmer colored and available in all kinds of systems. New technology enables the control for lighting schemes to be done on a smart phone controlling dimming, brightness, on/off controls. It’s possible to use different schemes such as colored lights for a holiday theme such as Christmas or even birthday parties. What’s really interesting is to set lighting schemes using softer tones to highlight different plant materials, such as deepening the color of a cedar with blue/green colored lights.”
Rain water is becoming more and more important and keeping it on site is an emerging trend. With changing weather patterns and the possibility of long tern drought having a ready supply of auxiliary water is critical in winter garden maintenance. Rain Water harvesting is a low cost alternative and easily installed.
There’s an increasing trend in fire pits of all kinds. People are thinking of them differently, more as accents in the landscape. For example, they want a fire area combined separate from the braai area. They’re becoming transitional fire pits with customisation like round, rectangular, and portable designs. Different materials and hardwoods are being integrated into the landscape as inlaid decks against natural gray concrete, or as horizontal panel fences being used as a screen. . Cheri Stringer
“Edible gardening is becoming a bigger part of outdoor living spaces. I saw a patio table at a trade show with a built-in pocket at the center planted with lettuce and herbs. You can sit down for dinner and harvest your own fresh salad right off the table!
“Miniature fruit bushes are really catching on, with varieties like the “Colours this year will be more subdued and sophisticated. I’ve seen lots of earth tones such as taupe, gray, and forest green being used in fabrics, furnishings, and pots.” Stephanie Cohen, Collegeville
Finally, gardens are all about plants again. Hardscaping elements – think giant boulders, cut stone patios and flagstone walkways – are playing a supporting role to the plants starring in beds and borders. Complex geometric patterns mix colourful perennials and annuals with dramatic grasses, lacy ferns and bold groundcovers.