Garden design trends for your outdoor living

Backyard garden with wooden table and wooden deck

Those lucky enough to have an outdoor terrace, patio, or yard of their own know that, like the plants and flowers contained within them, gardens flourish in direct proportion to the care and consideration exercised on them.

But in recent years, the push to turn these green spaces into extensions of the home—equal parts form and function—has inspired designers to think bigger, informing their use of foliage, structure, and materials in surprising ways. Naturally, some ideas are better than others.

Renovate polled Zones Landscaping to see which garden trends they expect to reach critical mass this year, from the new “it” plant (fear not, succulent lovers) to the ornamental flora of the future. Scroll through the list, then get to work. After all, spring has already sprung.

The urban jungle

Smaller houses, more people renting and an ironic passion for Seventies kitsch has led to a trend for indoor plants. Instagram allows hipsters the opportunity to boast about their cheese and rubber plants, often displayed in macramé hangers.

Kmart is embracing micro living and urban gardening with the Krydda range of indoor cultivators. Plus 52 percent of home owners now use houseplants to counter pollution, say market researchers Mintel. They say the interest in anti-pollution products is influenced by Chinese Feng Shui and the spectre of the Paris Climate Summit.

Colour me happy

Neutrals might be "in" in home décor, but outside, vibrant hues are trending. Instead of soft creams and pinks, flower beds will burst with bright orange, rich red, electric yellow, and brilliant fuchsia and purples.

Climate-Minded Gardens

Being climate-minded doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your beautiful landscape. As gardeners adapt to the climate, flower varieties that save water are becoming available. Look for native and drought-tolerant plants, says Zones Landscaping.

Rockin’ extreme maximalist gardens

Here's a landscaping trend we love: incorporating natural elements like rocks, boulders, and overgrown hedges for more structure. There is not much to say, but it is definitely rocking the garden scene.

Floratourism and Millennial Gardens

Say what? Too much technology has had young people heading to the great outdoors to unplug and connect with nature, says Zones Landscaping. This movement can be seen in several trends including glamping and rustic dude ranches as popular vacation retreats, botanical gardens getting more foot traffic, and community gardens popping up in cities. And Zones predicts that millennials will embrace gardening more and more in the coming year as a respite from their digitally driven lives.

Make a statement

Rather than sweat the small stuff, fill a large pot with a stunning "statement" plant to serve as the focal point of your garden. According to Zones, plant breeders have introduced varieties of boxwoods, compact hydrangeas, pomegranates, berries, and more that all make great "one-pot wonders" and require less maintenance.

Smaller scale luxury

Large shrubs, hydrangea hedges, and crawling clematis hint at luxury, but if you don't have the space, you can still get the same aesthetic. Compact versions of these traditionally large plants have become available. Look for mini rose gardens, smaller-scale hydrangeas, and more manageable clematis.

Tough and tender balance

A sure way to elevate any outdoor space in 2017? Combine a mix of hardy, low-maintenance plants (think succulents, roses, and hydrangeas) with delicate, romantic varieties (like Itoh peonies and wisteria).

You might be interested in reading: Grow your own plant ‘food’.  


This article featured on page 38 in Issue 024 of Renovate Magazine. New Zealand's first and only magazine solely dedicated to home renovations.


Get in touch with Zones to discuss your landscaping project

If you would like to discuss options and ideas for your outdoor renovation project, please use the enquiry form on this page to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your landscaping design and build. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive enquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.

*All information is believed to be true at time of publishing and is subject to change.

Read Next

All Zones Landscaping franchises are independently owned and operated.

Landscaping Enquiry

We're ready to help you with your landscaping project.

If your enquiry is not related to renovating your home, you may wish to use one of our other enquiry forms to ensure your message reaches the right team:

Please Wait ...


Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Are you ready to discuss your ideas?

Please fill out your details in the online form provided and we’ll get back to you within 48 hours to arrange a free, no obligation consultation.

Get in touch