Landscaping

Summer Landscaping Trends that Can Take Your Outdoor Living Space to the Next Level

Technology and sustainability are the present and future of landscaping.

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Will Anstey always liked the outdoors and working with his hands, so in 1999 he started Devonshire Landscapes to serve the West Seattle area of Washington State. 18 years later, the landscaping industry couldn’t look more different, as new technologies and sustainable practices highlight this summer’s home landscaping trends.

“One of the biggest trends we are seeing so far this summer is the adoption of more ‘smart’-landscape technology,” said Anstey, owner and general manager of Devonshire Landscapes. “Specifically when it comes to irrigation, we are installing a ton of new systems that automatically update the watering schedule based on weather forecasts.”

Not only are these better and more accurate than traditional rain sensor systems, they do not require nearly the same level of maintenance or access. That ease of use and convenience is something more and more homeowners are starting to crave when it comes to their lawn care.

“On the newer systems, we are probably doing 50 percent Wi-Fi smart controllers now, much higher than in the past,” Said Anstey. “Everything else in our homes is connected now and ‘smart’ so this is just the next evolution in terms of landscaping.”

Reducing regular maintenance appears to be a trend this summer, even going beyond smart-irrigation technology, with an increase in LED lighting upgrades also noticeable to Anstey and his Devonshire team.

“Outdoor LED lighting has been big for us lately,” said Anstey. “Not only are they more efficient from an energy standpoint, but they also nearly eliminate maintenance and bulb replacement compared to traditional halogen lighting.”

Apart from these changes in irrigation and lighting technology, one of the biggest trends Devonshire has been seeing this year heading into the summer months is with something much simpler: the lawn itself. As homeowners become more concerned with the environment and sustainability, Anstey has found his team using more “lawn substitutes” instead of traditional grass, including the newest hot trend of microclover.

“We are definitely seeing a trend in the direction of lawn substitutes this summer,” said Anstey. “The biggest is probably microclover; Microclover is lower maintenance, more forgiving, more drought-tolerant, and you don’t have to mow it nearly as often.”

Microclover is even self-fertilizing, as the plant absorbs nitrogen out of the air, reducing the need for traditional fertilizers.

Said Anstey, “With everyone’s focus these days on being environmentally friendly and sustainable, advancements like ‘smart’ landscaping technology and lawn alternatives are going to continue being popular trends going forward.”