The Top 5 Landscape Design Trends of Fall 2017

The National Association of Landscape Professionals predicts increasing demand for high-tech fire features, dramatic interiorscapes and more

HERNDON, Va. (August 29, 2017) – While many people mistakenly associate only the spring and summer with outdoor activities, fall is prime season for many landscape projects. With autumn just around the corner, the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) announces its official list of the top landscape trends anticipated to receive increased interest and adoption by homeowners this coming season. The association foresees an uptick in landscape enjoyment and projects this fall, thanks in part to forecasts that predict a warmer-than-usual season in most parts of the country.

“The outdoor entertaining trend has been gaining momentum over the past several years, and this year has seen a further desire to bring the indoors out,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs, NALP. “In particular, the warmer fall months will lend themselves to increased attention on outdoor spaces, as homeowners look to extend the summer outdoor entertaining season and adapt their landscapes for enjoyment throughout the year. By working with a landscape professional, homeowners can learn how to implement the latest trends into their landscapes and discover the options that work best for their location and lifestyles.”

NALP forecasts the following trends for fall and winter 2017:

1. Technologically advanced fire features. Fire features continue to be a top homeowner request, and during the fall in particular, fire pits and fireplaces are in high demand. In keeping with the home automation trend sweeping the nation, today’s fire features offer advanced technological capabilities, with the ability to be programmed to turn on/off at particular times or to be controlled from the indoors or with a smartphone. This automation trend also extends to irrigation systems, which is especially useful during the typically wetter fall season, to prevent excess watering of lawns and landscapes.

2. Contemporary twists on classic fall plantings. Flowers, shrubs and trees that highlight the rich, warm colors of the season and reach their peak blooming time in the fall and winter months, such as chrysanthemums, boxwood, and maples, are hallmarks of fall landscapes. Several classic plantings are also now engineered to be more hardy and longer-lasting. This season, expect to see the classics married with modern-day style, with plants arranged in contemporary groupings, and landscape designs reflecting clean lines and simple sophistication.

3. Increased focus on lighting up landscapes for safety. While developing landscapes so they can be safely enjoyed is always a top priority for landscape professionals, more and more design elements of landscapes, such as LED lighting, prioritize safety. Proper landscape lighting is especially important during the shorter fall and winter days, ensuring outdoor play areas are well-lit and walkways are easily accessible through the evening and nighttime hours. Not limited to lighting, the emphasis on safety also plays a role in fall landscape maintenance, when it is important to preemptively evaluate and manage tree branches or overgrown roots that could become a property hazard.

4. Low-maintenance, natural-looking materials. The latest hardscape materials mimic the look of real wood and natural stone without the associated maintenance. Porcelain tiles are quickly becoming a material of choice, as they are less susceptible to degrading from harsh weather conditions, an especially desirable quality during the fall and winter. Similarly, this trend includes faux finishes and materials on outdoor furniture, such as synthetics that look like real leather.

5. Stunning interiorscapes. During the fall and winter months, “interiorscapes,” or indoor landscapes, will become more prevalent as homeowners seek to bring the outdoors in. No longer limited to basic houseplants, large living “green” walls, made entirely of greenery and other plants, create dramatic focal points in interior rooms and courtyards, while tropical container gardens, such as arrangements of edible citrus trees, bring a taste of the island life to properties in cooler climates. 

The voice of the landscape industry, NALP develops its trends reports drawing from the expertise of landscape professionals representing various regions of the U.S. who are at the forefront of outdoor trends. The landscape trends are also influenced by broader lifestyle and design trends. 

Fall is prime time to plan landscape enhancements and complete landscape maintenance tasks to ensure a healthy, vital landscape come spring. Tasks that should be completed in fall include seeding or overseeding the lawn, investing in proactive weed control measures and developing a snow removal plan.

For more information or to find a qualified landscape professional in your area, visit

About NALP

NALP represents an industry that employs nearly 1 million landscape, lawn care, irrigation and tree care professionals who create and maintain healthy green spaces for the benefit of society and the environment.

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