Creative Trends in Landscape Design: What’s Hot Now in 2017

Traditional thinking about landscaping and home gardening has been changing over the past few decades. Here at Mountain View Landscaping & Design, we no longer just think about a patch of ground for a vegetable garden or a few shrubs and trees around the home or red verbena growing in a black kettle pot.

The gardening trends for 2017 is to go BOLD!

We are more into thinking about creating a colorful outdoor space or a peaceful personal haven where you can relax from the busy pace of modern life.

New trends emerging in 2017 have expanded options for enjoying nature with creative ways of bringing them “up close and personal”.  Indoors or out, creative expressions of nature can always provide you with beauty and enjoyment.

Container Gardens: Beautiful, decorative urns, pedestal pots, baskets and whatever you can imagine as a planter for plant material is trending.

Rocks and Boulders: Various types and sizes of rocks and boulders bring a continuous mountain theme into your personal space.

Retaining Walls: Walls made with various types of materials and textures make perfect backdrops for flower gardens or develop private areas. They also function for controlling soil erosion on slopes.

Fire pits: Fire pits make great focal points for garden areas. They create a great ambiance for relaxing or entertaining.

Fountains and Bubblers: For small spaces or entrance-ways to homes, bubblers create soothing water sounds and water bubbles out of an Egyptian Urn or some other decorative container that complements your home décor. Fountains and pondless waterfalls are also popular trends.

Specialty Gardens: Gardens can have themes and can be designed to attract specific species of birds, butterflies or bees. Theme gardens can focus on edibles, cut-flowers or shade specimens.


CONTAINER PLANTING: Plant flowers that have bold colors of hot reds, pinks, purple and orange. Containers that combine colorful Gerber daisies, Bee Balm, Cone flowers or Salvia make beautiful arrangements. The addition of Bacopa and Creeping Jenny trailing in and out of the container trickling down the sides add more texture and provide rhythm to the arrangement.

Using color in containers can be a planned process for gaining an effect. Green is the color that holds the arrangement together. Green has many variations from light to dark and these shades can be used together to add depth. Green is good as it provides a rest from hotter colors and serves as a gentle contrast.

Container planting is not new but some of the plant materials used is changing. The one- plant- one- pot tradition is fading as container planters are combining stunning arrays of foliage, flowers and texture into decorative pottery, baskets, urns and tubs to place at doorways, pools, patios and outside sitting areas.

Another trend for container planting is to take common landscape specimens such as cone-shaped green mountain boxwood or a red weeping Japanese Maple Tree and place them in bold containers to enhance a particular area. Like a work of art in an inside living area, these decorative planters give viewers a taste of beauty through color, texture and design.



Succulents and cacti are low maintenance. This beautiful succulent garden is elegant with all colors blending together. Good drainage, sandy soil and sparse watering will keep these plants healthy and productive.

Let your imagination go wild with all your favorite plants. It is best to nestle plants together that have similar needs for sun or shade.


Grasses or tall plants placed in first provide height and then layer down to those creeping plants that flow over the sides. Start with a layer of small rocks or perlite at the bottom of the container for drainage. Slow release fertilizer such as osmocote added at planting will assist in giving plants a healthy start.


Areas that do not get enough sunlight to grow grass can take on a different look with colorful stones. Providing groundcover, texture and architectural shapes, carefully selected rocks or boulders are becoming very popular and are easily maintained.

The simple and elegant garden pictured below is a carefully selected blend of colors that resembles a piece of artwork. The small boulders have become the focal points and the coarse, colorful, succulents, yellow groundcover and small river rocks add texture and contrast to this beautiful scene.


Materials used for retaining walls can be selected to compliment your style of home. They can be simple, artistic, rustic and given various heights. Materials can also be selected to match individual budgets. Besides their beauty, retaining walls are important for controlling erosion of soil on slopes.


Moving away from dragging out the barbeque grill every time you want to cook out, a fire pit is always ready for family functions or impromptu entertainment.

Creations with rustic stone, stone veneers or cornerstone blocks, give these wonderful additions reason to become the center of attention.

A summer cook-out for the ball team or a cozy fire for brisk summer evenings to sit back and enjoy roasting marshmallows, listening to music with friends and family is what it’s all about.


Another popular and very dramatic addition to any garden is the water bubbler. With designs that inspire individual tastes, the water bubbler not only adds color and creative accents, it adds the soothing sounds of rippling water. Bubblers can be made from stones, urns, decorative vases or created from your own piece of memorabilia.


Gardens can have themes such as growing vegetables in a creative style, adding arbors in specific location or creating a garden that attracts beautiful butterflies, hummingbirds or other astounding sites in nature.


Photo Credit: F. D. Richards


EDIBLE GARDENS & LANDSCAPES: An ideal location for an herb garden would near your kitchen or even growing in indoor containers. Some of the most popular herbs and produce success for even beginners are basil, sage, oregano, thyme, lavender, rosemary, parsley, chives and cilantro.

Herbs require sunlight and good drainage. If planted indoors it is best to put them in or near a sunny window or on a sun porch. Potted herbs make interesting décor as well as giving quick access for adding those wonderful flavors to your favorite foods.

Harvesting herbs is popular and can become a great hobby and a source of gift-giving as the fresh aromatic smells of home-grown herbs far surpasses those processed for mass production. Herbs are best harvested before they start to produce flowers and be sure they are free of pesticides or diseases.

There are several options for preparing herbs for use. Traditionally, air-drying is the most popular but; low-oven heat can also be used when monitored closely. Freezing is also an option and is used more for cooking as appearance is lost for using as garnishes.

VEGETABLES: Let’s not limit gardening to flowers and foliage. There are edible gardens that can be attractive as well as producing some vine ripe tomatoes. These self-constructed above ground gardens with teepee poles become topics of conversation with their unique style.

Delicious cherry tomatoes hanging from a basket provide many delicious salads with many more to pick and eat off the vine. There vibrant red colors add another dimension to patios and porches. Plus they are very easy to care for.

BUTTERFLY GARDENS: Insects that pollinate are attracted to some types of plants more than others. These pollinators attract bees and butterflies and are important to the health of the natural environment. Butterfly bushes known as Buddleias grow to medium size and produce beautiful blooms in different shades of red, pink, purple and white.

They like sunny locations for best results. Other common plants that attract pollinators are Liatris, Bee Balm, Dahlia, Lavender, Rosemary, Impatiens and the popular Shasta daisies.

Take your imagination and creative ability to a new level by choosing one of the new trends. Ideas are limitless. The freedom to create your own space with colorful, natural materials such as flowers, edibles, decorative pots, hanging baskets and creative combinations will broaden your thinking about gardens and landscaping.

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