outdoor patio with plants

2016 Drought Tolerant Landscaping Trends

Outdoor living spaces provide an expansion for indoor space and create increased opportunities for outdoor dining and entertaining year-round. Recent outdoor living trends have sparked a renewed interest in outdoor products for homeowners across the country. Among the most popular outdoor living trends for 2016 are hardscaping, eco-friendly materials and drought tolerant landscaping.


When designing an outdoor living space, hardscaping can enhance your landscape by introducing interesting colors, textures and outdoor features like patios, terraces, and garden pathways. According to recent real estate market studies, 80 percent of homeowners want a landscape that includes hardscaping features that will enhance the beauty of their home and create an easier-to-maintain yard. The most desired hardscaping features include walkways and pathways, retaining walls, fireplaces and fire pits, and outdoor water features. The most popular hardscaping materials include natural stones like limestone, travertine, and slate, flagstone, concrete, brick and wood. Easy-to-install pavers are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors and finishes that will complement any architectural style.

Eco-Friendly Materials

hawaii home with sunset view

With an increased interest in sustainability, today’s homeowners prefer eco-friendly materials and products that promote green living and protect the environment from harmful chemicals. Eco-friendly landscaping trends that top the list are organic lawn care, organic mulch, composting and recycling.

  • Organic Lawn Care – Organic lawn care products like fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides are made with natural ingredients and contain no harmful chemicals that can filter into your soil and water supply. They also provide a healthier outdoor environment for children and pets.
  • Organic Mulch – Organic mulch is made from natural materials that decompose and provide health benefits to soil and plants. Bark chips, straw, pine needles, and cocoa hulls are great organic mulches that help to retain soil moisture and essential nutrients.
  • Compost – Composting is a simple way to add nutrient-rich humus that fuels plant growth and restores nutrients to depleted soil. You can purchase bagged organic compost or make your own from vegetable and fruit scraps, eggshells, coffee grounds, shredded paper and grass clippings.
  • Rainwater – Rainwater harvesting, collecting natural rainfall into barrels or underground tanks, is a great way to conserve water. It’s easy and inexpensive to hook up a rain barrel or underground cistern to a drip irrigation system to provide a free, natural source of water for your landscape.

Drought Tolerant Plants

patio with drought tolerant plants

Landscaping or gardening that reduces irrigation needs and conserves water is important to many homeowners, especially in drought-ridden areas of the country. Many states have now restricted water usage, so homeowners have turned to drought tolerant plants and synthetic turf in certain areas. In western states like California, Nevada and Arizona where temperatures stay warm year-round, drought tolerant native plants, succulents and ornamental grasses promote water conservation and reduce landscape maintenance.

Xeriscaping, landscaping with native plants, is a popular outdoor living trend. Plants that are native to your area have already adapted to the local climate and weather conditions, so they require less attention versus non-native plants. Using native plants in your landscape will also attract local wildlife like regional birds, hummingbirds and butterflies to your landscape or garden. By xeriscaping your landscape, you can create a beautiful, healthy landscape that reduces water needs, benefits local wildlife, and promotes an eco-friendly environment.

Drought tolerant landscaping offers a way to save money, time, and resources. It’s an easy way to grow healthy plants that enhance your landscape and add to the diverse ecosystems of the planet. Drought tolerant landscaping trends are the future of sustainable landscaping without toxic chemicals, air pollution, and endangered materials.

If you enjoyed this blog you may want to read our blog about, “Indoor Plants: Drought Tolerant, Decorative and Healthy!.”

Smith Brothers is a unique team of construction craftsmen, architects, and interior designers. Since 1978, we stress the absolute highest levels of quality, performance, value and service in each and every project. Our award-winning design ideas, expertise, and collective experience allow us to provide the very best in what we do. For more information please contact us at 877-230-0333 or info@smithbrothersconstruction.com.

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