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Top Trends in Residential Landscaping for Portland Homes

Why we chose to be residential landscapers

Your home landscape is where you’ll spend most of your outdoor time. And we think time outside will grow your appreciation for the natural world as you enjoy seasonal shifts in the garden and the comings and goings of birds and pollinators. A garden can create a welcoming atmosphere and provide a peaceful retreat for relaxation and overall be a real joy to wander and lounge around in. Landscaping is very individualized too so its where home owners interconnect with the wider natural environments around. It allows you to express your personality and style through the design choices you make. Additionally, a thoughtfully landscaped yard can contribute to a healthier environment by supporting local wildlife and biodiversity.

Native plants for Portland homes

If you’re looking to enhance your Portland home’s landscaping with plants that naturally thrive in the area, consider incorporating native plants. Native plants are adapted to the local climate and soil conditions, making them easier to maintain and more resistant to pests and diseases. Some of the most popular native plant options for Portland homes include Oregon grape, red flowering currant, and sword ferns with a pretty low upfront cost and next to no care needed. Not only do these plants add beauty to your landscape, but they also support local wildlife and help conserve water. If you’r looking for a bigger aesthetic statement, look at manzanita varieties that will fit your space, mountain hemlocks, vine maples or flowering features like ninebarks and oceanspray. There are a lot of resources online for native plants in Portland, Oregon but these are few widely available ones to get you started!

Water conservation in landscaping

Many Portland homes are opting for water-efficient landscaping to conserve resources. By using native plants and drought-resistant species, homeowners can reduce water usage significantly. We love how mixing Mediterranean plants with some NW native plants look in a garden. Mediterranean and some alpine plants too can bring a silvery blue color that can make a native plant scheme a lot more vibrant. Mulching the garden beds helps retain moisture in the soil, reducing the need for frequent watering, so we make sure to cover all exposed soils with some sort of mulch when we are finished planting. Incorporating rain catchment and drip irrigation systems also aid in efficient water distribution throughout the landscape and can help with the seasonality of our water supply. Xeriscaping, a landscaping practice that minimizes water usage, is gaining popularity in Portland due to its sustainability and cost-effectiveness.

Hardscaping is a significant trend in modern residential landscapes. It involves non-living elements like pathways, patios, and retaining walls, adding structure and functionality to outdoor spaces. Here are some key hardscaping trends for modern landscapes in Portland homes:

  • Integration of natural stone: Using materials like slate, bluestone, or limestone to create a natural and timeless look. Modern landscaping trends seem to embrace more muted and matched tone hardscaping materials and we are here for it!
  • Fire features: Incorporating fire pits or fireplaces for warmth and ambiance and increases the amount of the year you’re likely to be out enjoying the space.
  • Outdoor kitchens: Building functional cooking and entertainment spaces are another way to bring the whole family outdoors.
  • Sustainable and large format hardscaping: permeable paving is still pretty popular for its ability to handle water in the rainy season. Many manufacturers are also catching on to the large format paver trend and increasing their large slab availability.

Incorporating outdoor living spaces

Outdoor living spaces are becoming increasingly popular in Portland homes. It’s a way to transforming their yards with a clear functional spaces for relaxation and entertainment that feels like an extension of the house. Here are some ways to incorporate outdoor living spaces:

  • Create a covered seating area with outdoor furniture
  • Add a fire pit and seat wall to an existing patio for warmth and ambiance
  • Install a pergola for shade and structure
  • Include a patio dining area big enough for family and friends to eat outside
  • Utilize low voltage lighting and for extended outdoor enjoyment
  • Make an “outdoor room” by framing a patio with larger plants, maybe big enough for a bistro table to enjoy a morning coffee outdoors.

These spaces enhance the overall feel of your home and provide a perfect retreat for enjoying the beautiful Portland weather.

Low-maintenance landscaping ideas

Everyone is chasing the low maintenance landscape, but I’m not convinced it exists! Patios and paths can take up space while adding function in the garden and require little maintenance, but think about maintaining your beds. Stay away from landscape fabrics that will tangle with the roots and rely on mulch that can be stirred up with a weeding tool for easy maintenance that doesn’t rely on chemicals. Densely plant your beds as well, so there is more competition for the weeds than in open ground. The easiest things to maintain will be the things you actually use frequently so pick an engaging destination in your garden plan.

Outdoor lighting is an essential element in modern landscaping design. It not only adds beauty to your outdoor spaces but also enhances safety and security. LED 12volt lights are a popular choice due to their energy efficiency and longevity as well as huge range of styles. With lighting think low amounts of lights more more fixtures so you don’t create any really “hot spots” in the garden and keep the whole yard looking contiguous. String lights are versatile and can create a cozy ambiance, smart lighting systems are becoming increasingly popular, allowing you more control of your outdoor lights with your phone. Warm whites are pretty popular, but cool whites can elevate the green foliage and reduce the brown and tan tones in your plants. Pick what works with your houses architecture and your style.

Many Portland homeowners are opting for low-maintenance and sustainable landscaping options. Native plants are gaining popularity due to their ability to thrive in the region’s climate with minimal upkeep. Drought-resistant landscaping features, such as gravel paths and rock gardens, are also becoming more prevalent for the xeric aesthetic. Incorporating outdoor living spaces, like patios and covered areas, is a HUGE growing trend for families looking to enjoy their outdoor space year-round. At the end of the day, what you like and enjoy is what will bring you outside to be a part of your landscape, so don’t rely too heavily on trends and pick a style that speaks to you.

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