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The Latest Trend in Landscape Design

Take your garden in a new direction—plus: planted patios and the return of ultra-vibrant color

To the uninitiated, landscape design might seem like the sort of field that’s impervious to fashion; after all, aren’t the attributes of an attractive garden, for lack of a better word, perennial? Not so, says designer Frederico Azevedo of the Hamptons outfit Unlimited Earth Care. “A few years ago,” he notes, “everyone wanted all white flowers, or all purple, or all yellow. Now, they’re requesting a vibrant mix of colors.” The new, multi-hued style has the advantage of being more sustainable than the monochromatic look, he adds, because it’s more appealing to beneficial fauna. “The ecosystem works better. It’s not as susceptible to disease and insects.” 

A vertical garden in full bloom

A vertical garden in full bloom

But the biggest new trend in garden design might be the fact that it’s moving beyond the backyard—according to Azevedo, plants are being sown on fences, incorporated into terraces, and even arranged to resemble architectural elements. “A vertical garden can be installed on any empty wall,” he explains, in a series of hanging pouches. “Succulents do well, but we also use coleus, ferns, and small petunias.” Meanwhile, low-growing herbs like sage can be planted in place of select stones on a patio to create a tapestry-like pattern, and stacked baskets of cascading ivy can be strung in pergolas “to make columns.” The result is an outdoor space that looks beautiful and, as Azevedo says, “flows well with nature.” 

A pool deck and a terrace with potted plants used as accents

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