7 Hot Houston Landscaping Trends

Blue butterfly bush

It’s no secret that people in Houston love their yards.  Just drive through West University, River Oaks, the Heights, Spring Branch, or the outlying suburbs. You’ll see a variety of beautiful plants and landscape design.

Yes, despite the quick-changing temperatures, humidity, and ongoing challenges of heat and heavy rain, Houston residents have found ways to keep their yards pristine — no matter what mother nature brings.

So what’s popular right now the yards of H-Town homeowners? Here are seven hot Houston landscaping trends.

1. Vibrant and colorful flowers

Houston homes are known for their beautiful landscaping and flowers. The year 2020 marks 85 years of the city’s annual Azalea Trail. While the beautiful pink and white azaleas are a staple in Houston, a landscaping trend to watch for this year in flowers is blue.

Pantone has released its annual color of the year for 2020: classic blue. So expect to see the color spring up all over Houston in things like the blue butterfly bush, plumbagoes, and agapanthus.

2. Eco-friendly landscaping

In summer, commercial and residential landscaping can consume half of Houston’s municipal water supply. That’s why sustainable landscape designs will continue to be a big trend this upcoming year. But, Houstonians are taking it to a new level with “regenerative landscaping.” That term refers to landscaping that restores the environment and encourages long-term sustainability.

As Shawn Michael of Ravenscourt Landscaping & Design LLC explains, “’Sustainable’ leads one to think about what has to be done to continue survival. ‘Regenerative’ reframes the stage. We want better: cleaner water, cleaner soil, cleaner air,” he says. “More and more clients are interested in sustainable, conscientious, options for their spaces.”

Front Yard Landscaping Trends

3. Layered Flower Beds

When Houstonians think flower beds, they think layers.

Layering your front yard flower beds with a mix of short and tall shrubs and flowers is a popular Houston landscaping trend. Homeowners should remember to keep their area’s microclimate in mind.  Account for sun, shade, drainage, and the type of soil in the yard when choosing plants.

4. Landscaping Lighting

Landscape lighting is a very hot Houston trend these days. It’s elegant and easy to maintain in all types of weather. And — unlike plants — lighting doesn’t care about soil, humidity levels, or temperatures. You can use electric, solar, or even gas-powered lighting to illuminate your front yard at night. But keep in mind that the energy-efficient option of solar lighting works best in areas that get plenty of sun during the day.

Popular Landscaping Trends for the Backyard

5. Two-in-One Landscaping

According to the National Association of Landscaping Professionals, this is a very hot trend. Multifunctional landscape design provides homeowners backyard beauty without so much hassle. Some popular two-in-one landscaping ideas include vertical, edible gardens that also serve as a privacy fence, or colorful garden beds that help divide different sections of the backyard.

6. Lawn and Landscape Automation

Who says that a smart home technology needs to stay indoors? Not Houston homeowners, that is for sure. Lawn and landscape automation is a hot trend right now. From robotic lawnmowers to high-tech lighting, electrical systems, and irrigation, homeowners are incorporating these advancements into their backyard space. Houstonians want to spend more time enjoying, rather than working on, their yards.

7. Decorative Art

Houston has a vibrant art scene and is home to one of the nation’s largest art museums. So it’s no surprise that a popular trend here is to incorporate art into a backyard design. From wrought iron furniture to water features and bold and whimsical metal artwork, this is a hot trend for Houston backyards.

Do Your Research First

Yes, these are the popular Houston landscaping trends, but that doesn’t mean that they will all work in your yard. Do your research or talk to a professional first to make sure it’s a good fit. For example, you may not want to plant beautiful blue agapanthus in your front yard if there’s no shade — even if they are trendy right now.

And if you are interested in regenerative gardening, Michael at Ravenscourt Landscaping suggests you talk to friends who already do what you want to try.

“Backyard chicken farming for example,” he says, “may sound like a great way to have fresh eggs. But if one does not appreciate the work that comes with the reward they risk burning out on everything backyard/green/nature.”

He also recommends visiting locally owned garden shops such as Buchanan’s Native Plants and Joshua’s Native Plants and warns that “organic does not mean nontoxic.”

Main image: Blue butterfly bush, T. Voekler, CC by SA 3.0

Jennifer Lester

Jennifer Lester

Jennifer Lester is a freelance writer and social media strategist who covers a variety of home and garden topics. She’s a graduate of Texas A&M University and the proud mom of three boys. In her spare time, she volunteers in her community and her children’s schools.