Design Experts Share 6 New Summer Landscaping Trends

From marshes to native plantings, top designers dish on the top summer outdoor landscaping trends for 2022.

While it’s been said that beauty is only on the inside, this sentiment does not apply to homes. Having a properly landscaped property is essential not only for making a home into a sanctuary but is particularly important if you are putting your home on the market. After all, curb appeal is very important to most buyers.

However, unlike interiors and choosing furniture, landscape design isn’t all that intuitive for most people and requires not only a great deal of initial work but also maintenance over time.

After all, there are hundreds of thousands of plant and flower species out there, and what you choose to plant depends greatly on location, sunlight, and size. Whether you are trying to design the outside of a palatial estate or a small urban backyard, here are the landscaping trends that designers and experts are currently recommending.

Vintage Wagon Flower Cart Planter

A vintage piece of farm equipment now serves as an eye-catching planter in this pastoral design.

Statement Planters To Attract Wildlife

A garden isn’t just about plants, it can also be about attracting wildlife to make your property feel like more of an enchanted escape. “In rural, suburban, and urban settings, statement planters can really add an element of scale, contrast, and unique nature to an outdoor space and simultaneously be used to cultivate wildlife in your garden. We often use Bronzino as a favorite destination for picking statement planters which are handmade using large sheets of copper,” says Natalia Miyar of Natalia Miyar Atelier. “To fill these, I love opting for native plant species that can also produce flowers, fruits, and seeds throughout the year and create a beautiful setting to attract birds and butterflies to your yard.”

Lavender Field

Try fragrant, low-water plants such as lavender, olives, and rosemary for a Mediterranean vibe.

Mediterranean Inspiration

After years of halted travel plans, especially to places like Europe, many people have opted to bring a Mediterranean vibe to their outdoor space according to Kate Anne of Kate Anne Designs. “I’m a big fan of incorporating lots of Mediterranean resort vibes into a landscape design. Low water plants such as lavender, olives, and rosemary add a stunning visual effect and smell amazing,” she says.

Anne also suggests using gravel instead of wood chips to cover planters, then add plenty of lighting for maximum effect.

Elemental Water Feature

Water Elements

Adding a water element to your backyard can make the space feel more calming and natural. But this doesn’t necessarily mean digging for a koi pond or pool. More subtle elements can also have a big impact. “Even a small bowl of water, birdbath, or basin makes a garden feel like an oasis in the summer. The soothing sounds and reflection of water create a beautiful and calming focal point in the garden,” says Will Massie, founder of McKinnon and Harris.

While water provides great visual interest, it also evokes an emotional response explains Cathy Purple Cherry. “Seeing or hearing the soothing sounds of moving water triggers a response in our brains that induces a flood of neurochemicals and causes relaxation. We don’t need to live in a waterfront home or have a pool to surround ourselves with water. You can create an oasis by nestling a decorative recirculating water fountain in your landscaping.”

tropical landscaping palms

A general rule of thumb when it comes to landscaping is to find plants that fit your space and environment.

Opting For Native Plants

Not sure which plants are best to use? Wilfredo Emanuel of Wilfredo Emanuel Designs recommends going with native plants for a variety of reasons. “Plants that are naturally zoned for the area that you live in can help conserve water, reduce invasive species, and are generally easier to care for because they are already well adapted to the climate.”

Pond Landscaping Design

Creating a meadow-like landscape in your yard can actually help to conserve water.

Meadow-Inspired Plantings

Meadow-inspired plantings are another popular choice. According to Liana Blomquist, founder of Brooklyn Rooftop Botanicals, there are several reasons why we’ve seen an uptick in this type of garden design. “There’s been an increase in social media education around the reasons why native and more meadow-like plantings are better in every sense for both the health of the garden and the ecosystem around it.”

Meadow-inspired plantings also require less water, which means your lawn can still thrive during droughts and times of local water restrictions, which can be an issue in places like California. It’s also better for the environment. “There’s been a heavy backlash around lawns in the urban landscaping and their heavy use of water. We’ve even started seeing cities and states starting to ban the watering of lawns due to heavy droughts. This will move homeowners to think more strategically on what other, more native, and less water-intensive plants they’ll be able to plant to keep their gardens looking beautiful,” says Blomquist.

Hanging Bench Landscape Design Ideas

Benches, big or small, make for cozy additions to any summer landscape design.

Garden Benches

Practicality is key for landscaping and a garden bench not only provides a decorative accent, but it’s also useful for those who plant their own gardens. “A garden bench is a foundational piece for a garden. It becomes a destination when viewed from a distance like a piece of sculpture. It’s a place to rest, place your tools or use as a potting bench,” Massie adds.


I am a writer, design expert, host of the podcast Bougie Adjacent, and comedic performer. I am absolutely fascinated by all aspects of décor and design. It once took me six months to choose a soap dispenser and I can’t even remember what it looked like. I like bright prints, southern exposure and any location you can call a “village or town.” There are currently over 100 episodes of House Hunters on my DVR.

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