The tough economy over the last several years has done more than simply cause families to cut back on the extras they once enjoyed. In fact, the recession has changed the very way that residential landscape designers are approaching their work and their projects. Here are some changes that you may experience if you are ready to do some work in the post-recession environment:


• Less is more. Today’s landscapes are focused on more simple presentations, with more effort being placed on what is already present in your yard and how it can be reworked or re-purposed to become an asset.

• Change happens more slowly. With families being more comfortable with smaller projects, whole yard rehabs are simply a thing of the past – or are rare at best. Landscaping services are more than happy to work on one segment of a project at a time, helping homeowners to contain the cost, and then coming back to work on another section later on in the summer.

• A focus on natural. With the infusion of eco-friendly landscaping materials and the concern over cost and the impact on the environment, more and more landscapes are incorporating natural materials. Gone are the days of the showy, marble-laden patios and closely cropped hedges with English gardens. Instead, homeowners are focused on native plants for their geographical region and materials such as wood and stone that weather well and blend in with the natural surroundings.

• Do it yourself, with expert help. In years past, a landscape architecture firm might be hired to do an entire yard with the homeowner doing little more than writing the check and enjoying the final outcome. While that still does happen in high-priced homes, more and more landscapers are being hired to do the base of a job – putting in a pond, laying the stone for a patio, or creating landscaping beds, for example – while the homeowner will finish doing the planting, mulching and maintenance. This cooperative relationship between the homeowner and the landscaper creates an opportunity for the yard to have the proper design and installation of larger landscaping architecture elements, and the option for the homeowner to save money and feel the satisfaction of working in their own yard.

In decades past, landscaping was as showy as possible, using materials from the indoors in an outdoor environment. Not anymore. With the changes to the economy and the focus on family living, post-recession landscaping design firms have taken on a more do-it-yourself, natural feel, with talented landscapers and designers installing the critical elements of a landscape. These changes have allowed families who are cost-conscious to still have a stunning yard enjoyed by everyone, with less cost and more pride in accomplishment.

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