6 Landscape Design Trends Taking Hold of the Midwest in 2024

Landscape design can significantly boost a home’s value, especially in the Midwest, where the unique climate calls for specialized landscaping approaches that can handle all weather. To get you the scoop on the latest landscape design trends, we sat down with the experts. They’re takeaway: landscaping in 2024 is all about color, sustainability, and functionality.

1. Native Plant Landscaping

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One way to embrace Midwest living is to incorporate native area plants into your landscaping, according to Craig Bergmann of Craig Bergmann Landscape Design.

“Transitioning outdoor spaces from a [mown] lawn to a more wooded or rough edge is a perfect way to promote a meadow or prairie design that reduces lawn care, water usage, and mowing, and can still be quite ornamental,” he said. “When we remove shrubs in an area beneath large native trees, we always encourage replanting what would naturally grow there. Some of our favorite plants for this are common witch hazels, hazelnut shrubs, dogwoods, and native cherry.”

He also suggested seeking inspiration from local spaces with native plant life. For example, visit the Chicago Botanic Garden in north-suburban Glencoe for beautiful native plant-centered design ideas.

2. Drought-tolerant plants

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Plants that are hearty against droughts are a favorite Midwestern landscaping trend of Jeremy Yamaguchi. Yamaguchi, CEO of Lawn Love, explained that these tough plants are ideal for unpredictable weather.

“The Midwest endures all of the seasons at their most extreme, so in the summer, it can get incredibly hot and dry,” Yamaguchi said. “And weather patterns are only getting more extreme as the years go by. So, as a sustainability measure and [to ensure] their landscaping still looks great regardless of the weather, many Midwestern homeowners are now incorporating or even prioritizing [drought-tolerant plants].”

Bergmann suggests hearty plants such as evergreens, woody plants like lavender or Russian sage, and tuberous plants like peonies and irises. He says that if you need inspiration, you should look at plants that are native to the Mediterranean or desert-like climates.

3. Sustainable Landscaping Practices

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When asked how important sustainable landscaping is, Bergmann had one word: essential.

Ways to incorporate sustainability into your landscaping include avoiding harmful chemicals, composting food scraps and yard waste, and using rain barrels to collect water. If you choose to do the latter, check with your local laws regarding rainwater collection. Some states restrict how much water can be collected and how it can be used.

Incorporating sustainability into your landscaping might also add value to your home. According to a recent PwC Survey, consumers said they would pay up to 9.7% more for sustainable products.

4. Pops of Color

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According to Bergmann, incorporating color can make a yard stand out.

“Like interiors and fashion, color schemes ebb and flow in popularity,” he said. “The ubiquitous blue and white scheme is now being paired with more vibrant tones like magenta and chartreuse. We have always used color in flowers and now there also seems to be more pops of color in outdoor upholstery.”

5. Water Features

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Utilizing water elements in landscape design is another way to create a more inviting space. According to Bergmann, some of the more popular ways to incorporate water features into a design include small gurgle fountains, water walls and sprouts associated with pools and spas.

Water features also have mental health benefits. According to research, spending time near water can reduce stress, improve your mood and promote relaxation.

6. Minimalist and Low-Maintenance Designs

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Homeowners today love low-maintenance living, and this extends to landscape design. Bergmann advises discussing maintenance requirements with a landscaping professional before starting any project. Choosing the right plants for minimal upkeep, like landscape shrub roses instead of hybrid tea roses, is one key. If you want to take it a step further, you can install an irrigation system, so you don’t have to spend your early mornings watering your plants.

What’s your favorite feature in your yard or garden? Comment below!

Written by @properties
@properties Christie’s International Real Estate is Chicagoland’s #1 brokerage. Through our affiliation with Christie’s International Real Estate, our network spans nearly 50 countries. No matter your real estate needs, we’ve got you covered.