August turns to September, and fall turns to winter, and faster than you know it, it’s another new year, and you still haven’t done anything to add value to your home. Your landscaping is easily the most valuable feature of your home because it is the only part of your home that provides a 100-percent ROI — but only if you update it in the right way.

Landscaping, just like kitchens, bathrooms and other spaces around your home, is subject to trends. To get the most possible value out of your landscaping endeavor, you need to know what home buyers want — and this list will tell you.

Boldness

For years, landscaping — nearly all design, actually — has focused on the art of subtlety. However, in the next decade, that is almost sure to change. Already, interior design is seeing a shift away from minimalism and toward maximalism, which emphasizes oversized décor and bright, bold colors and patterns. In all likelihood, landscaping trends are likely to follow, which means you need to be bolder with how you design your front and back yards.

One of the best ways to accomplish this for 2020 is to install bigger, bolder flora around your exterior spaces. You should be drawn toward plants with large foliage and flowers, like hostas or pompon and ball dahlias. You can also be bolder with the outdoor furniture you choose, opting for bulker pieces with bright colors and patterns.

Naturalness

Even as you are striving toward bolder, bigger and brighter, you should try to maintain a landscape that looks and feels natural. This doesn’t mean you should let your garden go fallow; rather, you should try to use natural materials instead of anything synthetic. For example, you could opt for wood and fiber furniture over anything plastic, and you can build walls and walkways using natural stone instead of molded concrete pavers. “Honesty in materials” is a design style that has remained on-trend for several decades, so emphasizing naturalness in your landscape is a good way to keep your exterior attractive in 2020 and beyond.

Sustainability

Related to naturalness is the design trend of sustainability, which has more to do with the functionality of your outdoor spaces than it does the look or feel. Landscapes require an abundance of resources to maintain, and many of those resources can be toxic to the greater environment. For example, chemical fertilizers are known to infiltrate groundwater and have negative effects on freshwater bodies like lakes and ponds. In 2020, you should commit to reducing your environmental impact as much as possible, which might mean updating your landscape for sustainability in a number of ways.

rain water

Some ideas of sustainable landscaping updates include:

  • Using a graywater system to water your lawn and garden
  • Collecting rainwater to use in garden containers and pots
  • Composting your kitchen and garden scraps and reusing them for fertilizer
  • Replacing resource-hungry, non-native plants with native alternatives

Functionality

Speaking of functionality, perhaps the biggest trend in landscaping for the foreseeable future is the addition of outdoor living spaces, or an exterior interior. This trend is an exciting one because it allows you to make the most of your landscape with living and entertaining areas amidst your yard and garden.

Even better, this update is scalable to your budget, space size and needs. For instance, if you have a smaller yard, you might add a small patio with pavers and an above-ground fire pit as a feature. Then again, if you have a near-unlimited budget, you might consider building a backyard kitchen, replete with built-in grill, countertops and extra refrigerator. No matter what, your exterior living space should follow the design aesthetic of the rest of your property, so it feels like a natural extension of your home.

Automation

Finally, good landscape maintenance never goes out of style, but increasingly, homeowners are too busy with work and family to devote time to trimming trees, raking leaves, mowing lawns and the like. Some parts of your landscape, like your lawn, require near-weekly attention — which is why many homeowners like you are opting to automate these chores. While there are some tech gadgets that perform routine tasks, like automated sprinkler systems and smart lawn mowers, the majority of your yard care should be outsourced to human professionals. You can ask your friends and neighbors for recommendations, or you can always search the web for lawn care near me.

Your real estate investment is going to accrue value slowly, almost no matter what you do. Still, you should be doing the most you can to make your home and property — and that almost always means taking better care of your landscape. By updating your landscape to follow the right trends, you will add an overwhelming amount of value to your property, and you’ll love your outdoor areas more, too.