Emerging Trends


 I do not subscribe to any particular fashion or trend in my personal or professional life.  It is fair to be aware of certain influences and emerging  directions that may warrant consideration.  Landscapes are changing as society evolves.  Again, demographics, economics and technology all have impacts.  The following list highlights a number of practices that I will continue to incorporate into landscape designs.
“Vertical Gardens”
One of the most under utilized aspect of landscapes is the vertical dimension.  A site if fully occupied when all of the dimensional planes are incorporated into a design.  Layering both in a horizontal as well as a vertical plane will create enclosures, sense of space as well as defining a particular sense of place. There are many ways of creating vertical attributes.  Plantings, wall gardens and elemental details  displayed at varying heights all contribute to a fully utilized and occupied site.  This creates depth, intrigue an can visually expand a particular space.  Wall gardens can vary in size, application and complexity. The effect is dramatic, and can create amazing tapestries.   As landscape space becomes more restricted the use of vertical gardens will become incorporated more.

“Economy of Scale”

As Real Estate values continue to escalate property size and garden spaces will become smaller.  We can still have many of the same attributes, but on a different scale.  Smaller spaces typically are more difficult to design as many of the elements are required, but the space in which we have to configure is smaller.  Often the smaller gardens are very intimate, beautiful and rewarding.  Spatial management is crucial as particular attention to function,  flow, scale  and proximity is more complex.  The down sizing trend either due to demographics or economics will continue to have impact.

I feel that it is very important to have the best environment to support your lifestyle what ever your circumstance happens to dictate.  Scale, colour, complexity and layout have a heightened importance in a smaller setting.  Smaller lots, townhouses and condominiums tend to be in greater demand.  Residential design is vertical and the building envelope footprint continues to be reduced.

The “Economy of Scale “ also refers to getting the biggest “bang for your buck”.  Invest in plants that are tried and true, site specific and suited for your design, micro climatic and intent.  Replacing plants is avery costly and time consuming exercise.  Landscapes, gardens and living spaces must become more efficient on a smaller footprint.

“Functional Gardens”

Again, due to the economy of scale, multi functional gardens will continue in demand.  We will see an increase in a gardens intended use and application.  Decorative “Potage” or vegetable gardens continue to be in demand.  Functionality is as important as ethetics.  The 100 mile diet has had a phycological impact.  Fresher, organic and local is in demand.  Again, there is a balance between input of time and energy and product outputs.  Rethinking our values, breaking with convention and applying objectives with fresh application, utilizing our landscapes to a greater extent can delivery amazing results.  When traveling in the Loire Valley France, some of the most amazing gardens were those of the Chateau’s and the “Potage Garden”.  We can apply some of the principles to our own situatio

Chateau Vilandry was an incredible experience partly due to the amazing “Potage” or Vegetable garden.  The experience planted a seed, and was very inspirational.   I began to see the world of possibilities for domestic and residential application.  Why does the vegetable garden have to be relinquished to the back yard?  Why can we not the incorporate edible gardens into a aesthetic detail regardless of location.  We do we necessarily locate the “veggie patch” in the back yard.  A design can incorporate ornamentals  an edibles according to site and not convention.  Front gardens  comprised of lawn and a few shrubs is a paradigm, less efficient, environmentally costly and overly simplistic. Gardens may be designed with function, lifestyle, senses and purpose with your objectives and site.  A reduced lawn may create opportunities for a more complete landscape with a more  holistic approach to our current values associated with today Landscape.

“Going Green”

The “green” movement continues to have impact.  Environmental sensitivity is important to many people.  An environmental responsible and sustainable landscape has increasing importance to the individual as well as the global community.  Again, our values and environmental footprint is changing the way we see things and how we shape our world.  The domestic landscape is more efficient, requires less resources, is more sustainable and contributes to the global experience.  Past practices regarding water consumption, chemical applications of herbicides and pesticides as well as energy consumption continues to dynamically change.  There are new opportunities and a world of possibilities for the residential landscape and garden.  Finding new creative solutions for your particular site and criteria has never been filled with greater possibilities.  Proper evaluation and analysis of your site conditions, soils, hydrology will provide the necessary information required to create the infrastructure to support a more viable landscape solution.  This alternative to the conventional lawn is a more “green solution” adding year round interest, reduced maintenance and is a more efficient micro site.

“Rain Gardens”

The demand for “Rain Gardens” will continue with the increased pressure on municipal and regional water supplies.  Bio Swales and surface deflection is an effective way of managing surface runoff.  Many  municipalities are increasingly concerned with runoff and aging storm water infrastructure.  How we manage surface runoff throughout the seasons on a specific site effects the application, layout and plants specified.  Rain Gardens can comprise of receiving areas, depressions and infrastructure such as cistern and distribution system.  The greater the ability to limit runoff, capture and utilize water on site, the more economical, environmental sensitive and efficient the landscape.  The use of native plants and suitable companion planting.

“Water Features”

The water features continues to be very strong, however, the application is changing.  Water features tend to be smaller and vary from small vessels, fountains pond-less applications, reflecting surfaces and smaller footprint “ponds”.  The ambience, sound and attributes are historic and is still a important garden element.  Many clients still want to have a water feature but are looking at a “down sized” feature  Look for right application for your needs.


 The more I travel the greater appreciation I have for classical design.  In many of the classical styles the unification of elements and repeated use of materials results is very powerful landscapes.  I feel that a simplified palette continues to  be an emerging trend.   I continue to use classical design principles and apply them to todays contemporary ideals.  Simplified palettes for are very powerful and translate well.  There is little distraction in a “managed wilderness”   Show Discipline and restraint within a design.  Develop a concept and maintain a style.

I like the formality and structure used in various classical styles.  In this example, the architecture is very bold, contemporary and powerful.  I choose the same principles in the landscape.  Clean, geometric and linear symmetry reinforces the design concept used in the architecture and throughout the entire design.


Landscapes are all about lifestyles.  Utilizing your exterior space to suite your entertainment, recreational or leisure needs.  Planning with your lifestyle in mind will aid in meeting your spatial management considerations.   I believe that integration between interior and exterior environments are very important and require thoughtful layout for efficiency and function. Linkage and transition from one environment to another facilitates how you want to use a particular space and to achieve a sense of place.  Whether it is an exterior living room or a simple bench you must plan for the appropriate application.

“The Art of Containers”

I always will include elemental detail in landscape design.  There are so many attributes that can be introduced into the landscape with the use of art and containers.

Elemental Details add focal points, create interest and express a sense of who we are.  The most memorable garden and landscape contain both the natural world and our connection, interpretation and our place in it.  A sense of place.

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