Stylish Landscaping Design Trends To Watch For in 2021 – Part 1 of 2

japanese garden with coy pond
Whether you have acres under cultivation or a few pots on your balcony, the next few months are the time to think, plan, envision, and dream about what your little corner of the world will look like come Spring 2021. We’ll start by taking a quick look at several landscaping design styles that are trending for the new year, and complete our review in next month’s blog.

Here are a few landscaping style trends to get you started…


Perhaps as an antidote to the overcrowded, complex world we live in, the minimalist approach to living burst on the scene and remains highly sought-after as we enter 2021. It blends best with modern architecture, including simple, geometric structures that seek to blur the lines between indoor and outdoor living spaces. There is no clear division of space into zones, and the composition often consists of several multi-level platforms. Plants to incorporate in a minimalistic garden include perennials, ornamental shrubs, and conifers.


Elements that define a Japanese-style landscape are water, stones, and certain plants. Each represents a certain element of the natural world, and is filled with symbolism and inner meaning. Consider planning a rock garden commensurate with the space you have to bring the texture and Zen feel of stones to your landscaping. Think about building a pond or a small fountain or waterfall. Try planting a dwarf cherry tree, a Japanese maple, spireas, rhododendrons, perennials, ferns, clematis, or daylilies—and don’t forget the iris and Japanese chrysanthemums.


Many consider the Scandinavian style of landscaping as akin to minimalism, and in many ways it is. However, this style reflects the simple, concise, and functional side of minimalism while also managing to weave in a little magic with touches of the warm and cozy. Scandinavian techniques landscapers are considering include hedges, lawns of heather and wildflowers, large green lawns with single plantings or miniature group compositions, stone paved walkways, and tracks and container flower beds. Creative wood figurines like carved gnomes and other favorite characters from Scandinavian mythology can add that touch of magic.


Sometimes called a “cottage garden”, this mainstay of the English landscape style is a little wild and slightly overgrown. Invented by the English in the 1400s, true English cottage gardens were originally intended to be both enchanting as well as to feed a family—giving them a mad mix of edibles and ornamentals. The most appealing ones are a hodgepodge of plants, co-mingling and spilling over and around one another, onto paths, and over structures. Plant flowers at the edges of your beds so they can spill over onto paths. Then add shrubs and trees for vertical interest without too much structure. Remember, this is a fun kind of garden that you don’t have to take too seriously!

It’s always enjoyable to review and reflect on landscape styles that are trending, but our most important advice is to be sure you select a style that works well with the skills you have and the time you have available. The idea is to create an inviting space that “speaks” to you, where you can relax and enjoy—and whose process of creating and maintaining doesn’t exhaust you.

In next month’s blog, we’ll look at more landscaping designs and design elements that are trending for 2021.