Top three garden design trends for 2019

A RECENT STUDY of the National Association of Landscape Professionals revealed that the zeitgeist of garden design has little to do with botanical culture and everything to do with compressing extra living space out of our courtyards. When the association asked 1,000 designers and entrepreneurs to predict the most influential landscape trends for 2019, three emerged: pergolas, a frame or arch that delimits if not encloses a space; unpolished metallic finishes, which give an earthy elegance to structures like walls; and built-in multitasking features that make the most of the small footprint that many of us work with. The design professionals who have implemented these trends guide us through the rigged landscapes.

Metallic finishes, maintain shine

Where their predecessors preferred cedar and wrought iron, contemporary landscape architects use clean expanses of unpolished metal, often opting for corten steel, an umbrella term for oxidizing steel (from US Steel’s Cor- Ten). For a New York townhouse, whose owners wanted the garden to be part of their home, architect Devin O’Neill surrounded the backyard with walls of this weathered steel, then added a trellis in black painted steel supporting a ceiling of exuberant wisteria vines (photo above). “The enclosure looks like another room,” said Mr. O’Neill, who founded O’Neill Rose Architects in Brooklyn. The metal, the same material that American sculptor Richard Serra uses for his monumental works, rusts in a matter of weeks, forming what Mr. O’Neill described as a “beautiful texture similar to brown leather.” It is also wonderfully practical. “There’s not much you can do with the weather,” he said. No pressure washing or finishing. “This is bogus evidence.” The availability of Corten steel in large sheets makes it a good choice for siding. Landscape architects from Terremoto, Los Angeles, wrapped an elevated swimming pool with corten, creating a muscular backdrop for an exuberant environment of meadow grasses. Other low-maintenance dark metals can also provide subdued luxury. For the front yard facing the street of Mr. O’Neill’s project on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, he opted for zinc planters, noting the material: “It’s darker and the reflections are more subtle.” “.

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