Skip to main content

3 modern landscape architecture elements your yard needs

Modern landscape is gaining more and more attention these days thanks to a resurgence of the “less is more” approach to exterior design and decor. But what elements of this exterior design style will fit well in your yard? We’ve broken down what we love about modern landscape architecture so you can pick and choose what’s best for your yard.

modern landscaped homeSleek lines and low upkeep

Modern landscaping ideas involve plants and plant beds, but definitely no riotous displays of bright reds, green, or yellow flowers or vegetables. This is great for folks who aren’t a fan of gardening, since these minimalistic gardening styles don’t lend themselves to too much upkeep.

Recommended Videos

This goes for walkways and paths too! While concrete hardscaping (in the form of benches, planters, and concrete paths) are the hallmarks of modern landscaping, there are some climates where too much moisture can cause constant cracking and repairs to slabs and pathways. If that is the case, use textured materials to mark off specific areas. White pebbles, pea gravel, lava rock, and larger rocks can create areas of interest that don’t require upkeep.

Interlocking composite pavers are a great way to mark off areas, and these can be used no matter what kind of climate you are in. Be aware that they absorb and hold heat, so you will need footwear or outdoor rugs if it’s an area just off the house that you will use for entertaining.

landscaped house front
rawmn/Shutterstock

Plants and trees

So you want to add some green to your front or backyard while still maintaining that modern and minimal aesthetic? You might be wondering what types of plants to choose. The answer depends entirely on what type of climate you live in.

Moderate to temperate climates

Plants for moderate to temperate climates include:

  • Yucca
  • Cuana
  • Alocasia
  • Red hot poker
  • Agapanthus
  • New Zealand flax
  • Aeonium
  • Sedium
  • Swiss cheese plant
  • Aucuba
  • Fascia
  • Lilyturf

Trees include:

  • Crape myrtle
  • Japanese pine
  • Mountain laurel
  • Bamboo
  • Japanese maples
  • Agave
  • Japanese boxwood
  • Cast-iron plant
  • Berkeley sedge
  • Foxtail fern

Always consult a local garden center before spending your savings on plants and trees. Even if a plant is on this list above, there could be other elements that impact your plants’ ability to thrive.

Arid climates

Dry climates with water issues can certainly take advantage of modern landscape trends, and rock gardens are no stranger to trends. Again, you can use textures to designate certain spaces. Use large squares of artificial turf or neutral outdoor rugs to mark off spaces for entertaining or outdoor kitchens, and don’t forget to include shade elements.

Use drought-tolerant and tropical plants as organic elements. Plants that would do well include:

  • Golden barrel cactus
  • Mexican feather grass
  • Bottlebrush
  • Aloe
  • Flaming Katy

modern landscaped backyardElevated surfaces

Since space in your outdoor entertaining spaces is limited, elevated deck and seating spaces are a great way to add visual interest to a space and create an illusion of a lot of square footage. Installing outdoor lighting or stringing up fairy lights around a seating area is also a necessity — safety is important and the aesthetics can’t be beat either.

Whether you choose to add plant beds to your front yard, plant a beautiful tree out back, or overhaul your entire yard, modern landscape architecture is a fantastic way to bring a touch of class and elegance to your outdoor areas. We can’t wait to see what you create!

Editors' Recommendations

Topics
Kathleen Ostrander
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kathleen has worked for United Press International and she's written about everything from style to pets for newspapers…
5 clever Christmas tree decorating ideas that will wow your friends and family
Your guests will be impressed with your unique Christmas tree
Christmas tree in living room surrounded by presents

If you want to shake things up with your Christmas tree decorations this year, then we’ve got just the list for you! Decorating the Christmas tree is one of the things we look forward to the most during the holidays. It’s a chance to show off your personality and blend tradition with items passed down through generations. So, if you’re struggling to come up with the perfect way to wow your friends and family this year, check out our top five Christmas tree decorating ideas.

Add your holiday cards to your Christmas tree
Each year, families receive holiday cards by the dozens. This tradition has transcended the digital age and proven to be a nostalgic and heartwarming experience for many. If you have a few holiday cards sitting around on your table or mantel, why not put them to use as part of your tree decoration?
Place them on your tree
One simple way you can use holiday cards on your Christmas tree is by nestling them between the branches. Scatter them around the tree alongside ornaments and garland to create a beautiful and cohesive look. This option is excellent for those who are running short on time but still want to add something special to their tree. And just think, when your family and friends come around for a holiday get-together, they’ll be overjoyed that you put their cards on display.
Turn them into ornaments
If you'd prefer something smaller — or are looking for a way to repurpose the beautiful cards you got last year, you can always turn them into ornaments. Pick up some flat wood discs from your local craft store, some glitter, glue, and twine. Cut the card a bit smaller than the disc, glue it, and trim the edge with glitter. Once you glue a loop of twine to the back, it'll be ready for your tree.
Create garland
Alternatively, you could create a fun garland out of your holiday cards. If you want to get crafty (and have plenty of cards and a little time on your hands), gather up the necessary supplies to create a holiday card garland.

Read more
How to decorate your yard for Halloween in a timeless way
Try decorating your yard the elegant way this Halloween
Lit up pumpkin sits on a wooden surface covered by fairy lights

If you're anything like us, you've already been scouting out Halloween decor sales since August. As Halloween stores crop up in every strip mall, you'll start to see tons of outrageous Halloween yard decorations. However, just because you see them doesn't mean you have to buy them (unless, of course, that's your jam). By doing your homework, you can keep it classy and outfit your yard with stunning decor that is both classic and festive.

The truth is, less is more when it comes to decorating, even for this stereotypically kitschy holiday. With a few tips and tricks, you can incorporate spooky and scary decor in your yard without making it look tacky.

Read more
What colors go with gray? How to make a neutral hue pop in your home
Make gray walls work for your home decor with complementary colors
Modern living room with gray walls and yellow furniture

Neutral colors like gray and taupe are always popular options for your home's interior design. Both are versatile shades that can go with a plethora of other hues, which means you can easily change up the look of your decor with gray walls and a rotating rainbow of accessories like colorful throw pillows. With all the different shades of gray paint available, from matte to glossy, warm to cool, and brownish to blueish, it's certainly possible to find the one that's perfect for you and your home.

Of course, you can always have too much of a good thing. While gray can be a sophisticated and elegant shade, too much gray can wash out a room or make it feel dull and dingy or cold and unwelcoming. Think of gray as the neutral backdrop on a canvas that lets your color palette shine, and you can't go wrong. So, it’s important to incorporate other colors into the decor, whether it be with pieces of furniture, art, or throw blankets -- but what colors go with gray? If you're looking for the best options to brighten up your current decor, keep reading to find out how to accent this elegant tone.

Read more