Landscape Trends for 2015

Spring has arrived!

Lush landscapes are blooming along Chicago’s North Shore, framing homes with vibrant color, sculptural foliage and incredible edibles. The garden experts at Craig Bergmann Landscape Design, Mariani Landscape and Chalet Landscape, Nursery and Garden Center offered us a peek at the hottest landscape and container garden trends of 2015 along with helpful hints for creating your own backyard oasis.

Here’s what to “spring” for in 2015:


Photo courtesy of Chalet

Gina Iliopoulos, garden specialist at Mariani Landscape in Lake Bluff, says hydrangeas are still going strong in 2015, and that “planted in masses, they create a stunning show.” For a year-round spectacle, the oakleaf Snowflake hydrangea offers luxurious summer blooms, vibrant autumn foliage and beautifully textural peeling bark in winter.

Adopt the Trend: Iliopoulos says, “Hydrangeas do like afternoon shade. Plant them appropriately and provide adequate hydration.” The team at Craig Bergmann Landscape Design in Lake Forest says bright colors and interest are always in style. And with the introduction of the drought-tolerant and mildew-resistant Bounce impatiens, Steve Kooyenga, senior landscape architect at Chalet in Wilmette, says, “Huge mounds of annual bright and pastel colors return to gardens [this year].”

Adopt the Trend: Bounce impatiens come in three different sizes, but being new, Kooyenga says, “we’re really not sure how tall each of them will grow.” Try a range of sizes to see what works best in your garden.


Photo courtesy of Chalet

Staff members from the design department at Craig Bergmann tell us container plantings continue to be popular this spring, providing homeowners with innumerable options for adding interest and architecture to their landscape. Kooyenga concurs, adding that containers featuring pops of color are sprouting up along the North Shore. “It’s out with the traditional cement, and in with containers made from all or partially recycled materials in vivid color,” he says.

Adopt the Trend: It’s tricky for plants to survive in a container with a small volume of soil, so for containers, the folks at Craig Bergmann say bigger is really better. And when choosing your containers, Kooyenga says to look for styles that complement your home’s architecture, and “pick a color that repeats …from an inside room that has a view to the container.”


Photo courtesy of Schmechtig Landscapes. Photo by Lynn Galligan

At Craig Bergmann, they’re finding the locavore and farm-to-table movements are impacting landscape design, with more customers requesting vegetables, fruit trees and berry-producing plants.

Adopt the Trend: Try compact ornamental peppers, which can be both edible and beautiful. But beware of peppers labeled “For Ornamental Use Only,” which indicates they’ve been treated with a chemical unsuitable for consumption. Speaking of locavore, Iliopoulos says she’s seeing landscape projects utilizing native plantings—which, she says, “are more likely to establish quickly and will naturally be hardy and healthy.”

Adopt the Trend: Iliopoulos recommends using native plants in traditional garden design. “Your native garden does not have to be a prairie, and it can be a sculpted formal space,” she says. And although native plants are sturdy, remember to treat them with patience and care while they establish

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