Trends in Modern Landscape Design

Rocks and Landscape

Landscaped Yard

Landscaping designs have changed over the years.  Classic designs are not abandoned but instead merged with current design.  Landscaping is like other fashion trends.  They usually first appear on the west coast and will eventually make it to the east.  Folks in New Jersey will get the new trends a little later than the Californians.  You can tweak your existing landscapes with some new features to give a completely new look.  The price of doing it this way is minimal as opposed to replacing everything.


Colored mulch is what differentiates landscapes appeal.   New colors came on the market and homeowners thought that was a way to make a statement with your outside.   Mulch continues to have a use…. but it’s a repetitive process.  Every April / May most landscaping professionals are laying down new mulch for their clients.  It does give a fresh look (especially with the different colors on the market) but slowly fades during the summer and starts to disintegrate.  Often families with young children with playgrounds in their yard will choose the triple shredded mulch to serve as a cushion for falls or other related accidents.  A relatively new product is rubberized mulch.  It is used almost solely for a playground area.  The biggest issue with this is price.  It’s about 5 times the price of a cubic yard of shredded mulch.  Not a cost effective choice when you can get by 5 years with ordinary mulch for the same price as 1 year of the rubberized.


Stone is very popular now.  Do not confuse “stone” products with “rock” products.  Ordinarily you would think they are the same….but not in landscaping.  Your NJ landscaping professional will agree.  There are so many products to choose from here.  It’s like a “mix and match” sale. Every stone I mention below comes in 3 sizes (small, medium, and large). A few examples of different types are; crushed seashore, cherry vanilla, lava, red molten lava, and limestone.  There are others also.  Weaving 2 types of rock within a bed is a very popular.  The newest type of stone I have seen is called “black granite”.  It’s a very stylish choice and as a grounds keeper I don’t see it being used very often.   That makes it a real trendy product!  Common color combos are; molten lava with seashore (white and red), cherry vanilla with limestone (light pink and gray crystal), and black granite with seashore (black and white).  I’m a fan of the black granite and seashore.


Rock is as old as fire and the cave man.  If presented correctly, it looks awesome! The difference between stone and rock is the size of the material.  I don’t mean small medium and large in this case.  Rocks are classified into large, big, and huge sizes.  Almost always, it will take two people to lift a” large” rock.  “Medium” rocks are rolled into their resting spot.  “Huge” rocks are carried in and placed by equipment.  Rock is usually sold by the pound and not cubic yards or scoops.  It sounds like a deli since you are buying by the pound.  Rock is usually kept separate from the other materials and is used less often than other landscaping materials.  You can even order a size that you like if the supply yard doesn’t have it.  Be careful, the cost adds up quickly.  Don’t be surprised if you pay $200 to $400 for the “big” sized rocks.  The “huge” rocks are really cool and are reserved for those that are willing to shell out big bucks.  They will be brought in by dump truck and moved with equipment.  Pick your location carefully because once it’s laid… it will stay.  Often landscapers will place the rocks and build their design around them.

There you have it.  There are lots of choices.  I encourage being unique and bold with your colors, types and designs.  If your neighbors place was landscaped a few years ago, they will probably come and see yours.  Don’t be surprised if you see trucks coming over to their house dropping new stone.  Imitation is the greatest form of flattery.


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