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How Home Improvement Providers Can Expand Their Services With Softscaping

A group of friends having a dinner party outdoors.

September 3, 2021

As the saying goes, home is where the heart is. But after a year (and then some) of spending a lot of time there, home is also where the new gardening hobby is. Now, many homeowners are looking to take those green-thumb projects to the next level and they’re looking to home improvement providers to help them. If you’ve been thinking about expanding your services to outside the home, now is the time to get up to speed on the latest and most appealing softscaping ideas to make a splash across the landscaping scene.

From planting annuals and perennials to blooming bushes and vines, some of the most popular landscaping requests from homeowners include adding height with planters and baskets to creating spaces where they can sit, relax, and enjoy company in an inviting array of vibrant greenery and blossoms.

You’ll need to keep these ideas in mind when creating landscaping proposals that inspire your customers with stunning outdoor living spaces they will cherish for years to come — cue instant curb appeal.

Bring flowers to the front

The entrance to the home is the first place that your clients will see when they come home from a long day of work or errands. It’s also likely the first opportunity to greet guests with a pop of color. And it’s a popular ask among landscape enthusiasts to adorn the entry to the home with flowers. So, you should consider front-facing flowers in your landscape plans.

Think: Assorted annuals and perennials to keep their homes flush with color all year round. For customers with arid climates and full sunlight areas, echinacea, sedum, Russian sage, and black-eyed susans are fashionable. And clientele in colder climates go with pansies, violas, snowdrops, and winter jasmine.

Dress up the driveway

For many landscape lovers, hiding (or at least camouflaging) their driveway is a top priority. A trendy sought-after method to consider starts with creating a slightly raised island of lawn in front of the drive. Then, adding a low hedge with boxwoods or juniper with annuals, perennials, and roses rising above the hedge in front. With this approach, clients are looking for various heights and textures to create a signature look.

Create height and layers

As a home improvement provider looking to expand your services to softscaping, you’ll want to watch out for one of the biggest trends in landscaping design right now: Height. Green thumbed clients are looking to go beyond one-dimensional softscapes.

They’re on the hunt for striking layers with elevated planters and hanging baskets that create a visual effect of rising waves that are sure to raise an eyebrow as well. You can capitalize on this trend by constructing assorted baskets filled with plants that hang over the edges, fill in the center with density, and catch the eye with height or an unusual color.

Try “hardscaping” too

Home improvement providers (and hopeful landscapers) should watch out for the hardscaping trend too. Softscaping buffs are leaving grass lawns behind for gravel, slate tiles, or another rock-like ground cover in dry and drought-prone areas. And in some more desert states, cities like Las Vegas are pushing to ban ornamental grasses altogether.

More eco-conscious plant lovers have followed suit and had to get inventive. The key is creating little oases of flowers and plants that accent and break up the scenery but can still survive the sun. And while hardscaping can be more costly than other landscaping endeavors, cost-effective financing options like those from Ally Lending can make these projects possible.

Pro Tip: Solar accent lights have become the go-to choice for illuminating these hardscapes or walkways. No electricity is required.

Grow hidden getaways 

With all the noise and stress of life these days, many clients are simply just looking for an escape (and not the kind that requires an airplane, train, or automobile). They want a place they can go to get away in their own backyard, like a secret garden filled with various shapes and sizes, concealed by high shrubbery that creates a private feeling.

Other garden devotees are looking to take outdoor dining to the next level. You can capitalize on this trend by creating cozy tablescapes encircled by high hedges with beds of colorful perennials and annuals. Or generous tree cover with flowering vines to create a vibrant and visually appealing contrast in a cozy space to share dinner, drinks, and laughs with friends.

More Than Just Visual

As a hopeful landscape designer, the most important thing to remember about these latest trends in softscaping (and landscaping, for that matter) is that clients are looking for more than just visually attractive surroundings and forms. They also want it to be functional. And so much of what’s in the landscaping business is about the experience it provides these days. Whether it’s a concealed driveway or a hidden hangout nook for friends and family, curb appeal might just be a bonus.

Help homeowners build a landscape that’s more than just a conversation piece but the garden of their dreams with comprehensive and affordable financing plans from Ally Lending.

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