Many people believe that fall is the most beautiful season of the year, thanks to the wonderful color schemes it introduces. However, the unpredictable nature of autumnal weather means certain landscaping decisions are required.

This is a time of year when the leaves are falling, creating an additional headache for landscaping professionals. And with winter just around the corner, it’s a time when preparations for colder, more severe weather conditions are essential.

The unique demands placed on landscaping professionals during the fall this year will lead to very interesting trends in front gardens across America. Here are just nine of them.

1. Extra Short Lawns

In most front yards, the lawn is easily the most noticeable feature of a landscaping design. Extra short lawns are expected to be popular this year — largely for practical reasons. As well as making it easier to clear fallen leaves, a short lawn makes it difficult for the grass to become infected with diseases that flourish in cold conditions. Shorter lawns also discourage mildew, and create a blank canvas for other autumnal landscaping features.

2. Blocking Out Views

While this might seem counterintuitive to landscaping professionals, there is method in the madness. Blocking certain views in a front garden is a quick and affordable way to temporarily forget about unsightly areas. Not just that, but blocking certain areas allows the imagination to roam free. One way this can be achieved is by placing greenery over patios and lawns to create the illusion of depth. Expect to see large potted plants a lot this fall, as they can be easily removed when spring arrives.

3. Contrasting Color Schemes

When it comes to front yard color schemes, the old adage “opposites attract” will certainly hold true this year. While the predominant color will undoubtedly be green, a lot of landscaping professionals will be adding contrast with bright, vibrant colors. A splash of red or purple, for instance, makes those autumnal greens stand out even more.

4. Garden Retreats

Too many front yards are neglected and left unused during the fall. Thankfully, one of the landscaping trends this year should involve the utilization of these spaces for leisure, relaxation and quality family time. The addition of benches and semipermanent seating can turn a seemingly redundant space in a front yard into a garden retreat. Combined with autumnal flower beds, shrubbery and a range of evergreen plants, these seating areas provide idyllic settings for thought and contemplation.

5. Integrated Structures

Rather than dismantle and pack away structures such as gazebos, pergolas, waterfalls and barbecue grills this year, landscaping professionals will be working around them — making them interesting focal points. Hanging plants from these structures, and surrounding them with swathes of color, can bring them to life in a way that just isn’t possible during the summer months. Expect to see a lot of decorative fire pits this fall, as well as weatherproof outdoor furniture that remains in situ throughout the season.

6. Perennial Plants

Perennial plants are going to be very popular this fall. Durable, low-maintenance and often visually stunning, perennials such as chrysanthemums are good for creating unseasonal aesthetics all year round. Chrysanthemums in particular are extremely resistant to inclement weather, and have been known to withstand severe frosts. And at a time of year when reds, oranges and browns dominate the landscaping scene, the whites and pinks of Japanese anemones are always a welcome sight.

7. Rocky Landscapes

The use of rocks and boulders could be one of the most exciting autumnal landscaping trends this year. Where it proves difficult to plant deep-rooted plants next to trees, a lot of landscaping professionals look for alternatives, and rock displays are expected to be popular this fall. A great display involves one or two larger rocks, surrounded by several smaller, irregularly shaped rocks. However, it’s important to think about the placement of large rocks and boulders carefully, as you’ll need to leave enough space to rake fallen leaves throughout the fall months.

8. Lighting

Some carefully positioned lighting can extend the shorter days of fall — and increase the amount of time people can spend in their yards and gardens. However, if you’re installing lights under or near deciduous trees, the lights should be wireless, as exposed lighting wires can get caught up in a rake when it’s time to clear fallen leaves. It’s also very important that you install lights that don’t emit heat, as the abundance of dropped leaves could pose a fire risk.

9. Edible Gardens

A popular theme among landscaping professionals this year is the edible garden. Not only does this sustainable approach create stunning front yards, but it also provides a cheap source of fruit, vegetables and herbs for the winter. This particular trend is relatively labor intensive, and its success depends on issues such as soil quality, the severity of the weather, rainfall and drainage. However, when executed correctly, an edible garden delivers both aesthetic and practical benefits.

The fall is a time of great change. Use these nine landscaping ideas as inspiration this season.

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