The Ultimate Guide to 2022 Landscaping Trends

As we creep closer to spring here in the Midwest, thoughts start turning to the landscape.  Did you know that a good, updated landscape can increase a home’s value?  Have you been considering fixing up the yard or investing in a new patio, firepit, or outdoor kitchen?  If so, keep reading.  We’ve compiled a list of what’s going on in the industry and a forecast of where landscapes are heading in the future.

Maximizing Outdoor Living Spaces

We have all been affected in one way or another by the pandemic.  Its effects on the landscape industry have been impactful.  People are staying home more and looking at and using their yards.  This is leading to an increase in changing our outdoor spaces from simply something to look at to an extension of our living space.  We are using our homes more and more often to socialize, relax, and work allowing outdoor living spaces to create value in many ways.

Outdoor Electronics & Lighting

Outdoor lighting is huge if you want to expand your outdoor living space.  With the new technology in lighting you can create a multitude of scenarios with your lighting.  Path lighting for safety, bistro lights for character, up-lighting for aesthetics…it’s all there.  LED fixtures and bulbs allow for an array of colors at your fingertips.  Bluetooth allows you to control it all with your phone.  Add an outdoor Bluetooth speaker system and you’ll be ready for anything.  

Speaking of outdoor electronics, how about an outdoor TV?  Imagine sitting around your firepit at night and watching football games in the fall.  The grill is going and there are drinks at the bar.  

Creative Spaces for Living, Working & Entertaining Outside

For those of you working from home, how about a secluded nook in the corner of the patio?  There’s a pergola with vines protecting you from the sun.  Background music is on the speakers and you can comfortably enjoy a change of pace from your desk in the basement office.  Or maybe you’re reading your favorite book, nestled in big wicker chair in the warm sun and a water feature is gently gurgling in the background.  The birds are singing and the flowers are blooming.  Can a relaxing moment get any better than that?

Outdoor Kitchens: Grills, Bars, Sinks & More

Outdoor kitchens have been popular in the past and they are not going away.  Renovations to patio space to include grills, bars, sinks and refrigerators is going full steam ahead.   In addition, we’re seeing built in patio planters to hold kitchen and herb gardens.  Turning away from high-maintenance decks to concrete or natural stone patios is the way to go.  While up front the cost may seem higher, the long-term benefits of durability and low maintenance will ultimately save you both time and money.  

There are constantly new innovations in composition, as well as new styles and colors to work with.  Whatever your style, there is something that will work for you.

Grow Your Own Food

Along with patio gardens, more and more people are turning to including edibles in their landscape.  Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries, hops, apples, plums, pears, peaches, and several herbs…all of these and more will come back in our landscapes year after year.  People are finding that growing their own food is economical and provides them a sustainable alternative to mass produced food.

Sustainable Landscapes    

Adopting eco-friendly practices in landscaping has been at the top of trends lists for years and continues to be a priority in landscaping for both commercial and residential customers.  More and more communities are moving towards incorporating environmentally-friendly solutions to mitigate some of the unpleasant side-effects of urbanization.  Using things like permeable pavers, green roofs, planting natives, increasing biodiversity, minimizing irrigation usage, building rain gardens or bioswales, and using battery powered equipment are trends that are not going away.  Learn more about how you can create a sustainable yard here.

Proper Landscape Maintenance & Design

As we focus more on and spend more time in our landscapes, landscape maintenance is more important than ever.  Well-tended shrubs, mowed lawns, and beautiful plantings are now expected in both commercial and residential spaces.  With proper design, you can even start to incorporate sustainable practices, without sacrificing a high-end look.  While all landscapes require maintenance, trusting your landscape professional to choose the right plant for the right place can minimize the work you have to put in to keeping your landscape looking fabulous.

A Varied & Exciting Garden in Every Season

As we expand our living spaces to the outdoors, considering asking your designer to incorporate succession planting.  Successional gardening and planting mean that you have a thriving and interesting garden all year round.  A well-balanced landscape is going to have something to look at, no matter the season.  Aside from the well-known interest in flowers and fall color, you can find beauty in winter with colored or textured tree and shrub bark, berries, seed heads and seed pods that hold on until spring.

Gardening to Attract Birds, Butterflies & Bees

Leaving ornamental grasses up and seeds on your perennials can increase the number of birds coming to the yard and eco-friendly landscapes are definitely hot right now.  Finches love to visit the coneflower seed heads over winter and robins and waxwings are huge fans of crabapples.  You can go wrong with a special bed or area in the yard dedicated to bees, butterflies and birds.

In a nutshell, in 2022 we are going to see a continuation of expanding our outdoor living spaces in a multitude of ways.  We’re going to cook more, work more, and enjoy more time in our yards.  We’re becoming increasingly aware of our environment and our co-existence with it, therefore finding ways to interact with it instead of controlling it.  Technology will continue to be our friend in the landscape as we find balance between personal comfort and enjoyment and using our outdoor living spaces.

The American Landscape team is ready to help you make any one of these popular landscaping tactics part of your 2022. Get in touch today to start planning! Call (262) 252-4260 or reach us at:

Re-Imagining the Front Entrance of a Wauwatosa, Wisconsin Home

Our client had a vision for their front entrance. Originally constructed in the 1930’s the concrete porch and walk had settled, cracked and weathered. The existing iron railing was failing and the landscaping was unimpressive, with overgrown and mismatched plantings.

The American Landscape team was charged with creating a front entry that complemented the home’s distinctive architecture and was visually stunning. The client wanted to maintain the original semi-circular layout of the porch landing and add a path to their south patio. The final design included a raised porch landing, primary and secondary walkways, a step at the junction to the city sidewalk, surrounding landscaping and lighting.  

Selecting the Right Materials for Texture, Color & Style 

Choosing the right materials is a critical aspect of creating the right aesthetic for a hardscape project. In this case, our team constructed the new front porch landing using Summit Stone® risers and full nose paver step treads. We flanked the lower step section with low-rise pillars of Summit Stone and Ledgestone caps. 

To introduce additional texture and pattern, the team built the porch landing and walkways with Elements pavers in a three-piece field pattern. A Brussel’s paver accent band is incorporated along the perimeter border, to accentuate the gentle curvilinear layout.

We eliminated an existing path of disheveled stepping stones that connected the front walk with a south side patio and replaced it with a paver walkway of the same materials as the primary front entry walk.

Our designer gave the colors of the materials careful consideration. The façade of the home is a cream brick veneer, so hardscape colors of cream, deep brown, tan and buff were carefully selected to complement and accentuate the home’s exterior.

Finishing Touches: Landscaping & Lighting

Our crew removed declining and overgrown landscaping from the front. We created a combination of formal and casual layouts using classic boxwoods, hydrangea, lilac and assorted perennials.

Low-voltage lighting from Kichler and Volt was used to enhance the night time atmosphere. Path light were positioned along the walkways, and under-cap accent lights were set on the entry pillars to create a soft welcoming glow as one approaches the front door.

Re-imagining the front entrance of this Wauwatosa, Wisconsin home was a challenge and rewarding for both our team and our very happy client.  

Ready to tackle your own dream project? Get in touch with our team today to start the conversation. (262) 252-4260

Why All the Neighbors Can’t Help but Look at the Landscaping of this Brookfield Home

Transforming a blank space takes vision. For this project, we were tasked with the landscape development for a newly-built, contemporary home in Brookfield, Wisconsin. The design and construction involved hardscape, landscape, drainage, irrigation and lighting elements for the property.

“Classic, timeless, simplicity, and refined” were the directives given by the client for the design and implementation of this project. This was achieved through the right selections of hardscape colors, mature landscaping elements and an eye for connecting all the outdoor spaces into one cohesive design.

See the transformation in this short video compilation of before and after images:



Spacious, classic bluestone patios provide restful retreats for peaceful relaxation and stunning sunset vistas.

Retaining Wall & Staircase



Elegant, modern-themed retaining walls and staircase flights transcend the steep grades of the site and the use of U-Cara wall block for the wall and steps complements the modern style of the architecture. 




A sweeping front walkway and intimate courtyard of patterned bluestone creates a beautiful and timeless front entryway to the residence. Pathways of natural flagstone and contemporary rectangular concrete steppers cross the lush green lawns, connecting the outdoor living spaces and introducing texture, pattern and visual interest to the hardscape aesthetic.





Specimen trees, arcing evergreen hedges and generous groupings of flowering shrubs and perennials provide a diverse combination of bloom, structure and seasonal splendor throughout the site.  


As the sun sets, the home comes to life with a stunning display of up-lite trees, highlighted architectural features and the warming glow of path lights along patios, walks and wondering pathways.

All elements of the landscape were carefully designed to complement and beautify the home’s exterior. A mix of materials gives the landscape interest and texture, while the trees, shrubs, and perennials soften the hard edges and provide seasonal color.

Put our talented designers to work on your own landscape project. Contact us today at (262) 252-4260 or

Creating a Rain Garden in Delafield, Wisconsin

Earlier this year, we were happy to be a part of establishing a rain garden at a commercial property in Delafield, Wisconsin.

The purpose of the rain garden is to collect, absorb and filter run off from the parking lot.  A rain garden in this situation has specially engineered soil and filtration layers. Having the rain garden plants and filtration layers serves multiple functions:  

  • helps prevent contaminates from reaching our waterways
  • assists in preventing flooding and drainage problems
  • increases the amount of rainwater that filters directly into the ground
  • benefits our native wildlife because they are filled with native plants 

How a Rain Garden Works

A rain garden sits lower than the drainage pipe to allow as much water as possible to filter through the root systems of the plants and the filtration materials.  In the event of a substantial flood event, water would enter a traditional drainage overflow system to prevent flooding of the public space.  Rain gardens in the home landscape rarely require extra drainage systems as they do not need to filter runoff from a large paved surface. 

On this jobsite, the building contractor engineered and built the structure and American Landscape planted and established the gardens.  The builder constructed the areas for the gardens in fall, but since it was too late in the year to establish the small plants we planned on using, we waited until spring to get started.

Establishing Native Plants in the Rain Garden

First, the crew prepared the area by removing any weeds and lightly tilling the surface, being careful not to damage any layers. 



We sorted the plants by variety and planted them in groupings to mimic the native environment.  A variety of native grasses, sedges and wildflowers were chosen based on their ability to tolerate varying moisture levels.  Over 700 native plants will be used between the 2 beds. You can find native plants that will work for your own rain garden plans here.


Plants will be watered regularly so that they can develop strong root systems, and weeds will be kept to a minimum to prevent competition as the young plants grow.

Once they are established the garden will require little care, other than monitoring for and removing invasive weeds, and some watering during times of drought.  As with any planting, a little maintenance will always be required, but the payback to the environment in this situation is well worth the effort.  

We were grateful for the opportunity to participate in such a project and look forward to future projects as more and more communities are starting to require environmentally sound storm water management practices.

If you’re interested in learning more about rain gardens you can go to this link provided by the Wisconsin DNR

Our designers have the expertise to work with you to create your own rain garden. Get in touch today to schedule a time to discuss your plans.

A Landscaping Makeover

Brookfield, Wisconsin


Our clients purchased this Brookfield, Wisconsin property because they were looking for a home more conducive to spending their golden years than their previous two-story home, which was located atop a large hill. This particular home struck their fancy, mainly for its unique configuration with a central courtyard in the back of the home. They have a special appreciation for the outdoors and landscape, and felt like the footprint afforded unique opportunities for strong visual and physical connections, as well as an uninterrupted flow from the interior to the outdoor living spaces.


Front Entrance BEFORE


Front Entrance AFTER


With those goals in mind, the home was completely re-imagined both inside and out, in collaboration with an architectural team. Interior walls and functionality were reorganized to create an open concept and new opportunities for clear sight lines through the center of the home out to the landscape. Furthermore, the rear wall to the courtyard was replaced by floor-to-ceiling sliding glass panels – basically putting the courtyard space on center stage within the context of the building architecture.

Courtyard BEFORE


Courtyard AFTER


The design challenge, as we saw it, was to create a plan that worked in context with the very symmetrical, modern appearance of the home, yet broke from that rigidity to create a softer, more livable feeling within the outdoor space. With that in mind, the hardscape was organized to highlight the newly-created visual corridor through the center of the home from front to back.

Along this central axis is a front entrance courtyard with a raised central planting bed and over-sized black metal planters planted with rotating seasonal decor.



Paving material selections were intended to blend with the contrasting black and white color scheme on the building exterior. Paving stones were selected to be large so as to contrast with the size of the bricks on the façade. Planting beds were intentionally woven through the space in a very non-symmetrical manner to accomplish the goal of softening the lines. Site furniture was meticulously selected for its combination of modern appearance and ergonomic comfort.

See the full transformation in the video.

Ready to tackle your own landscaping transformation? Get in touch with one of our expert designers today!

May Landscaping Checklist


  • Remove spent flowers and foliage (once yellowed) on spring flowering.
  • Plant tender annuals after the last expected frost date, approximately May 15.
  • Set flower supports early. Let plants grow through them.
  • Over-wintered tender annuals or tropicals such as hibiscus, gardenia, mandevilla and geranium may be pruned, cleaned, fertilized and gradually introduced to a protected location outdoors once night temperatures reach 50°F.
  • Begin pinching top 1-2 inches of new growth on chrysanthemums to encourage full bushy plants.
  • Prune sage, butterfly bush, Russian sage and Caryopteris back to the point of new growth.
  • With sharp spade, edge flower beds.


  • Fertilize with a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer and apply a broadleaf herbicide for weed control.
  • Make sure you are mowing at the proper height.  Never remove more than 1/3 of the turf height at one time.  We recommend keeping your grass at a length of approximately 3”.
  • Re-seed or repair damaged turf areas. Keep newly seeded or sodded turf areas well watered.


  • Prune spring flowering shrubs right after they are done flowering.  These plants use the growing season to develop next year’s flowers, so pruning them late in the season will prune off next year’s blooms!  These include:  Forsythia, lilac, viburnum, fothergilla, kerria, mockorange and weigela.
  • Start monitoring your plants for pest infestations. Insects in moderation are a natural and necessary part of the environment, but excessive groups of them or excessive damage from them sometimes warrants treatment.  Contact your landscape professional for identification and a treatment plan.
  • Apply systemic insecticides to trees and shrubs (for example birch & viburnums) prone to borer right after they are done blooming.
  • It’s still a good time to apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to shrubs and perennials.

Download Checklist