THE YEAR OF THE YARD
Design Services Come Up With Creative Solutions To Improve Yours
According to a March article in Forbes, 2021 is “the year of the yard.” Attention to outdoor space has increased, the article posited, with the number of people planning to purchase outdoor furniture and accessories up 200 percent over 2020.
It may not come as a surprise that the yard is of premium importance this year. The creative solutions to addressing yard work, however, are worth a second look. In 2018, Allison Messner co-founded Yardzen, a company designed to address digitally the complications of the imperfect yard. Messner’s business is now thriving, due, in no small part, to shifting priorities. “For many of us, our yards were the only green space we could access,” Messner says of the pandemic. “And I don’t see this changing. This past year has completely changed the way Americans think of their outdoor spaces.”
At Yardzen, homeowners sign up for a plan, photograph and videotape their yards, describe their budget and vision, offer insight into their personal style and plant preferences, and wait for the magic to begin. A team consisting of a landscape designer and horticulturist come together to address each yard’s needs.
Another company, Landstylist, bills itself as a “one-stop shop” for outdoor spaces. The site offers packages that can address all outdoor needs. Packages include phone consultations, on-site consultations, and full yard rejuvenations, for both large and small spaces.
As for what people have been looking for in 2021, Allison Messner says that “separate and distinct” is the name of this year’s landscaping game. “This was an emerging trend pre-pandemic, but now it’s the vast majority of the yards we design,” she says. “Americans are doing more outdoor living — even during cold months.” Homeowners, she says, are looking for areas in which to “cook, eat, play, work, exercise, and relax.” They’re also looking to expand their work world outside. “One trend that’s decidedly new is the outdoor office,” she says. Yardzen has aided in designing several, and they’ve also helped homeowners change the dynamic of their backyards with playhouses and custom tree houses.
Separating spaces and integrating secondary or tertiary structures are just some of the ways people can embrace the Year of the Yard. Other options? Plant an edible garden. “As people are reconnecting with nature and wanting to grow their own food,” Messner says, her company has seen an uptick in requests for this specific type of garden. (The company recommends “climate-adapted” and “habitat-supporting” plants, which they integrate into their design schemes.) Messner says that another outdoor trend is so-called “social front yards” that allow for socially distanced interaction among neighbors. The sometimes-neglected front yard has become a place of communion.
Whether your landscape project involves an outdoor office, an edible garden, or a wholly rejuvenated front yard, this is the year to get greener. You can do it with no more than the click of a button.