We look at the art of landscaping now, and we see some common themes: water features, lighting, fire pits and more. It seems that landscaping, no matter what kind you have, is fairly upscale. Landscaping is practically a necessity for any yard.
But how did landscaping reach this point? What were people doing before outdoor kitchens and Astro turf? It’s interesting to take a look back and see what was popular in landscaping trends in the “old days.”
1920s. Industry was booming, and so was yard greenery. It was all about bringing nature closer to the home. We began to see bird feeders/houses/baths, pond and rock gardens. And since birdwatching was a big thing back then, there were also plenty of berry-producing plants– such as holly– to attract avian creatures into the yard. The 1920s Spanish style home below keeps true to the landscaping of that time.
1930s. Since the Great Depression was going on during this decade, luxurious landscaping took the backburner to necessities such as food. However, gardening was still a hobby.
1950s. After recovering from the Depression and World War II in the ’40s, landscaping took off again– and this time, people were having fun with it. Though, now we consider these trends as tacky. Pink flamingos and garden gnomes made their way onto front lawns. Egregious evergreens and boxed hedges further implicated the rise of consumerism in America. The landscaping back then certainly was kitschy.
1960s. As the idea of a family unit became more important, so did spending time together in the yard. Green space increased on home properties during the ’60s. As technology advanced in lawn care, yards became more fortuitous and lush. These landscapes symbolized “The Good Life.”
1970s. This period of additional industrialization introduced the leaf blower, cheap labor and a return to nature with vegetable gardens and fruit trees.
1980s and ’90s. Landscaping companies grew into a full-fledged business, not only with lawn care but with yard design, too. Designs became elaborate, complex and beneficial to landscapers. Moreover, with two-income families on the rise, homeowners didn’t have time to take care of their yards.
Which brings us to the present. We want our yards to be relaxing, pleasing to the eye, a quiet retreat from our busy lifestyles. That explains how landscaping came to be what it is today.