There may be snow and ice all around us, but the residential landscaping professionals at Terrapin Landscapes are already meeting with residential and commercial clients to plan projects and improvements to start this spring. Front yard landscaping ideas, pool landscaping ideas, driveway entrance ideas, walkway ideas—our offices are overflowing with sketches, swatches, and samples. Looking for inspiration for your garden design or residential landscaping project? Our landscape planners are seeing some clear (and exciting) trends for 2020—and we’re sharing them below!


Terrapin Landscapes would never tackle a project without considering its environmental impact. From minimizing water and energy usage to avoiding invasive plantings to prioritizing sustainable, renewable materials and solutions, green thinking is a given at Terrapin. So where are low-impact landscaping trends going in 2020? 

While water supply is not as much of a concern in Maine as water purity, we are seeing a growing number of clients and customers asking great questions about water retention, water recycling, and water runoff during the design process. An overall concern for water quality is driving more residential landscaping decisions in the coming year and our backyard designers are being asked to design architectural water features like dry river beds and bioswales to capture and recycle rainwater or build garden designs capable of harvesting rainwater. 

We are also seeing customers with coastal or lakefront properties ask for organic, chemical-free maintenance options to make sure the runoff from their hardscaping and landscaping design won’t pollute their beloved local waterways and watershed.

Whether you want a garden filled with native plants, build a retaining wall or bench of local stone, install solar-powered landscape lighting, or irrigation, or want to explore greener options for your lawn or property maintenance, talk to Terrapin Landscapes!



One of the ways we design and build stunning yet environmentally sustainable landscape designs is by leveraging more smart technology. As smart tech has worked its way into our homes via Alexas, Nest thermostats, and Ring doorbells over the past few years, it is no surprise that customers have become comfortable with the idea of using smart tech in their backyard designs, too.

Terrapin Landscapes designers have seen a decided uptick in customer requests for phantom screens—see-through panels capable of being open or closed via a smartphone. In Maine, where sudden and dramatic changes in weather are quite common, phantom screens can make indoor/outdoor spaces more convenient to use. If a hot, sunny day is interrupted by a downpour, you can close your screens from the backyard, your own bed—or even the beach!

Remote-controlled irrigation is another popular trend in 2020 as the cost of this convenient landscaping design feature continues to come down. The Terrapin team can create custom irrigation solutions that can be turned on or off with a few taps on your cell phone so you can water your lawn or garden from anywhere, at any time.

High impact landscaping features are lower maintenance than ever, thanks to exciting new smart technology options. Talk to Terrapin about incorporating these timesavers into your landscaping or hardscaping design so you can spend less time and money on maintenance—and more on enjoying the outdoors in style.



It used to be that you had to travel much further south to see truly four-season landscape designs and hardscape designs. And yet this year, Terrapin Landscapes is working with many customers to create four-season outdoor spaces right here in Maine! 

We’ve written before about year-round availability in outdoor kitchen design and we are seeing this same interest in multi-seasonal indoor/outdoor spaces extend even further in 2020. So, how do our backyard designers build in cold-weather options?

Sometimes, we can show customers ways to upgrade existing indoor/outdoor spaces like patios and porches with covers mentioned above. And attractive, built-in heating elements like fire pits and stone hearths in rustic or refined stone or propane patio heaters in distressed woods or burnished metals are both beautiful to look at and highly functional. Turn on the flame and you can gather friends and family to roast s’mores on a cool night or toast a good run at a ski or sledding party.

The growing availability of attractive, high-end indoor/outdoor rugs and furnishings have made it possible to create four-season outdoor living spaces as comfortable and luxurious as any room inside your home.

Want to get more out of your landscape design? Talk to Terrapin about ways to design or upgrade spaces for extended seasonality.



Of all the landscaping design trends we’ve talked about, this one is our favorite. Terrapin clients keep asking about backyard design features inspired by garden design—easy, edible additions to non-garden spaces that make lawns and backyards more engaging and interactive, for families and local fauna alike.

What do we mean? Well, more and more customers come into our offices with beehives and chicken coops on their landscape design wishlists. Integrating these features into a high-end backyard design is a challenge our team truly loves! And edible plants are thriving outside of traditional garden designs, too. Small organic fruit orchards, grape arbors, and other distinctive (and delicious) plantings create beautiful, functional landscaping features that only become more beautiful and more productive over time.

Pollinator gardens are another top trend we are seeing at Terrapin Landscapes in 2020. Whether clients are considering turning expanses of manicured turf into carefully cultivated fields of wildflowers or simply including more bee- and bat-friendly plantings in their borders and garden designs, a concern about the health and wellbeing of wildlife continues to drive more of our customers’ landscaping design choices in 2020.

Hoping for honey, fresh eggs, or your own apple grove this year? Terrapin Landscapes can help you incorporate more fun and edible features into your landscape design.  


Inspired? Now is the time to reach out! Whatever lawn or garden feature you are dreaming of during these cold and snowy months, the Terrapin Landscapes team can make it happen. Contact us to schedule a consultation!