Top Landscape Ideas in Maryland and the Washington DC Region

Dawn KruegerLandscaping

Landscape ideas

Landscape design plays a crucial role in enhancing the aesthetic appeal and functionality of outdoor spaces. Whether you reside in the picturesque state of Maryland or the vibrant Washington DC region, staying abreast of the latest landscape design trends can help you create stunning outdoor environments. In this blog post, we will delve into the current landscape design trends in these areas, discuss how to hire the best landscape designer, highlight the best plants for color in Maryland, and elucidate the distinction between a landscaper and a landscape designer.

Landscape Design Trends in Maryland and the Washington DC Region

  1. Sustainable Landscaping: With growing environmental consciousness, sustainable landscaping practices are gaining popularity. Maryland and the Washington DC region prioritize eco-friendly designs that conserve water, minimize pesticide use, and promote native plant species. Incorporating rainwater harvesting systems, permeable paving, and native plantings are examples of sustainable design elements that thrive in these areas.
  2. Outdoor Living Spaces: Homeowners in both Maryland and the Washington DC region are increasingly seeking ways to extend their living spaces outdoors. Outdoor kitchens, fire pits, comfortable seating areas, and pergolas are popular features that allow residents to enjoy their gardens as an extension of their homes. Thoughtful lighting designs also create an inviting nighttime ambiance.
  3. Native Plantings: Both regions encourage the use of native plants in landscape designs due to their ability to thrive in local climates and support local wildlife. Native plantings require less water and maintenance, and they contribute to the ecological balance of the area. Maryland, for instance, favors native species like New England aster, black-eyed Susan, and winterberry holly, while the Washington DC region boasts native favorites such as Virginia bluebells, cardinal flowers, and spicebush.
  4. Vertical Gardens: As outdoor spaces become smaller in urban areas, vertical gardens provide an innovative solution to maximize greenery. Living walls, vertical planters, and trellises create vertical focal points, adding texture, depth, and visual interest to limited spaces. Vertical gardens are particularly popular in densely populated areas like Washington DC, where rooftop and balcony gardens are highly sought-after.
  5. Low-Maintenance Landscapes: Busy lifestyles and water conservation concerns have contributed to the rise of low-maintenance landscapes. Homeowners in both Maryland and the Washington DC region are opting for drought-tolerant plants, automated irrigation systems, and mulching techniques that reduce water usage and weed growth. This trend allows individuals to enjoy their outdoor spaces without excessive time spent on upkeep.

Hiring the Best Landscape Designer

When it comes to transforming your outdoor space, hiring a skilled landscape designer is crucial. Here are some essential tips to help you find the best professional for your project:

  1. Research and Gather Recommendations: Begin by conducting thorough research online and seeking recommendations from friends, family, and neighbors who have had successful landscaping projects. Look for designers who have experience working in your region and specialize in the style you envision for your outdoor space.
  2. Portfolio Review: Review the portfolio of potential landscape designers to assess the quality and diversity of their previous work. Pay attention to their ability to incorporate elements you desire, such as sustainability, outdoor living spaces, or native plantings.
  3. Check Credentials: Ensure that the landscape designer holds the necessary licenses and certifications required in your area. Membership in professional organizations, such as the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), can also be a positive indicator of expertise and commitment to industry standards.
  4. Consultation and Collaboration: Schedule consultations with multiple designers to discuss your vision, budget, and timeline. A good landscape designer will listen attentively, ask relevant questions, and provide innovative ideas that align with your goals. Effective communication and collaboration are key throughout the process.
  5. References and Reviews: Request references from previous clients and take the time to contact them. Inquire about their overall satisfaction with the designer’s work, professionalism, communication, and adherence to timelines and budgets. Additionally, read online reviews and testimonials to gather insights from a wider range of perspectives.
  6. Cost and Contract: Obtain detailed cost estimates from the landscape designers you are considering. While cost is an important factor, it should not be the sole determining factor. Compare the proposed scope of work, materials, and timelines outlined in each contract. Ensure that all the essential elements and expectations are clearly defined and agreed upon in writing before signing the contract.
  7. Compatibility and Vision: Choose a landscape designer with whom you have a good rapport and a shared vision. They should be able to understand your preferences, lifestyle, and budget, translating them into a cohesive design plan. A collaborative and positive working relationship will result in a more successful project outcome.
  8. Ongoing Maintenance: Inquire about the landscape designer’s approach to ongoing maintenance after the project is completed. While some designers may offer maintenance services themselves, others may provide recommendations for reliable maintenance providers. Discuss your expectations regarding long-term care and the required maintenance efforts for the proposed design.

The Best Plants for Color in Maryland

Maryland offers a diverse climate, presenting ample opportunities to incorporate vibrant and colorful plants into your landscape. Here are some plant options that thrive in Maryland and add a burst of color:

  1. Coneflowers (Echinacea): These hardy perennials come in a variety of vibrant hues, including pink, purple, and white. They bloom from summer to fall, attracting butterflies and bees to your garden.
  2. Daylilies (Hemerocallis): With their trumpet-shaped flowers, daylilies offer a wide range of colors, including red, yellow, orange, and pink. They are low-maintenance perennials that bloom throughout the summer.
  3. Hydrangeas: These popular shrubs come in various types, such as the classic bigleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla) and the panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata). They produce large, showy flower clusters in shades of blue, pink, white, and purple.
  4. Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia): These native wildflowers feature vibrant yellow petals with dark brown centers. They bloom from summer to fall, adding a cheerful touch to any landscape.
  5. Bee Balm (Monarda): This perennial herbaceous plant produces clusters of brightly colored flowers, attracting bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. It comes in shades of red, pink, and purple.

The Difference between a Landscaper and a Landscape Designer

While the terms “landscaper” and “landscape designer” are often used interchangeably, there are distinct differences between the two:

  1. Landscaper: A landscaper is primarily focused on the physical implementation and maintenance of a landscape design. They possess hands-on skills and specialize in tasks such as planting, hardscaping (installing walkways, patios, etc.), irrigation system installation, and lawn care. Landscapers generally bring the design plan to life and ensure its proper installation.
  2. Landscape Designer: A landscape designer is responsible for the creative and conceptual aspects of a landscape project. They possess a strong understanding of design principles, horticulture, and environmental considerations. Landscape designers work closely with clients to develop a comprehensive design plan that integrates their preferences, functional requirements, and aesthetic goals. Their expertise lies in creating visually appealing and functional outdoor spaces.

In summary, a landscaper focuses on the physical labor and maintenance aspects, while a landscape designer specializes in the design and planning of outdoor spaces. Landscape designers possess the knowledge and skills to create cohesive and visually appealing designs that take into account factors such as the client’s preferences, site conditions, sustainability, and functionality.

Landscape designers typically begin the process by conducting site analyses, understanding the client’s needs and goals, and creating detailed design plans that incorporate elements like plantings, hardscapes, lighting, and water features. They consider factors such as the site’s topography, drainage, soil conditions, and sun exposure to create a harmonious and balanced design.

Once the design plan is finalized, a landscape designer may work closely with a landscaper to ensure proper implementation and installation of the design. They collaborate to ensure that the vision and intent of the design are brought to life with attention to detail and quality craftsmanship.


Keeping up with landscape design trends in Maryland and the Washington DC region allows homeowners to create outdoor spaces that are both aesthetically pleasing and functional. From sustainable practices to native plantings and the incorporation of outdoor living spaces, these trends reflect a growing desire for eco-friendly, low-maintenance, and enjoyable landscapes.

When hiring a landscape designer, take the time to research and find a professional who understands your vision, has a proven track record, and is capable of translating your ideas into a beautiful and practical design. By selecting the right plants for color in Maryland and understanding the difference between a landscaper and a landscape designer, you can embark on a successful landscape project that transforms your outdoor space into a haven of beauty and tranquility.

Here at Rasevic, we can answer your questions or give you a quote. Reach out anytime by calling our landscaping division at 301-951-1244 or just fill out the quick form below to email us.

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