Here are some of the most popular landscaping design trends in Southern California:
Mediterranean--The California interpretation tends to be an informal, cool oasis that often includes a courtyard and water.
Hardscape: Courtyards, fountains, arches, wrought iron, tile, adobe, Slumpstone, light colors.
Softscape: palm trees, succulents, fruit trees, bougainvillea, aloe, red-hot poker (Kniphofia uvaria) .
Xeriscape--Features use of drought-tolerant plantings, not all native to this area, that still provide an overall lush appearance.
Hardscape: Concrete (stamped or textured), brick, tile, slate, cobbled or stone pavings, boulders, decomposed granite, sand, gravel.
Softscape: Yuccas, palms, succulents, established trees and shrubs, limited lawn areas.
Low-maintenance--Emphasizes easy care.
Hardscape: Concrete (stamped or texture), brick, stone pavings.
Softscape: Raphiolepis, mahonia, oleander, nandinas, flowering ground covers.
Oriental--Serene, but neat and very orderly.
Hardscape: Bamboo fences, bridges, stone lanterns, ponds, gravel, stone paving.
Softscape: Flowering fruit trees, bamboo, mondo grass, boxwood, Japanese maple trees, mosses, grasses, rhododendrons, azaleas, bonsai, ferns, dogwood, pines.
The Japanese garden, one type of Oriental design, must include seven elements: a pagoda lantern, dripping water feature, gravel, rocks, bridge and two statues (tiger and egret) in a predetermined, proportionate ordered randomness. The garden always relates to the inside of house.
Tropical--Lush, overgrown, cool.
Hardscape: Waterfalls, lagoons, naturalistic swimming pools, volcanic rocks.
Softscape: Lawns, tree ferns, bougainvillea, bamboo, hibiscus, aralia, ferns, bromeliads.
This particular design style can require an excessive amount of water and may be expensive during drought periods.