Until recently, traditional landscaping techniques involved most of the yard being lawn grass with a few shrub, trees and flower beds scattered about for added interest. However, many homeowners are moving away from large lawns and other high maintenance landscaping in favor of native plants, alternative ground covers and container gardening. For instance, proper lawns take a good deal of time and money to maintain, and if can contribute significantly to a negative appearance if they are no neglected. Many people are choosing to use other types of vegetation or even materials such as concrete, gravel or bark dust as ground covers.
The most popular modern landscape technique is to make practical plantings into attractive fixtures. For instance, homeowners used to hide their culinary herb gardens in the out-of-the way areas of their yard, and for years, hardly anyone grew them at all. Now that homegrown culinary herbs are enjoying a well-deserved comeback, it is not at all uncommon to see them prominently featured in large, aesthetically pleasing outdoor planting containers.
Many people are also beginning to plant fruit trees instead of their purely ornamental counterparts in both their back and front yards. Miniature and even dwarf species of fruit trees exist for those whose yards are not large enough for standard sized trees. Modern people are rediscovering the satisfaction of growing at least a portion of their own fruits, vegetables and herbs, and this trend is well-represented in current landscape designs.