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Water features, decorative lighting to lead L&G rebound

Demand for landscaping products in the United States is projected to increase 7.6% per year through 2015, according to a study just released by the Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based market research firm.  Part of the rebound will be the result of a strong improvement from depressed sales following the 2007-to-2009 recession. Overall growth in landscaping products demand will also get a boost from the recovery in U.S. housing activity, including new construction and existing single-family home sales, the study said.

Gains in demand for decorative products, the largest segment with 44% of the market in 2010, will benefit from rapidly increasing interest in water features (e.g., ponds and fountains), as more property owners look to these items as a way of masking unwanted nearby noise and promoting tranquility.  Decorative lighting will benefit from product developments featuring easy installation and energy-saving technology. This category is expected to grow by double digits through 2015, as decorative lights are used to accent pathways, statuary, green goods and water features. 

Hardscapes will experience the fastest growth -- 10% -- through 2015, as consumers make upgrades to their outdoor living spaces.  Concrete products will continue to account for the largest share of the hardscapes segment.  Among concrete products, pavers are forecast to achieve double-digit annual growth, a result of the recovering housing market, as well as greater penetration of permeable types in ecologically sensitive locations. Pavers, as well as stones and boulders, are considered attractive and durable materials for constructing patios, walkways and surrounds for outdoor fireplaces, ponds and in-ground swimming pools.  Despite many opportunities, hardscapes will continue to face competition from alternative products and structures, such as wood decking.

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