Hardscaping is the movable parts of your yard that serve a function, such as driveways, walkways, and patios. It can include structures like gazebos, water features, and outdoor kitchens.
Hardscape can be made from natural materials or manufactured ones such as pavers. It should complement your landscaping and create a balance between the two.
Regarding your yard’s curb appeal, landscaping and hardscaping play a role. Landscaping is typically more well-known, but that doesn’t mean that hardscaping isn’t an integral part of your home’s overall curb appeal and value.
As the name suggests, hardscape deals with the non-living parts of your landscape, such as gravel, paved walkways, decks, and outdoor kitchens. It also includes retaining walls, water and fire features, patios, and gazebos.
It’s essential to balance form and function when it comes to hardscape. Too much hardscape can have a cold, unwelcoming feel, so incorporate plenty of greenery, mulch, and garden soil to soften your hard elements. A professional hardscape company will be able to help you achieve the perfect blend of form and function. They’ll know how to use irregularly shaped flagstones, for example, to create an attractive walkway, then fill in the empty spaces with low-growing plants like moss phlox (phlox subulata), wild strawberry (fragaria virginiana) and canby’s mountain lover (paxistima candy) to prevent weed growth and maintain a natural look.
While soft scaping can offer curb appeal, hardscaping provides a more permanent aesthetic. This includes structures like arches, walkways, gazebos, and outdoor kitchens. These can be made from natural materials, like stone or wood, or from manufactured materials, like concrete and stainless steel.
In addition to providing a beautiful yard, hardscaping reduces maintenance time and energy by requiring less care. For example, permeable pavers in your driveway or walkways allow stormwater to soak into the soil rather than run off. This helps regulate water levels and prevents winter flooding, erosion, and ice formation.
In contrast, soft scaping can require much attention and care to maintain. This can include weeding, pruning, and watering. It may also involve using power tools and equipment, like lawnmowers, weed wackers, and leaf blowers. More of either type of landscaping can be a problem if you’re careful. An overabundance of hardscape can look spartan and cold, while too much soft scape can be overgrown and difficult to maintain.
Hardscaping includes all non-living, inorganic elements of your landscape design. These include brick patios, stone walls, wood fences, and custom outdoor lighting. These structures offer functionality by defining your landscape, creating space for gatherings, and making the landscape easier to navigate.
Incorporating hardscape into your home’s landscape can increase the value of your property and reduce maintenance needs. Regularly cleaning your hardscape materials can prevent stains and other unwanted growth, extending these features’ life.
For example, a steep yard can be made functional using a retaining wall, which also looks attractive. Landscaping can then be added to transform this area into a place where you can relax and entertain guests. This type of landscape design uses a combination of both hardscape and softscape elements.
Hardscaping is labor-intensive, especially in painting and cleaning. However, well-designed hardscaping should be low maintenance overall. For example, a properly installed pond will be visually appealing and help prevent flooding during heavy bouts of rain.
In addition, a pond will require regular cleaning to keep it clean and healthy in the long run. This is a challenging task, and hiring a professional for the job is recommended.
Landscaping involves a lot of time and effort, but it is essential to the beauty of any property. It helps create a balance between form and function and can help increase your home’s value. Consider incorporating hardscaping and landscaping elements into your yard to get the most out of your yard. They should work together seamlessly to create the perfect outdoor environment for your family. Contact a local hardscaping contractor to learn more about what’s possible for your home.