Table of Contents
Yard Hardscaping 101
The non-living aspects of landscaping — and we don't mean dead shrubbery – make up hardscaping. A brick patio, a stone wall, or a wooden arbor are examples of non-living materials. Some examples of the materials that are used in hardscaping projects include, but aren't limited to, concrete, wood, stone, even metal. These are all considered to be classic hardscaping materials.
Also, water elements like ponds and fountains are included in hardscaping, as well as a wide variety of projects that incorporate nearly any form of aesthetic or functional construction in a landscape. This includes anything from driveways to fences to seats. The ability to define and organize the natural regions and characteristics of the landscape is why hardscape is such an important part of the landscape. Hardscape components, such as the driveway, can also be used to designate specific portions of the space.
Hardscaping features may also guide people wandering in regions with open spaces, such as walkways that can bring tourists through distinct softscaping zones. A gravel path that winds through a grassy area and into a garden is an example of this.
When you're hardscaping your yard, there's a set of steps that you need to follow. These aren't set in stone by any means, but they help ensure that things go smoothly and with as few hindrances as possible.
Consider the Area
First of all, you need to consider the total area accessible for hardscaping as much as possible when designing an element, even if you're only handling one spot for now. At the very least, you should prepare a design for the entire space or hire an expert to do it for you.
It's like building one room of a home and then a second room a year or so later if you don't think about the location well. You may decide to build a patio, only to decide later that you want a barbeque, pond, or pathway, and the patio prevents you from doing so.
Define Your Focal Point
Whether you are working on the front lawn or the backyard, you will want to start by defining a single focal point in the area where you'll be hardscaping. This will be the point where all visitor's eyes are going to travel to once they are in the lawn or backyard.
While hardscaping is all about integrating one or more elements that make a person want to stop and marvel at what they see, it is crucial to determine a single focal point that will be the climax of the visitor's viewing experience. Deciding on a focal point means more than just adding a gazebo at the end or adding an oriental lantern to the space; it is going to take careful planning and consideration. More importantly, the element you wish to include in this focal point will need to be aesthetically appealing and functional. '
Balance the Area
Hardscaping a yard is all about balancing all of the elements you're playing with. For instance, you wouldn't want to add a few boulders to the mix but throw them randomly without any careful planning. That would only mean being reminded of your mistake whenever you bump into them or having them look more like dinosaur eggs in the middle of your yard. While it is important to make sure that all elements, including boulders, are large enough to fit the space of the landscape comfortably, they also need to look like they are natural and not placed there.
For instance, one major mistake people make when attempting to hardscape their yard is adding in objects that appear too linear to have occurred naturally. While symmetry is great when it comes to placing ornaments around the pool area, hardscaping is all about creating a natural-esque feeling in your own backyard. That being said, it is okay to integrate carefully planned curves and shapes that transition gracefully and look as if they are in their natural setting.
Choose Materials Carefully
This element of hardscaping cannot be stressed enough. Hardscapes can be casual or formal, but the best have a distinct aesthetic. Make a two- or three-word description of your vision and stick to it. When it comes to aesthetics, a tiny courtyard, for example, has little in common with a Grecian garden. Choose a few materials that match the inside and outside of your home after you've decided on a style. You don't want to be forced to gaze at a hardscape that is entirely made of the same color or material.
The goal is to locate two or three aesthetically interesting materials that harmonize with one other and the house's interior and outside. It's crucial to have a range of textures. It's fine to have two textures in most hardscapes, such as flagstone underfoot and landscape bricks for low walls, but more than two textures tend to seem cluttered. If you have a wood deck, give it a go.
Don't Mess With the Greenery
Sure, you'll find all-stone or concrete districts in the Southwest, but that's because it's a need rather than a fashion statement. Due to the harsh sun and little water, Southwesterners are sometimes forced to have a hardscape without flora. Everyone else should make sure there's enough greenery in proportion to hard surfaces.
You may have a lovely backyard with a hardscape bordered by shrubs and flowerbeds, but a modest stretch of lawn is a nice idea as well. On hot, sunny days, grass is a safer playing area for youngsters, and a piece of turf will help cool down the landscape.
Consider the Drainage System
People neglecting drainage regulations have wreaked more havoc on hardscapes than all other mistakes combined. When constructing a wall or a patio, you must consider how the drainage will be affected. There's also the issue of the environment to consider. Instead of letting the water strike the concrete and go down the drainage pipe, you should design runoff so that you may trap it and use it on site.
Hardscape vs. Softscape
When it comes to landscaping, there are two main elements; hardscaping and softscaping; one cannot do with the other, which is why it is important to utilize both of these techniques to your best advantage. For instance, planting around water features or slate pathways is a terrific way to combine hardscape and softscape in a single piece.
The most efficient approach to converting your backyard into an at-home resort is to mix hardscapes and softscapes with the proper landscape designer. Don't get us wrong: weeding and bed care may make a world of difference in your home's appeal. But adding a walkway leading to a koi pond surrounded by the ideal shade of vibrant flowers can completely transform your backyard landscape design, giving it an escape from the everyday.
Many hardscape projects are simply too physically demanding to be completed with manual labor alone, necessitating the use of heavy lifting equipment designed for the sector. In these circumstances, don't let the need for heavy lifting equipment keep you from completing your hardscaping work.
This is why it's best to hunt for businesses that can create hardscapes rather than giving up on the goal of a backyard retreat. Another major advantage of hiring a professional landscaping company is that they take care of all the heavy lifting for you, so all you will have to do is put your feet up and relax in your new backyard oasis.