When most people think of landscaping, they think of plants and gardens. However, landscaping often incorporates hardscapes which is comprised of non-living components. Hardscapes normally include structures made of concrete, brick, stone, or wood, but can also incorporate items like sundials or any other non-living element of your landscape. Adding hardscapes bring variety to your outdoor areas and can bring new functional uses to your area.
Patios and Decks
A challenge in landscaping is providing a transition from the indoors to the outdoors. Patios and decks can provide for a smooth transition when entering or leaving a home and can also provide an extra living space. The difference between a patio and deck is usually what materials the area is comprised of. For instance, if the space is laid with concrete, stones, or tiles, it is more likely a patio whereas an area comprised primarily of wood is a deck. Regardless of its composition, a patio or deck is a great way to add to your outdoor entertainment and can host seating areas, tables, and even grills.
Arbors and Pergolas
A challenge in outdoor spaces is how to provide shade in certain areas. Arbors and Pergolas are great shade solutions while also providing design aesthetics to your landscape. Both are usually made of wood and often used with climbing plants to add to gardens or provide shade over a patio or outdoor living area. The difference, however, is that Pergolas are normally more solid and used to cover outdoor sitting areas as compared to Arbors, which are normally more decorative and used over a walkway or within a garden. However, the terms are used interchangeably by most people because they essentially serve the same purpose.
To provide a masonry element to your landscape, people often use a stone wall feature. Besides just adding a design appeal or barrier of sorts, stone walls could also serve as retaining walls to prevent erosion in your garden. You can also use stonework to build up grill areas or fire pits in order to add to your outdoor living space.
A picture isn’t complete without a frame and that is essentially what a fence would do for your property. Fences can be made of wood, metal, or stone, depending on what design aesthetics you prefer. They can also function as a safety measure, to keep pets or children on your property and a barrier for intruders. Regardless of its purpose, fences are a great investment to your property but the sturdier the materials, the more costly it becomes.
When designing your outdoor space, it is important to establish walkways to guide people through areas without destroying the grass or gardening elements. Walkways perform many functions like sidewalks for pedestrians, providing a path to your home’s main entrance, or a trail from a patio to a garden. The materials you choose to use depend on the durability you wish your walkway to possess and its function. For instance, a sidewalk is usually made of concrete but a walkway to your main entrance may be made of stone or brick for more design appeal.
An inanimate component that should be featured in your landscape is outdoor lighting. Take the appearance of your home or landscaping to the next level by illuminating it at night. Outdoor lighting will make you feel safer at night by eliminating dark shadowy areas and also, show off your unique home and landscaping design.
Most artificial water features could be classified as hardscapes since they usually incorporate some kind of barrier to retain the water. Water features include man-made waterfalls, fountains, or koi ponds and usually incorporate other hardscaping features like stone walls or walkways. These tend to be complex and hard to install but can add unique design elements to your landscape. Affects like the faint babbling from a water feature can provide a soothing environment that’s perfect for relaxation.