Patios, sidewalks, stone walls, etc.
A term that refers to the hard elements, or nonliving features, of the landscape. This can include anything from decks and walkways to edging and ornamental features.
Hardscape Design can be formal or informal, depending on the style of your home and surrounding landscape. With hardscaping, textural variety is important and should be considered carefully. On the one hand, using only one texture or material can make the area appear dull and lifeless. Yet, using too many textures can make the surrounding area appear unattractive and cluttered.
SO WHAT DO YOU DO?
Find balance. It’s generally better to choose no more than two or three textures of hardscape materials. These should be both visually appealing and complement your home’s exterior. This also includes color. And when designing with hardscape elements, don’t forget to consider your drainage patterns.
In addition to patios, decks, driveways, outside structures and the like, there are many types of Hardscaping features to choose from. Walkways and paths are common elements within the landscape, which are oftentimes designed using hardscape materials such as bricks, pavers, woodchips, flagstones, etc. Retaining walls consisting of rocks, concrete blocks, railroad ties, and similar items are also common hardscape features. You may also find hardscaping features such as wooden or stone steps and various types of edging materials included within the hardscape design.
THE KEY TO ALL GOOD HARDSCAPE DESIGN IS PROPER PLANNING!
A beautifully hardscaped yard can be accomplished fairly easily as long as you plan ahead. First visit your local landscaping or rock distribution center to choose rocks that will accent your home and garden. Be sure to include both small and large stones to add variety to your new lawn. You can have larger rocks for building retaining walls delivered directly to your home. Be sure to dig a flat base before starting any stone stacking. Draw out a diagram of your lawn if that helps you visualize exactly where you want to put your new hardscape.
If you take pride in your grounds — the tasteful trees, the statuesque shrubbery, the beautiful garden – why not enjoy them by night as well as day? The right outdoor lighting allows you to derive the full benefits of your costly landscaping after the sun goes down. It also provides better safety and security.
• Show off the beauty of your home after dark.
• Highlight favorite flowers and shrubs
• Dramatize trees, pool, fountains and masonry texture.
• Accent statuary and other focal points
• Relax in your backyard or entertain on your patio or deck.
• Safety: good lighting on steps, walks and driveways help avoid accidents
• Security: floodlighting and other landscape lighting will deter prowlers and vandals.
• Investment: grounds which are dramatically lighted at night look like a
luxurious estate, increasing the resale value of your property.
Conceal the light source behind shrubs, etc., where possible – except where the fixture itself is a decorative element. Don’t over light – a little light goes a long way. Be creative in using a mixture of lighting techniques for drama and excitement. Arrange for an automatic device to turn lights on and off, such as a timer or photocell. Be considerate of your neighbors – aim lights so they do not shine into their windows.