Hardscaping 101


Hardscaping 101

What is hardscaping?

Most people are familiar with the term landscaping. Landscaping is the use of live plants and natural elements to modify an area with the goal of enhancing its beauty. But what is hardscaping? Hardscaping is the use of inanimate or non-living hard surfaces to modify an area. Hardscape design uses elements like wood, stone, or concrete to update or alter an outdoor space.

Benefits of Hardscaping

  • Low Maintenance: With non-living elements, there is no need for mowing, trimming, or watering.
  • Provides Definition and Access: Walkways and stone paths provide clear access, also connecting different locations on the property. 
  • Adds Visual Interest: Outdoor structures, such as a fountain or pergola, add texture and beauty to the landscape. 
  • Increases Property Value: Investing in hardscape features, like a pool or metal fence, are desirable and can add value to the property.
  • Increases Privacy: Fences or walls can decrease street visibility and add more privacy.
  • Enhances Outdoor Experience: The addition of hardscape features can create comfortable outdoor spaces that invite more time spent outside. 

Examples of Hardscape Elements:

hardscape design plan for client considering hardscaping
  • Man-made stone, such as concrete, brick, or tile patios
  • Creating height variance coupled with visual interest with stone retaining walls
  • Stone or gravel walkways or paths
  • Metal or wooden fences
  • Wooden decks, arbors, gazebos, or pergolas
  • Water features, such as a pool or fountain
  • Outdoor fireplaces for warmth as well as directing visual focus

How to Use Landscaping to Complement Hardscape Features

Hardscape features can appear, for lack of a better word, hard. However, balancing hardscape features with landscaping is a great way to soften hard lines and edges and add color to your property. Ultimately, when done properly, landscaping and hardscaping should be used in tandem to create a functional, yet beautiful outdoor living space. 

One way to do this is with the use of plants and shrubs. Firstly, using greenery around a patio or walkway will soften the edges and add an element of intimacy to the area. Secondly, consider adding flowers for focal points of color. Lastly, with a pergola or gazebo, climbing plants or vines can add visual interest to the structure and increase shade to the area.

Maintaining the landscape is important when you use live elements. Mowing, trimming, watering, fertilizing, planting, and weeding are all vital to keep the landscape looking its best.

Hardscaping is Hard Work

Installing hardscape features can be hard work. The demanding nature of transporting stone or concrete can be too much for a homeowner. Sometimes special tools are needed to complete the project. At Walnut Ridge Landscape & Design, we have the knowledge and resources to make your hardscape project a reality. Visit our portfolio to see what our pros can do for you. 

For a free consultation with a Walnut Ridge Landscape & Design Professional, please contact us at 812-289-6380.