Hardscape Designs- The Framework for your Plants
Summary: Without hardscape design elements, your yard lacks all of the fun and function it could potentially offer! Even a steep hill, once assumed a waste of space, can be turned into a focal point that boosts the value and function of your home.
Nothing transforms an outdoor space like hardscape design features, which come in a wide variety of price ranges and ideas. Hardscape is anything that is installed or built into your yard. While it can be made to incorporate garden grass and flowers, it is typically a non-plant structure such as a set of steps or a pebble lined walkway.
Transform a Hill into a Desirable Hang Out
Oftentimes you can get a property cheaper if the land is not 100% flat or suitable for easy building. Yet the thing is—it’s not very tricky to turn a dead-end hill into a suitable living and entertaining space using hardscape designs. Not only will this add to your own love of the place, it will also add tremendous value to your home when the time comes to resell. A hillside can have steps, decks, and seating areas built into and around it, using plants to adorn the steps and structure will add beauty to function.
If your entire yard is a sea of grass, plants, and more grass, where is one to go? If your yard lacks a destination point, like a discreet bench or a tucked away path of lilies, it will also lack the character present in the best outdoor spaces. A walkway or path is a great option to incorporate destination into your yard, giving you and your guests a place to go when venturing outside. Not to mention, with pathways installed, fewer people will be stomping over your greenery. This will dramatically increase productivity and decrease the dead, brown foliage.
If you have a large backyard, a gazebo or other large shelter is the perfect way to break up space and create a lovely focal point. Just think–if done nicely enough it could stand as a place for your child to someday say their vows! While a gazebo offers a place to hang out, it also offers variety for your plant décor. You can incorporate vines and flowerbeds to spruce up any gazebo, a great way to make your favorite plants really stand out.
Regardless if you have a gas or electric hook up at your house, you can have a fire pit installed in your yard! These awesome additions offer a lot of variety to any yard. You can roast marshmallows over them or simply enjoy the outdoors on a chilly night—these pits offer a lot of warmth! A fire pit is a hardscape design that offers fun, function, and glamour to your yard, and is the perfect investment. Plus, you can find fire-pits to install, either yourself or with a contracted crew, at a number of retailers in store and online.
More Hardscape Ideas
- Go to your local hardware store and purchase a number of flat stepping-stones; set them out fairly close together and surround them with layers of woodchips.
- Purchase decorative fencing to install around a particular set of lovely flowers to give your yard some dimension.
- A built-in BBQ offers new cooking alternatives as well as a nice focal point for the eye in any backyard. Some BBQ’s are large, shaped in a variety of designs to suit any taste or yard size. Take it one step further and turn your BBQ into a mini outdoor kitchen.
- For those with less space, hardscape landscaping is not reserved for the yard only; you can add hardscape elements to your rooftop as well— for example, think how fun it would be to have your own rooftop deck!
Plan for Perfection
Plan your hardscape ideas carefully before diving into any one option. Multiple opinions and estimates are suggested as well as spending a good deal of time on research to ensure it will work in your given space. Samuel Salsbury, a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers team, recommends looking into drainage issues, as many forget this important step, “You must plan how the drainage will be affected when you place, say, a wall or a patio.” Yet, drainage isn’t the only thing one needs to consider. The layout should be planned with an eye toward the completed project instead of one item at a time — it’s important to know exactly what you want before you get going. Once that gazebo is installed, it’s there to stay. Make sure it works with all of your other design ideas to avoid wasting time, money, and effort.