5 Elements That Make a Successful Hardscape
Hardscaping refers to all non-living elements in landscaping. The category is vast and it can be overwhelming when you are considering adding hardscape elements to your yard. Thespruce.com answers the question, What Is Hardscape? to help you determine what hardscape elements you want in your landscape design.
Once you have landed on elements that are right for your outdoor space, research is a necessity. Unlike softscape, which includes all of the living and organic elements in your landscaping, hardscaping cannot be easily removed or changed. You do not want to put in a lot of effort and then have your materials or design fail within a couple of years.
Follow these five simple steps to avoid common mistakes and create hardscaping that you will love now and for years to come.
- Evaluate the Landscaping
Consider all of the space available for hardscaping before you design an element, even if you are just tackling one space for now. You should plan a design for the whole area, or consult a professional to create a design for you. If you do not consider the entire site, you risk the “add on” effect. You may decide to install a large patio and then decide you want a pond, but now the patio is an obstacle. Bhg.com has a guide for Assessing Your Landscaping Needs.
- Do Not Forget Drainage
Ignoring drainage requirements is one of the top errors made when designing hardscaping. You need to plan for how the drainage in your space will be affected by the features you want to install. Features like walls, patios, and walkways all impact the way the space will handle water. There is also an environmental consideration. You can plan to practice good water conservation by planning for runoff so you can capture the water and use it on site instead of letting it go down the drain.
- Go for Balance
Understanding scale when installing hardscape is the key to creating a visually appealing space. Avoid elements that create lines that are too harsh. It can create an unnatural feel and make the element look like it is fighting the landscaping. Include curves and shapes so that the hardscape elements transition gracefully into the rest of the landscape. Consider retaining a small patch of lawn. Grass is a safer playing surface for children and helps cool down the landscape on hot days.
- Pick the Right Materials
Hardscapes can be relaxed or formal as long as they have a definite style. Think of a two- or three-word phrase that describes your vision and stick with it. Thespruce.com has tips on How to Choose the Best Hardscape Materials. Choose materials that complement your home’s interior and exterior. Hardscape in one color or one type of material will fall flat. Find two or three colors and materials that coordinate not just with each other, but with the interior and exterior of your house. Textural variety is important as well. Stick with two as more than two textures can look messy. For example, if you have a wood deck, stick with a single type of stone or brick for your hardscape.
- Hire an Expert
Hire a designer or landscape consultant who knows your style. Get recommendations and check portfolios and references. Experts will make sure that not only is the design solid, but if there is a structural wall or a hill with stability issues, all of the implications are taken into consideration. They can prevent serious damage and ensure that you do not run into issues in the future. At Patera Landscaping, we have the right professional team to design hardscape that will honor your outdoor space and bring enjoyment for years to come. Contact us today!