What is Hardscape Design?

What’s the point in having a stunningly landscaped yard if you and your family can’t enjoy it? Hardscape design transforms a humdrum yard into a private oasis where you can rest, wander and entertain.

You may not even think about hardscaping when you’re planning your yard, but it’s an essential part of landscaping. Skilled hard landscape design is not only beautiful to look upon, but also essential for a practical, useable yard:

  • A durable brick patio that complements your interior provides a seamless flow between inside and out.
  • A gravel path keeps the dirt off your feet and invites you to walk amongst your beautifully-planted yard.
  • A well-placed bench is both a design feature and a place to rest.
  • A wooden fence with all-season climbers offers privacy and color all year round.
  • Stone retaining walls that transform a steeply-sloped garden into a stunning floral display.

What Is Hardscaping?

In a nutshell, hardscaping is the non-plant parts of your yard. If you have these elements in your yard, it’s hardscaped:

Proper hardscape construction acts as an anchor for your flowers and shrubbery and protects your yard from erosion and water runoff. So, you shouldn’t even think about planting until you’ve decided on the hardscape elements in your yard. Or you may find yourself digging up your expensive roses to make space for an ornamental pond.

What Are Hardscaping Materials?

Hardscaping usually incorporates materials that are more hardwearing than the living parts of your garden. The hardscaping materials at your disposal depend on many factors, like the style of your garden, your home and its surrounding area, and your budget.

Hardscaping materials can include:

  • Stone patios and retaining walls.
  • Concrete walkways and driveways.
  • Wood fencing and decks.
  • Plastic drainage and lining for water features.
  • Gravel paths and paving.

Water features like fountains or ponds also fall under the definition of hardscape. For example, it’s essential that you install a pond using the correct liner and drainage materials. If you do your hardscape research before you start digging, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and headaches later down the line.

What Is the Difference Between Soft and Hard Landscaping?

Soft landscaping involves the living parts of your yard, like soil, plants, grass, trees and shrubs. It’s the materials that first come to mind when you think of a garden. But all outdoor spaces need hard landscape design to define and link the different areas of a yard.

Good hardscape design also allows for a seamless transition between your home and your yard. For example, a natural-stone driveway invites your guests from the street to your home, and a patio extends your kitchen and living area in good weather.

Because hardscaping is the foundation of your yard, you must make sure to design the hardscaped parts first before you start laying turf and planting flowers.

What’s the Best Hardscape Design for My Yard?

When hardscape designing your yard, you want to make sure your outdoor spaces are both attractive and practical. You should also factor in the size and slope of your yard, how much effort you want to spend maintaining it and whether you have children or pets.

  • If you dream of a vegetable garden but have a dog that enjoys digging holes, consider using wooden planter boxes that are built off the ground. They’ll also save your back when weeding.
  • Consider both the exterior and interior of your home when you’re hardscaping. Does the material and color of your driveway complement the outside of your home? Are you using similar materials inside and outside, like stone, wood or brick?
  • If you want to enjoy your yard in all weathers and temperatures, shelter and shade are must-haves. Gazebos make a statement, draw the eye and suit the bigger space. Or an overhang for your patio will tempt your family outdoors on a hot day.
  • If you don’t have much of a green thumb, hardscaping can drastically reduce yard maintenance. Think of installing retaining walls or a large, hardwearing patio. You could also replace your lawn with colored gravel.
  • Hero pieces aren’t just for interior design. A stunning hardscape element like a pond or fountain attracts attention and balances out the surrounding foliage.

What Should I Know About Doing a Hardscape Project?

There’s no sugarcoating it. Most hardscaping projects are downright hard work, especially in hot weather. So, plan the work during the cooler months and don’t hesitate to ask for help. Before you get started, make sure you’ve done your research and measurements thoroughly in case you run out of materials half-way or realize your driveway isn’t level.

You may also need heavy machinery that’s expensive, so consider renting these machines rather than buying them. And make sure to shop around for materials before you get started to ensure value for money.

Hardscaping is crucial for a yard that’s both beautiful and useable, but it’s also time-consuming and hard work. So, if you need help with the hardscape design of your yard in Asheville, get in touch. We’ll take care of all your hard-landscaping needs with the highest standard of finish, attention to detail and quality of materials.