Benefits of Adding Hardscaping to Your Yard
So, just what is hardscape and how does it play a part in your overall landscaping? Hardscape is all the hard stuff in your yard: concrete, bricks, stone and structures made from these materials. Softscape is the soft, growing stuff, like perennial flowers, shrubs, succulents, and trees.
Softscape is living; hardscape is not. Ideally, a well-designed landscape incorporates a balance between the two elements.
Hardscape revolves around brick and mortar. Decks, pools, berms, patios, arbors, and driveways all use hardscape materials. Often, softscape exists in or around hardscape. Flowers, plants, and other material can pattern a hardscape’s overall design.
Ideally, a well-designed landscape incorporates a balance between the two elements. Too much of one or the other in a front yard can compromise your home’s curb appeal. In the backyard, too much hardscape can reduce the relaxing atmosphere most homeowners are looking for.
How Hardscaping is Used
Hardscape features in landscaping are used for practical as well as aesthetic reasons. An example might be a retaining wall. While a wall of concrete blocks, natural stone, or other materials will hold back the earth, it may be more than utilitarian, or purely functional. When done properly, it can be another beautiful element in the landscape of your dreams.
If your yard is uneven, with hills and valleys, installing a retaining wall can help create more usable space. The same is true of other hardscape features. While most have a very functional reason for being used, they may also add balance and beauty to your overall landscaping.
A key reason for hardscape features in Oklahoma yards is to prevent erosion. One of the most effective ways to prevent erosion is through proper hardscaping – retaining walls, dry creeks, and sidewalks. Hardscaping will help water flow away from your landscape, so it’s not damaged by storm runoff and flooding.
Why Hardscaping is Used
Other examples of hardscape besides retaining walls include pavers for paths or patios, outdoor kitchens, water features, gazebos, decks, and driveways. Hardscape can be natural, like stone, or manmade, like an outdoor structure or a planter.
Most often, hardscapes help define “outdoor rooms” of a home, creating a seamless transition into nature where you can cook and host guests. These features also allow you to enjoy recreational activities or just sit and take in the beauty of your surroundings.
Benefits of hardscaping that should not be overlooked include:
• Adds dimension. With a little hardscaping, you can add multiple dimensions to your yard with differing levels, defined edges, and weaving walkways to create quite the visually appealing space.
• Decreases erosion. By placing barriers in the form of stone or concrete in areas where erosion is likely, especially on property with slopes and/or uneven soil, you can keep your ground intact for years to come.
• Reduces watering requirements. Well-placed hardscape features can reduce the amount of watering required for softscape features in your yard.
• Requires less maintenance. Unlike softscape features such as shrubbery, hardscape features like walkways require very little attention once they’re put into place.
• Guides traffic on your property. Driveways let guests know where to park, pathways let guests know where to walk, and fences let everyone know which areas are off limits.
• Increases property value. By creating an outdoor extension to your home, you add more usable square footage to attract potential buyers. In fact, 84% of buyers look for an outdoor patio when purchasing a home.
Professional landscapers should consider all these benefits when evaluating how to make the best use of hardscaping in the overall design balance.
Havenscapes designers take an overall approach to including hardscape features into the landscape design that best fits your home and your lifestyle — whether that’s outdoor kitchens and fireplaces, gazebos and pavillions, well placed walkways or retaining walls through your landscape.
Havenscapes landscape designers start with a consultation visit, where they listen to your needs, discuss budgets, and take measurements. Next, they analyze the strengths and problem areas to map out design concepts, ending with a master plan, including hardscape or architectural elements.
The Havenscapes design experts are ready to help you plan a for all your landscape challenges. Contact us or call our Edmond office at (405) 418-4880 to schedule a free, no pressure consultation.