What is Hardscaping
While most people's gardens are naturally defined by the natural elements and plants that are present throughout these outdoor spaces, hardscapes are a fun and important addition to complete the garden. But what exactly are hardscapes? Hardscapes are anything in your garden or outdoor space that are not living organisms/plants, this can include anything from the most basic mulching, to pathways, and large pergolas.
Hardscapes create a contrasting effect within the garden by using their often harder lines and distinct permanent presence to add to the monument that is your garden. These are often great ways to define certain areas of your garden or backyard, making a clear distinction between areas that are for gardening and those areas which are used by the family for entertaining. Remember that there are a number of different ways that hardscapes can look, and the design of your hardscape additions should be used to effectively maximize the stylistic impact of the garden. With that in mind, let’s jump into a few ideas on what to add to your hardscape designs to make your outdoor spaces pop.
One of the most popular ways to add hardscaping to any outdoor space is to use pathways. Garden paths are the best way to both separate your garden from other spaces, while simultaneously making the garden easier to navigate for those who are using the space. Adding this dynamic piece of hardscaping is relatively easy and depending on the type of material you use, it will typically last for quite some time.
Adding this dynamic piece of hardscaping is relatively easy
Pathways can be made from a number of different materials that are all used depending on the type of ambience you want to create. Some of the most popular materials used for this gardening endeavor include loose materials like mulch and gravel, or solid surfaces such as brick, flagstones or tiles. Loose materials are often easier to install, and are easier to replace if they become damaged, but they are not quite as solid as more permanent types of materials and you will likely have to replace or replenish the material from time to time. The more solid materials will be a greater chore to install, but they will certainly last the test of time without the need for annual upkeep.
If you are looking to add different levels to the garden, installing a retaining wall is one of the most popular methods to achieve this visual effect. These walls are the perfect way to keep a hill from slumping due to the natural effects of erosion, while also creating a perfect place to put your plants that will keep them closer to eye or hip level. Creating this wall will require a little bit of hard work, but with the right measurements and space, it is the perfect way to add to your garden space. Materials for this type of project will usually consist of larger rocks that are stacked to create a more natural design, or the use of larger cinder blocks to create a smoother and more uniform style.
These walls are the perfect way to keep a hill from slumping due to natural effects of erosion, while also creating a perfect place to put your plants
Trellises & Arbors
Another way to add height to the backyard is through the use of trellises or arbors. These two types of garden monuments will provide a place for your plants to grow vertically, making your garden appear to be larger. Trellises and arbors will also create privacy throughout your garden, serving as decorative hardscaping, as well as fencing throughout your garden.
Trellis and arbors will also create privacy throughout your garden
When looking for these trellises and arbors, you can often choose between wood and iron materials. Iron is our preferred material of choice, as these trellises will last for a longer period of time and are often more ornate and decorative in your backyard. Similarly, you will not need to replace these iron options and will have to frequently replace wooden options as the moisture and the weight of the plants will often cause them to deteriorate at a higher rate.
This is perhaps the most simple method for hardscaping that we have presented on this list. Mulch can be easily added to almost any area around the garden, and yes it is included among hardscapes. Mulch can be used throughout the garden in a number of different materials, whether this is typical wood based mulch, or a modern alternative like rubber mulch, these are good ways to protect your garden and make the plants explode out of the garden.
Mulch can be used throughout the garden in a number of different materials
Raised Garden Beds
This one is similar to the retaining wall idea, however instead of simply creating a wall where that will hold back soil and allow flowers a place to grow, try planting in a box to increase the visibility of the flowers. This tactic will allow you to plant away from the side of a plant and allow you to plant in the very middle of the garden with these detached garden beds. These garden beds can also be made from a number of different materials, however wooden options will likely be the most popular types of garden beds as they are the easiest to build and install within the backyard.
Try planting in a box to increase the visibility of the flowers
Another exciting way to get your guests to enjoy the backyard, while simultaneously providing otherworldly decor, is to build a firepit. Fire Pits should be surrounded by stone and are often themselves made from either stone or metal. This will prevent most dangers to having a fire in your backyard, keeping yourself and your community safe. These wonderful additions to the yard will light up your spaces at night, while providing a space to gather even during the day. While these are often difficult to install without professional help, consider adding a fire pit if you have the means to do so!
These wonderful additions to the yard will light up your spaces at night!