Landscaping isn’t just about plants. It’s about mixing softscape materials (grass, shrubs, flowers, trees, mulch) with hardscape materials (concrete, brick, stone, tile) to define space and create contrasts.
Landscape designers turn to hardscape for both functionality and visual interest, from driveways and steps, to patios and pathways. It’s the interplay of hard and soft that really makes a yard special.
Elevate the Functional
Just because a feature of your home is necessary doesn’t mean it should be uninspired. With a little imagination, even a driveway can be transformed into something beautiful that boosts curb appeal.
Try concrete that’s divided into panels, allowing a green or flowering ground cover or loose stones in between. Or explore the range of color tints available beyond the standard sidewalk gray. Concrete can also be stamped with decorative designs or even patterns that mimic brick and stone — but with lower maintenance and greater durability.
Carve Out Space
Just like with an open floor plan inside, setting aside more intimate areas with furniture and decorating choices can make a space more usable, no matter the size. This principle works just as well outside, and some of the most dramatic transformations are in small yards or nooks and side areas that before felt unusable.
Define a space in your yard for entertaining. It doesn’t have to be immediately outside your backdoor either. You can create separate areas for eating, lounging with friends, or even whiling away the hours around a fire pit.
Create paths that connect distinct areas of your yard, or separate different plantings, or use a path to draw the eye to a specific place.
Not Just Under Your Feet
Hardscape can go vertical too. Think benches, decorative walls, and sleek, modern planters.
Using hardscape panels and low-water ground cover, mulch, and drought-tolerant plantings is a great way to decrease your lawn and water use without losing anything in usability or beauty.
And in a driveway, using panels of concrete or other paving with open, permeable areas of ground cover or loose stones allows rainwater to go into ground where it can be useful, instead of letting it run off into the street where it gathers contaminants from asphalt that can make their way into nearby bodies water.
Don’t let the season get away from you. With hardscaping, you need to plan ahead. So, if you want to be sitting out on that patio come summer, now is the time to get it put in.
Get the patio, path, driveway or other hardscape project you’ve been wanting. ezhome can help. Get a free quote.
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