Hardscapes are important parts of landscape design. This includes all inanimate materials like concrete pathways, flagstones, stone archways, fountains, brick walls and woodwork. Hardscape elements act as the backbone of the outdoor landscape, and provide smooth transition between the design of your house and nature. Among the other benefits are:
Hardscapes extend living space. For example, instead of holding dinner or parties inside your house, a patio can be a gathering place for friends and family as well.
It also acts as soil erosion control, especially for inclined landscapes.
Provides access to your garden and other outdoor areas.
Lessens maintenance on pruning plants or shrubs to create pathways.
Like most improvements in your house, it increases property value.
There are several projects that every homeowner can add on their lawn, driveway or gardens. When designing your outdoor landscape, consider the following tips:
Symmetry and repetition can create rhythm on your landscape design. Add plants on both sides of a pathway to balance colors and harsh lines. Utilize large rocks as natural sculptures to balance focal points. This is a great technique that can help bring out harmonious balance on your outdoor landscape.
Create a focal point. It can be a fountain, or a fireplace at the center of a circular patio. For driveways or gardens, pavers or bricks can be arranged in a pattern that directs the eye to the center, or to the entrance of the house.
Choose proper materials that match the landscape design. Usually this is based on the ambiance that you are trying to achieve. Brick walls and wooden benches or platforms can help paint a picture of a warm and cozy patio to sit and talk with friends during sunset. Grass and concrete creates a clean contrast that’s excellent on driveways.
For hill-type or uneven landscapes, create terraces to prevent erosion. Stone terraces that have different levels create a good contrast between its reddish brown color and green plants. Apart from that, it creates an interesting visual effect that frames the house on a different perspective.
Let plants spill over harsh lines of the hardscape to create a more natural look. Let some plants grow a little bit over the lines of the pathway, or install dripping plants on some sides. Make sure to regularly trim these to avoid overgrown shrubs on your pathways.
Design the landscape to maintain efficient water drainage. This is commonly left out by homeowners when planning hardscape installations. It’s important to plan a runoff where water can be captured by plants instead of just letting it drain on concrete and to the streets. Check with professional landscape contractors like http://www.sonoranlandesign.com regarding outdoor water drainage requirements.