How to Use Hardscape In Your Landscape Design

how to use hardscape picnic table by pool

Landscaping and hardscaping can be used to create a visually appealing outdoor experience around your home.

Knowing the difference between them, how to use them, and how to get them to work together will make it easier to create that experience.

In this article, we’ll discuss what landscaping and hardscaping are, the history of hardscaping, and tips for using hardscape in your landscape design.

What are landscaping and hardscaping?

Landscaping and hardscaping are terms that are often used interchangeably but are quite different.

Hardscaping, on the other hand, refers to any non-living elements used in landscaping designs. ‘Hardscape elements like walkways, patios, and retaining walls provide the structure for the environment.  These elements, along with existing structures, the flow of the land, and any existing landscaping guide paths of travel and create gathering areas ’ This could include things like walkways, patios, and retaining walls.

How the Two Work Together

The key to success with landscaping and hardscaping is finding the right balance between the two. Hardscaping elements should be used to complement the natural environment, not overpower it.

For example, a patio surrounded by landscape beds with an opening to the lawn creates for a visually pleasing effect while also providing an area to sit and relax.

The History of Hardscaping

old ancient roman example of hardscaping in landscape design 1

Hardscapes can be traced back to ancient times when the Egyptians used stone and bricks to build monuments and temples. Later, Romans and Greeks used hardscaping techniques in their gardens for aesthetic appeal and practicality.

For example, street paving has been found from the first human settlements around 4000 BC in cities of the Indus Valley Civilization on the Indian subcontinent in modern-day Pakistan. 

swimming pool hardscape design maryland pool 1

In modern times, hardscaping has evolved into a complex art form. Today, landscape designers use various materials such as flagstone, travertine, brick pavers, concrete blocks, stone, metal, wood, and glass to create stunning outdoor spaces that are both beautiful and functional.

Tips for Using Hardscape in your Landscape Design

1. Choose quality materials: When choosing materials for your hardscape design, ensure they are of good quality so they can withstand the elements of nature. Natural stone is an excellent choice because it is durable, weather-resistant, and can last many years.  Manufactured concrete pavers come in many shapes, sizes, textures, and colors to meet your style.

2. Utilize color: Colors can help create a cohesive look and feel to your outdoor space. Natural stone comes in various shades and hues, so you can choose the perfect one to complement your landscaping elements.

3. Incorporate texture: Different textures can add depth and interest to your landscape design. You can achieve this by combining smooth, rough, and textured surfaces such as brick pavers, stones, rocks, or even concrete slabs.

4. Think about maintenance: While hardscapes are generally low-maintenance, some materials will require more upkeep than others. Take into consideration the amount of time you have available to take care of your hardscape when making your design.

By understanding the difference between landscaping and hardscaping, appreciating the history of hardscaping, and utilizing the right tips for using hardscapes in landscape design, you can create a beautiful outdoor space that all will enjoy. You can transform your yard into a stunning oasis with little time and effort.

Tips for Combining Landscaping and Hardscaping

hardscape landscape design pergola brick pavers 1

Now that you know the difference between landscaping and hardscaping, here are a few tips on how to combine the two in your landscape design:

1. Incorporate Color – Incorporate color into both elements to add visual interest. Whether you’re looking for a minimalist ‘Green & White’ garden, or an eclectic retreat, choosing the right materials can make the project shine. Plants and flowers can provide pops of color, while hardscapes such as pavers or bricks can be mixed with different colors for an exciting look.

2. Lines Guide the Eyes – You may want to include curves and rounded edges in your design or are looking for a more formal look with straight lines. Softening edges with plants creates a more natural feel that’s pleasing to the eye.

3. Pay Attention to Drainage – Make sure to plan for drainage so that your landscape doesn’t become flooded or deprived of water due to poor planning.

4. Create a Focal Point – Use hardscaping elements to create an eye-catching focal point in your landscape design, such as a pond, a fire pit, or a specimen tree.

5. Think About Scale – Keep the scale of your design in mind when planning out both landscaping and hardscaping elements.  There is a difference between dining in the middle of a basketball court vs. the intimacy of a pergola-covered patio.

6. Make sure your design matches or complements your house’s exterior.  You want the two environments to appear to flow together seamlessly. If, for instance, your home has a rustic exterior, choose natural stone and wood for your hardscapes.

By following these tips, you can create a cohesive and visually appealing outdoor space that combines both landscaping and hardscaping. With careful planning and creativity, your dream backyard can be within reach.

Picture of Great American Landscapes

Great American Landscapes

Great American Landscapes makes your dream design a reality. Our designers can help you get the most from your home and garden by designing an area that is both functional and beautiful.

Get A Free Quote Today!

Click or drag a file to this area to upload.

Recent Posts:

benefits of landscaping swimming pool area

The Benefits of Landscaping Your Swimming Pool Area

Landscaping your swimming pool area offers a range of benefits, including enhanced aesthetics, privacy, noise reduction, and increased property value. Discover the advantages of pool landscaping as we explore how it can transform your pool area into a stunning oasis. Dive into this article to learn more!

Read More »
Best Flowers to Plant in Howard County, MD, in the Summer

Best Flowers to Plant in Howard County, MD, in the Summer

Selecting the right flowers for your summer garden in Howard County, MD is crucial for a vibrant and beautiful landscape. Explore the top choices, including popular summer flowers, native plants, and annuals for shade. Let Great American Landscapes turn your yard into an enchanting oasis that will make your neighbors envious. Contact us today to bring your dream garden to life.

Read More »