When designing a landscape, many people focus on plants and trees. Landscaping, however, is a little more nuanced. You’ll need to add structure to the design to help the softscape (plants and vegetation) have a sense of balance with the rest of the environment.
Hardscape adds this balance by providing a happy medium of lush, vibrant plants with complex elements to create a sense of harmony. The result is a space you and your guest will enjoy when getting together. Or you can simply relax.
Join me as we explore what hardscape is and the various hardscape elements you should consider when designing your Long Beach landscape.
What is the Hardscape?
While trees, flowers, and other vegetation are called the softscape. The hardscape refers to the “hard” characteristics of your landscape. They are typically heavy, unchanging, and inanimate items. Balancing the hardscape with the softscape will result in a more aesthetically pleasing, balanced design.
Hardscape isn’t limited to one side of your yard. Many homeowners will have their backyard designed to feel more personal and relaxing. While the front of their home is focused on curb appeal to make their home look beautiful while increasing their property value.
As previously stated, hardscape is generally built with large unmoving objects. But they aren’t necessarily only for show. Many hardscape elements can be used to add useful features to your landscape, such as
- Walkways – Commonly trafficked areas can be made safer and more appealing by adding a walkway. Often made of stone slabs, a walkway can act as more than just a trail. It can contribute to the overall balance and flow of your landscape.
- Retaining Walls are typically used to prevent the earth from moving downhill, usually caused by water erosion. Many people imagine boring gray walls holding dirt back from falling over. Retaining walls can add valuable texture and color to your landscape design when using stones and boulders, while the top of the retaining wall can have a beautiful flower bed.
- Patios – stone patios can add unique and durable outdoor living space for years. Stone gives a rich and nuanced look to a patio. Natural stones come in various colors, sizes, and textures.
- Stairs – if your landscape has multiple levels, incorporating paver steps can help with the flow and balance of your landscape while serving a purpose. Much like walkways, many of the same ideas work for steps, as they are also a walkway with an element of height.
Only some of the hardscape in your landscape needs to serve a purpose, like a patio or retaining wall. You can add stones and boulders to fill in empty spaces or add a contrast to the vegetation in your design. Smaller stones and gravel can emphasize pathways or focal points in your yard.
They can also be used as focal points, like when nestled into garden beds. Boulders provide a natural way to add color and character to your landscape while requiring little or no maintenance.
How would you feel with a yard expressly designed to fit your unique home and personality?
Our staff is dedicated to delivering unique landscapes that 100% fit the needs of homeowners. Each yard is designed in-house by our landscape designer. Our expertise and experience in Long Beach, Lakewood, Seal Beach, Rossmoor & surrounding communities allow us to custom design the perfect landscape for you.