Most people have heard of landscaping, but they think it just refers to the grass, trees, bushes, and other living things in a yard or space. But think of a well-landscaped yard. Is it completely made out of greenery? No.
That’s where hardscaping comes in.
What does hardscaping mean?
Hardscaping is essentially all the “hard,” or structured, materials used in a landscaping project. Hardscaping is part of landscaping. (By the way, “softscaping” is the term used that encompasses all the living aspects of a landscaping project, as mentioned above.)
Hardscaping could include pavers, sidewalks, fences, gates, architecture, patios, driveways, decking, and so on.
Why is hardscaping important?
Sometimes, hardscaping is required, as is the case with a pool. A pool requires a deck around it. It may also require a gate, depending on your state’s laws.
Beyond that, hardscaping adds structure and interest to any landscaping project. Picture a flat yard containing only grass, trees, and some bushes. Now, think of a yard with hardscaped features: a deck with seating and a built-in firepit; raised flower beds or vegetable gardens; pavers winding through the rocks along the side of the house.
This second yard will be much more visually interesting than the first. It will also be more functional, with designated spaces set up for various activities.
How can I add hardscaping to my yard?
It’s easiest to add hardscaping to a yard when starting with a blank slate. That allows a landscape designer to truly create the yard of your dreams—starting with the hardscape and then filling in with softscape.
However, it’s entirely possible to add hardscaping to an existing yard as well. That said, hardscaping is not usually a DIY endeavor. Hardscaping can affect things like drainage around your home, which means if it’s done improperly, you could end up with costly repairs down the road.
If you think your yard could use some hardscaped touches, start by talking to a professional landscape designer. They can help assess your current yard and give you some ideas for upgrades you could make.
A yard isn’t all about the greenery. With the right hardscaping, you can create a functional and beautiful yard of your dreams.