What Are Hardscapes in Landscaping?

outdoor brick walkway

Think of your favorite botanical garden or your city’s prettiest outdoor park. Picture the paved trails that lead off into quiet, wooded areas. Envision the stone benches that line those pathways and the softly trickling fountains that drown out the sounds of local traffic. These elements are all hardscapes, or manmade features, that bring both beauty and functionality to outdoor spaces. In fact, the best hardscapes in landscaping are ones that serve dual purposes.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best types of hardscapes that you can add to your front or backyard, as well as their overall functions and benefits.

Types of Hardscapes

From paved walkways to outdoor kitchens to fire pits, there are a wide range of hardscapes that you can add to your outdoor space! A professional landscaper can even help you blend in hardscape elements into your natural landscape. If you’re brainstorming landscaping design ideas for your yard, you’ll definitely want to consider these top four hardscape elements:

Retaining Walls

Stone terraces with plants and shrubbery on a slope

Retaining walls not only look nice, but also have an important function. Most retaining walls are designed to hold back soil. They may also be used to terrace a slope or to help slow the runoff from rainwater. And, if they’re built to a comfortable height of around 18 to 24 inches, they can function as comfortable seating as well.

Patiosbrick patio

A beautifully designed patio can actually add resale value to your home. Plus, it gives family and friends a quiet and relaxing place to read a book, chat, or enjoy an informal dinner. There’s also no hard and fast rule that says your patio must be one-level. By adding steps, railings, fire pits, or water features, you can have the best backyard in the neighborhood, all made possible by innovative additions of hardscapes in landscaping.

Steps stone steps

Gorgeous stone steps can lead down to the street, up to your patio, or even to a lower level of your landscaping. Steps not only make it more convenient to reach a destination, but also keep your feet out of the mud, too. For an extra touch of beauty, you can also line them with pretty planters or decorative lights.

WalkwaysStone walkway

A paved walkway is a delightful and whimsical feature that you add to your outdoor space. Walkways can lead guests to your front or back door, to your garage, to your garden—the options are endless! You can create beautiful walkways from stone, brick, concrete, and other materials. When you work with a landscape design professional, you’ll have a better understanding of what type of material might be best for your project.

Benefits of Hardscapes

As we mentioned earlier, hardscapes are not only beautiful, but also functional. Different types of hardscapes exist for different reasons. For example, retaining walls help prevent soil erosion while walkways create safer, unobstructed paths for you and your guests.

In terms of aesthetics, hardscapes can become the focal point of your landscape, or naturally blend with other elements, painting one cohesive picture that can boost your curb appeal and property resale value.

Lastly, hardscape elements can also help you extend your usable space. You’ll be able to enjoy the outdoors more with an expansive patio or outdoor kitchen. You can even add a fire pit to make the cooler seasons more bearable.

Want Hardscaping Ideas? Call Design One Today!

Turn to Design One for landscaping design ideas, summer lawn care tips, and more. We’ve been helping homeowners and businesses in Michigan for over 30 years, and want to help you too! We specialize in hardscape installations and can help you find the right solution for your space.

If you have questions about adding hardscapes in landscaping, or want to request a consultation, please contact us today.

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