If your lawn and garden area is full of lush, thriving trees, shrubs, herbs, and flowers, you're probably proud of it's appearance and of all the hard work you've put in to get it that way. However, you may also have a nagging feeling that it's missing something, but you can't quite put your finger on what that might be — and that something could very well be hardscaping elements. Hardscaping is anything that provides aesthetic appeal and/or functionality to your outdoor living space that isn't in the form of vegetation. It provides dimension, texture, and boundary definitions. The best hardscaping combines functionality and appearance. Here's how you can make it happen:
Paved pathways can be installed using a variety of materials, including brick, cobblestone, and polished concrete. Design possibilities are almost endless. Some homeowners prefer the sophisticated appearance of polished concrete, while others like to create a picturesque ambiance with old-school cobblestone. Paved pathways also protect your shoes from mud and other debris as well as protect your lawn from the damage that heavy foot traffic can cause.
Decorative arbors provide a delightful way to dress up the entrance to your property or introduce a backyard herb or perennial garden. You can grow vining plants up and over them, such as rambling roses, clematis, or even switch it up every year by planting different vining annuals such as morning glory and nasturtium. During winter, you can keep things interesting by stringing holiday lights on it.
Garden benches give you and other household members a relaxing place to sit, read, dream, or simply get a rest from lawn and garden chores will enjoying the sunlight on your face and listening to the birds sing. If you opt for a wooden bench, choose one made of weather-resistant wood such as teak or cedar. Stone benches are good choices for areas that receive significant amounts of precipitation — you can always add cushions for softness during the warm season.
Waterfalls, ponds, fountains, and raised birdbaths are just three appealing ways to turn your backyard into a personal oasis by adding water features. If you're a nature lover, you'll spend hours enjoying the antics of your feathered friends as they splash in the birdbath, and if you could use a serene respite in your life, a flowing fountain or waterfall provides soothing sounds and serendipitous visuals.
Other hardscaping possibilities include garden statuary, trellises, decorative gates and fences, pergolas, and footbridges.