One of the most popular trends in residential landscape design is replacing wide expanses of lawn with hardscaping.
What is hardscaping? It’s the use of hard materials such as pavers, concrete, rock and stone, but it can also involve landscape timbers and metal.
Hard materials such as concrete, rock, pavers and stone do not require any replacement and can be a helpful addition to any yard. One of the biggest benefits of hardscaping is that it requires very little maintenance once it’s put in. And when installed with a professional landscape design flair, these materials can bring the value to your home as well as an attractive appeal to your property.
The Remedy: Hardscaping
Are you having trouble with growing grass or even plants due to poor soil composition? Have you found that an area of your yard stays wet for long periods of time? Hardscaping may be a great way to solve these issues. The materials that are used for hardscaping absorb heat from the sun and in doing so they will dry the soil that is near as well as under the material. Concrete has the same effect on the soil around the area.
Have ever noticed how quickly a wet driveway has become dry right after it has rained? Perhaps you’ve seen that once it stopped raining and the sun came out it really does not take much time at all for that driveway to dry. The next time you see a rain storm pay close attention to the roads – you will notice how the rain hits the hot pavement, then turns into a vapor that goes back into the atmosphere.
Hardscaping can be a good solution to areas that are prone to standing water, but it won’t be very attractive all by itself. In order to have a good balance you will need plants.
Planting: Knowing Where To
Putting live plants inside of or next to hard rock areas is not considered to be a very good practice, as the results of doing so are not generally positive. Remember, rock absorbs the heat that comes from and will dry the soil around it. But there are many options for adding plants around hardscaping – raised beds, container plantings, of even adding water features to compensate for drier ground.
Too much hardscaping can ultimately lead to what is known as a “heat island effect.” This is when a surface that was once permeable as well as moist turns to be impermeable and dry. Proper planning is necessary in order to reduce the chances of causing an effect like this. You can check out our easy guide on hardscaping to learn more.
If you are considering adding some hardscaping to your yard, contact us at Architectural Landscape Design. We can answer your questions as well as come up with a custom design for your yard to solve issues, cut down on your yard care chores, and add to the beauty and functionality of your outdoor space.
Right now we’re scheduling free initial in-home design consultations so that you can get the process going. With a good plan in place, you’ll be ready to have your hardscaping installed as soon as spring comes.