If you're looking out into a big backyard and are already thinking of a pool, waterfall, living space and other things which don't relate to plants or grass, you're thinking about hardscaping. Hardscaping involves bringing brick, concrete, stone and other materials into a natural space to create finished areas for sitting, playing or relaxing. How can you hardscape your yard effectively?
Even if you don't yet have the budget to complete the entire yard, planning the whole space before taking action is important. You might really want to create a patio with a fireplace now, but what will you do with the rest of the space? If you're planning on installing a deck, where will other activity happen? Having some idea of how the entire yard will be used can enable you to be more coherent and consistent with the overall look of the yard.
Be Mindful with Materials
Remember that putting lawn chairs and tables outside can be a recipe for disaster if you're only considering materials that work indoors. Remember that rain and sun can affect the way furniture and other objects age. Select materials which resist sunlight and moisture. Consider using sofa cushions which can be zipped into plastic or vinyl cushion covers, for example. If you want to put a roof over a patio area, consider corrugated metal slats. The metal will block out strong sunrays and slats will give the area a more open, breezier feeling.
Stone, concrete, gravel and brick can be mixed to create something that looks visually stunning. .If you're considering a concrete pad, for instance, consider putting bricks around the perimeter.The brick will provide a clearly delineated area and the space will look more finished.
Even if you are focused on the hardscaping aspects of your yard, the softcaping aspects--trees, grass, flowers and shrubs--are also important. Consider how your deck will look lined with flowers, for example. If you're going for a space which extends your living area complete with couches and a coffeetable, plan for a beautiful floral centerpiece on the table or some shrubs to line the edge.
To complement hardscaping elements, remember to make the most of various lighting. For example, using candles to line a concrete walkway can transform how it looks. Installing flood or track lighting can make hardscaping elements beautiful and useful at night.
Your experimentation with hardscaping can make the backyard a place you spend even more time in. Discuss your yard plans with landscapers who specialize in this kind of work, such as at Southern Landscaping & Construction Inc.