Understanding Hardscape

A Professional Landscaper Explains it All

For most people, a landscaper is someone who deals with lawns and flower beds. However, they often forget an essential part of the duties of a landscape designer – the hardscape. Most designers use the word hardscape to refer to paved areas, paths, decks and patios – things that do not involve planted material.

Hardscaping is not as simple as it seems. Making a hardscaping plan involves a set of choices and considerations.

First, you should think of the look, feel and function of the hardscape. Paths should be at least 5′ wide to provide enough space for a person or a wheelchair. Wider paths can accommodate more people and create a grander feel. Don’t forget that some surfaces can be slippery in the winter. You may want to combine hardscape materials, depending on their function. For example, you may want a seashell pathway that leads to a naturalized coastal garden, and a brick walkway for your formal entry.

Here are some general rules to consider when designing your hardscaping plan:

Hardscaping and structures should be implemented first. Plan out your hardscaping before you think about the lawn or choose your plants. Identify which areas are less suitable for plantings and use them for hardscaping. Besides its use for gathering areas and pathways, hardscaping can fill in to create a rock garden effect in places where there are not enough plants. Think about hardscaping when:

  • You have overly wet or dry areas (for wet areas, don’t forget to maintain permeability)

  • You have areas that are close to or on top of utilities

  • You have sunny or shady areas (you may want to have a shady spot to sit, or an area where you can enjoy sunshine)

If you need a landscaper to help you with your hardscaping, consult Edv Landscapes. Our company is located in Falls Church, VA, and has been serving the Fair Fax County since 1989.

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