Hardscape is not a word commonly known to homeowners. It refers to the hard stone or wood details in your yard. For example, you may have Tuscan-style stone walls instead of a wooden fence, while still incorporating a gazebo and wooden deck into your backyard. These are hardscape elements. This article can help you find the right aesthetic balance between hardscape and landscape elements in your yard.
The Smaller the Yard, the Less "Hard" You Want
If you already have a very small yard, you do not want to overwhelm it with lots of stone footpaths, sidewalks, pool decks and other hardscape elements. Instead, consider using stepping stones if you want some decorative masonry, or stone statuary in key positions in your yard. Bird baths and gazing balls are also considered hardscape elements, so maybe you could incorporate these instead of an overwhelmingly large stone patio.
Unique Hardscapes Should Not Go Overboard
You have seen a yard or two that this applies to. People who go overboard using dozens of pretty colored bowling balls to create a hardscape or far too many pink flamingo statues are just a couple of examples of unique but extreme hardscapes. Certainly, it creates an interesting and head-turning scene, but what does it do for the property values? You could actually drive down the value of your own home as well as that of the neighbors by a gaudy hardscape, so be careful what and how much of decorative elements you use.
Always Add Landscapes to Hardscapes
Wherever you create a footpath, add flowers or bushes along the border. Put more flowers, trees and bushes along a fence, regardless of whether you choose stone, wood or vinyl. Only use an arbor if you plan on planting climbing flowers or grapes. A bare arbor with no flowers or vines around it appears as though it is there as an afterthought, and not part of the overall landscape. Keep in mind to use color schemes that compliment each other too, as it is pleasing to the human eye.
There are landscapers and hardscapers that can help you plan out all of the decorative features of your yard. Hiring a professional means the job will not only be done correctly, but you will have that perfectly balanced look to your yard and increase your property's value too. Since some hardscape features require some masonry knowledge and skills, you may feel more comfortable leaving these details up to the professionals anyway.