Not many people have heard the term ‘hardscaping’ so what exactly does it mean? We have all heard of Landscaping and perhaps Softscaping. However, Hardscaping means something slightly different.
Softscaping is limited to items such as plants, soils and mulch as well as compost, trees and shrubs.
Hardscaping refers to the use of ‘hard’ materials and structures that are incorporated into a landscape or area. Materials used in hardscaping are products such as pavers, garden walls, garden edging, retaining walls, garden paths, concrete blocks and concrete sleepers.
Landscaping refers to the changing of an area of land and includes both softscaping and hardscaping elements.
The benefits of hardscaping
As hardscaping is a form of a permanent structural component like paths, patios, walls and decks. These are a long-term investment in the functionality and aesthetics of your home. This therefore adds value and appeal to your property.
Hardscaping elements are little to low maintenance. They do not require constant watering, mowing, pruning or sun. Hardscaping is also seen to increase the value of your property as these items are generally permanent fixtures. As a result they maintain their appearance in most conditions. However, softscaping can change, die or turn brown in summer or extreme heat.
Breeze blocks, concrete blocks or designer blocks and bricks can be used to create privacy areas, help separate boundary lines or spaces and you can build some stunning and practical spaces in your yard such as seating areas or fire pits.
You can create visual appeal, depth, texture and diversity by adding hardscapes to your yard. Instead of just greenery, tree, shrubs, bushes and lawn, hardscaping provides hard edges, lines and dimensions to your landscape as well as functionality.
The importance of hardscaping
There are many reasons why hardscaping should be part of the overall landscaping of your home. Retaining walls, concrete sleepers and gardens walls are important hardscaping structures for sloped areas and retaining soil and creating clear and defined lines and spaces in your yard and gives dimension and texture. Paths and stepping stones protect your lawn from too much foot traffic. Incorporating hardscaping products provides you with much more creative landscaping appeal.
Tips for hardscaping your yard
Get ideas and get inspired
Get ideas by driving around and looking at what other homes have done with their yards. Visit public gardens, search online or look at pinterest. Look at nurseries to get inspired on what you can incorporate and how to design your space. Consider features and functionality (paths, paving, sheds, veggie patches, fire pit, water features etc) and how you want your space to work for you.
Make a plan
Draw up a rough layout of your space you will be working on and mark out your larger items or features and then work around these. Consider all aspects such as sheds, barbeque spaces, paving etc and note any water, electrical or gas services that may be underground. Patios, paths, retaining walls and garden walls should be noted in this initial stage along with your choice of materials for each. Then mark out areas for planting and various vegetation including considerations for drainage or watering systems.
Consider going with a theme to create a cohesive aesthetic appeal to your space. If you have a small area to work with, consider lighter colours to create the illusion of a larger space. Large format pavers can actually make a space look bigger. You can also use your fences for vertical gardens. For larger spaces, using stepping stones or pathways between your different areas creates a connection. Your theme will also help you decide on the materials and colour scheme to make choosing your products easier.
Ensure you set a budget upfront. It’s easy to get carried away with your project but if your budget is limited, this will help ensure you stick to it! Some of your hardscaping jobs may require install costs for there are a lot of resources where DIY could be an option for you.
Chat to the pros
At APC, our staff can help you through this process by helping you select your products based on functionality, features, colours and budget. We also have a range of DIY resources available both on our website and instore to help you with any of your hardscaping jobs.
You can also visit us at APC to talk with our expert staff or if you’re ready to look at purchasing your products, you can shop from the comfort of your home by getting a quote online. Whether it’s ‘DIY Hardscaping’ or ‘Do It For Me Hardscaping’, it really is as easy as APC.