How to hardscape a yard Do's and Don'ts

We all want our own little slice of paradise. So, let's stop dreaming and start digging! In today's article we're going to dig deep and give you some pro tips on building your own hardscapes in your backyard.

DO mix textures and colors into your hardscaping, and do so in a way that complements your home's style. If your house is older and has more of a vintage aura, consider using more natural, stone-based hardscaping. If your home is newer, consider utilizing new, urban-modern hardscaping styles.

DON'T start working with new plants until you're finished with your hardscaping. Think of your hardscaping as the framing for your yard and the landscaping as the filler. Use the hardscaping to delineate the borders, lines, edges, and boundaries. Once the hardscaping sections are complete, fill in the empty places with plants and other landscaping accents.

DO consider drainage. While landscaping acts as a natural drainage system for rainwater, hardscaping can prevent rain from naturally absorbing into the soil as nature intended. When designing a hardscaped structure, consider using permeable paver systems. This new hardscaping technology allows water to pass through the pavers as though nothing were there. This is an eco-friendly approach to hardscaping.

DON'T opt for cheap materials. The hardscaping you install in your yard today will be in your yard for years to come. You don't want to work with cheap materials that don't last, that fall apart, or that deteriorate quickly. Choose high-quality materials. They may be more expensive up front, but their durability will ensure you have a hardscape that lasts much longer than a cheap one would.

DO be conservative. As a general rule, less is more with hardscaping. For example, rather than installing a walking path that is four feet wide, consider installing one that is three feet wide. Too much hardscaping makes an outdoor space look artificial and fake, almost manufactured or machined. Let the hardscaping be a light, pleasant accent that complements the beautiful greenery that is your private backyard oasis.

DON'T overplay OR underplay the hardscape elements. While landscaping should be the majority feature of any outdoor space, every yard should have some hardscaping aspects to it. But take your time and find the perfect balance of how much hardscaping to use. It's easy to use too much hardscaping elements or too little.

DO blend stones with bricks, pavers, and flagstones. Of all the hardscaping materials available to use, natural stones blend into an outdoor space the best. The human eye naturally accepts stones more than any other manufactured hardscape element, hence their value in an outdoor space. Consider using stones to border a paver edging path instead of paver edging or bricks.

DON'T forget to add lights! One of the beautiful aspects of hardscaping is the ease with which you can add lights to hardscaping. Be sure to install the lights while you're installing the hardscaping, not after. But once the lights are in, they're a low-maintenance alternative to landscape lighting.
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