Manipulating terrain, adding certain elements to enhance your garden, and creating a space that emanates calm can be wholesome activities. Landscaping in itself can be an enjoyable activity. Hard Landscaping and Soft Landscaping are essential to achieving a good landscape design. While many are already aware of the essentials of the latter, Hard Landscaping is not talked about much. MPR Landscapes is here to provide the proper guidance to help you understand Hard Landscaping, its elements, and the advantages of incorporating these into your spaces.
❇️ WHAT IS HARD LANDSCAPING?
As the name suggests, Hard Landscaping refers to adding non-plant, hard materials which function as the foundation for Soft Landscaping. Hard Landscaping not only enhances the aesthetics but also adds to the utility value of the landscape. These spaces can be designed in any way, according to your preferences. It can get a bit extravagant depending on the area and the materials you choose but is worth it in the end!
Hard Landscaping should be your first thought when designing the space before you start building your garden on it. It also solves various problems such as water wastage, soil erosion, etc. Hard Landscaping is an essential part of garden aesthetics. You may want to be careful here, because hard landscape features are permanent. You cannot remove them easily and may require professional help. However, once incorporated correctly, they can provide practical solutions to your significant problems in Landscaping. You can always contact a professional such as MPR Landscapes for advice, plans, and choosing suitable materials. These outdoor architectural features can turn your backyard or garden into fun, recreational places.
THE UTILITY ASPECT OF HARD LANDSCAPING
Hard Landscaping is not only a decorative technique, but also lasts a long time serving multiple functions for your garden. Some of these functions will transform your space entirely and for good! For instance, hard landscaping plays a crucial role in water management and prevents water wastage. This water is often diverted to some other place or thoroughly distributed to ensure the well-being of the plants. The required materials can be eco-friendly and come in affordable price ranges. You may want to give off a luxurious vibe by adding statues in your space which can cost more. Moreover, hard landscaping prevents soil movement and erosion. You can utilize the walkways to provide a walkthrough in your space and guide people where you want them. Not to mention, it can protect your grass and shrubbery from footfall! It can be actually fun to play with all the textures, colors, and forms of hard landscaping features. A lot of experimentation can be done here when designing your own space – a testament to your creativity and personality.
❇️ VARIOUS ELEMENTS OF HARD LANDSCAPING
There are several elements of Hard Landscaping that you can add to landscapes depending on specific settings, which can be commercial or residential. They give structural form to the space as well as a basis for plantation. Here is a list of all the elements which can be either artificial or natural:
⭕ Water Features
Water features include fountains, ponds, and artificial waterfalls. They seem like a natural choice since these features complement the surrounding nature and plants well. Water is an essential factor in hard Landscaping to prevent wastage or provide moisture to surrounding plants. Fountains are made mostly of marble and do not require high maintenance. They act as natural humidifiers for your space, and who would not love to have a mesmerizing view of a feature like that?
⭕ Retaining Walls
As the name suggests, these are small vertical walls built to maintain material. These walls are durable and can be customized to serve individual aesthetic purposes. They help in soil management and damp control and prevent erosion. Not to mention, these walls are used for safety and also by forming boundaries!
Art has always been a crucial medium of expression for humankind, and adding a statue to your garden really tops it off. These architectural features stand out in your space and can be spectacular focal points. Sculptures hint at luxury and sophistication, but choosing just the right one as a statement of your personality might take some time.
⭕ Drainage Systems
Another important but underrated part of your landscape design. It has an underneath piping system that diverts water away much fast, preventing puddles and excessive water from standing on one point. This standing water can be ugly in your otherwise exquisite garden full of mosquitoes. Drainage systems offer a lot in utility prospect: it protects your soil from erosion and your foundation from water damage.
⭕ Garden Fencing
Fencing is a cheap, yet effective way to protect your garden from various threats. It is an excellent divider in shared community spaces and prevents animals from feasting on your garden produce. Wooden fences blend well with nature and would not rust, giving a fantastic view.
A paved pathway can give an elegant view of your yard. Walkways can highlight essential features in your garden along the way that people may otherwise overlook. These clear paths can be fun to walk on. You can experiment with various materials such as crushed gravel, limestone, rocks, or stones. You can also utilize these pathways for division in the area.
❇️ THE HARMONY OF HARD AND SOFT LANDSCAPING
Hard Landscaping achieves the perfect balance of beauty and utility when mixed strategically with Soft Landscaping. The two techniques work together to achieve an aesthetic landscape design. Greenery alongside features such as fountains and walkways adds character to the garden. There is no construction involved in soft Landscaping. You can utilize various colors, sizes, and shapes and plant the trees and flowers of your liking. Though, you may want to be aware of trees with invasive roots. They can do more damage than good. Varying these soft elements can give an entirely different outlook to your garden and house.
Imagine the sweet fragrance of vibrant flowers enveloping you while you are strolling on a walkway made of gravel; then, you see the art manifesting itself as a sculpture in the center of the garden. Behind you, somewhere, the soothing trickling of water in a fountain reassures you of all the peace in the world. A balanced landscape design invokes all your senses like that. In this way, both elements work together to create a harmonious, cohesive space where you can find peace.
❇️ GETTING THE PERFECT BALANCE
We cannot stress enough how important it is to balance hard and soft Landscaping to get just the perfect outlook. Having bright, vivid flowers in your garden certainly adds to the beauty but adding retaining walls or well-measured stone walkways can enhance this sheer beauty. There are some steps you need to plan when designing your landscape:
Before you dive into the details of your garden aesthetic, decide the purpose of your landscaping. Are you trying to make it beautiful for the eyes or do you wish to make it a fun place for children? Is it an exterior to your house, the focal point of the area, or a playground for your kids? The answers to these questions will allow you to have a direction you can work towards. You will be able to decide on a theme for your overall look which can be a great way to start on the aesthetics, especially if you do not seek to hire professional landscapers. Choose what features of both landscapes you want to add or play within your design. Too much plantation can give an unruly look to your place. To balance it, you can add fountains or pots.
Play with Water!
Water can not only be an attractive feature but can be used to provide moisture along the way to keep the plantation forever green. A balance here can divert and retain that water for soft Landscaping. Otherwise, you would see excessive water puddles that ruin the plantation.
Know Your Stuff
Another way to handle your garden is to ensure you know the functions of hard Landscaping. You can maximize these functions by making a design that uses the utility aspect. For example, you can use walkways or irrigation systems and plant drought-resistant trees. A bit of both can do wonders!
❇️ IDEAS TO TRANSFORM YOUR GARDEN
Now that you know the basics, we can give you some simple yet fabulous ideas to transform your garden. These projects are affordable and easy to do, but they can also metamorphose your landscape into something exciting and beautiful. Take a look at some excellent ideas that you can follow:
⭕ Adding Flowering Wherever You Like
Flowers are essential. You can make a flower bed or add pots and planters all over your garden. These planters can even be DIY using unused plastic or glass bottles. They come in all textures and materials, such as terracotta, concrete, or fiberglass. You can hang flowers in baskets in your lawn to make it seem more innovative and appealing to the eyes.
⭕ Using Flattering Lights
Another exciting addition to your trees is good lighting. It can transform your place into an entertainment space too! Here you can use outdoor lamps, LED lights, or even small fairy lights to give that subtle glow. You can also play with light and shadows to provide a visually appealing look to your landscape.
⭕ Adding Planters In Your Lawn
You can create different patterns in rectangular or circular forms by putting stone or gravel around trees or pots. It gives a refined, well-maintained outlook to your lawn. Planters can be very minimal, and making them aesthetic is not hard at all.
⭕ Placing a Fountain, Statue, and Garden Ornaments
How about combining fountains and statues instead of keeping both separate? You can add an artistic sculpture in the center of the fountain. It will give moisture to plants and define the theme of your place too. Having night lights adorn your fountain can be another amusing sight.
⭕ Make a Tree House
What do kids want in a garden? Tree house! A tree house will be a fantastic place for kids to make fun memories. You can either make a tree house yourself or contact professional landscapers to do it for you. These wooden houses go well with the site and can be used with various other garden ornaments. You can place a trampoline, swings, and slides to make your garden the go-to happy place for your children. It also allows you have a nicer and healthier family bonding time.
⭕ Minimal Aesthetics
Minimal rock sculptures can surely rock the look. They can be placed on small grass islands on the garden floor. It is a simple idea that goes a long way. You can make your garden look more aesthetic simply by adding minimal garden ornaments. If you do not have enough space in your lawn, you can get a garden ladder. Place some minimal sculptures along with potted plants to make the ladder look nicer. You can decorate it with wired lights to illuminate its existing beauty even at night.
⭕ Seating Arrangement
For the comfort of visitors or your guests, you can even add wooden or metal benches in the place. They can be stylish and make use of the space not currently used. It gives your garden a more interactive and less cluttering look. You can place it under big, towering trees that can also provide shade. Moreover, placing swing-like seating arrangement is a nice idea that you can use to make your garden prettier
Now that you know the basics of hard and soft landscaping features, you can combine both to form a graceful landscape in your place. Hard Landscaping is appealing and can do wonders to your garden without you even knowing. Combining hard and soft features can pull off the elegant look you want. Hence, Hard Landscaping is creative and blends aesthetics and utility well. If you were considering whether or not to invest in hard landscaping to enhance your garden’s aesthetic, we sure hope you found your answer by now! You should always contact reliable landscapers such as MPR Landscapes to make your dream garden come to life. No matter what your dream garden looks like or how big or small your gardening space is, MPR Landscapes can cater to your needs.