Pathways, stairs, walls, decks, patios, and driveways are the bones of an outdoor landscape.  Outdoor design depends on these elements to create a successful and usable space. Hardscapes, plants, and trees are complementary design elements that create outdoor spaces that are livable and engaging. Done right, your hardscape design will provide you with an outdoor space that you will enjoy for years.

So what do you need to know about creating the perfect blend of hardscapes and soft elements in your landscape?

Get a Design

First, a design is crucial to making your outdoor landscape a place you love.  Designs are like maps; they give you an idea of where you want to go and what your end goal is.  Even if you don’t have the resources to do a full project, a design keeps you and your landscape professional on track if you decide to do your landscape in stages.

Create Balance and Flow

As you work with your designer, consider what the focal point of your design will be and how to balance those elements to create flow and eye-catching appeal. Discuss what the space will be used for and how to create an area that incorporates your lifestyle.  Curves and carefully proportioned elements gives balance and rest in a design. Too many angles, too many big rocks, poorly thought out plantings will destroy the natural lines of a space.

Consider Materials

Also, as you are considering your design you need to consider the materials and look you want to create a space you will love.  Elements can give a space a rustic look or can create a sleek mid-century modern outdoor feel. Decide what textures and materials suit your home and lifestyle the best. Design and landscape professionals can help you narrow your choices and find the best materials for your budget and design dreams.

Prep Your Area

Once you have the design in hand you need to prep the area.  If you are working with a landscape professional they will know the first steps to get your area properly drained and base material properly placed and compacted.  These two elements are crucial for the long term success of your design. Improperly drained areas can ruin patios and wash out planting beds. Poorly placed base materials can cause a patio to sink or a water feature to leak.  Even if you can’t see these elements they are like building a house without a foundation – it can only end in disaster. Avoid the heartache and frustration of replacing all your hard work by making sure that you have considered the underpinnings of your design.


Call a Professional

If you live on a hillside, have an existing creek or other unique elements on your property you will probably need to call in some professional help.  City and county ordinances vary and some of the fines for destroying or tampering with existing waterways can be steep. Hillsides can slide if walls and landscaping are not correctly installed.  Structural walls can fall if not properly planned. Greenhaven has extensive experience in installing structural hardscapes and working around existing waterways.