Hardscape is essential to your landscape design, but the degree to which you implement it varies greatly depending on your project. Firstly, what is hardscape? Hardscape is a term used to describe anything that involves construction and becomes permanent structure. From concrete paths and retaining walls to outdoor kitchens and in-ground pools, hardscapes provide structural integrity and create definition in your outdoor spaces.
When embarking on a landscape design project, there are essentially two types of hardscape scenarios: you either have a property with existing hardscapes or you have a new build where you’re starting from scratch. Sometimes the existing hardscape can be really fun to incorporate into the new design, like a historic tumbled brick pathway. But generally, people tend to make a lot of mistakes with hardscape design, and inheriting those can complicate your design project and bring up costs for you. Bringing on a landscape designer to assist with the hardscape design aspects of your project is always a good choice.
There is enormous opportunity in the hardscape components of your landscape design. An effective hardscape both creates parameters for your space and informs how you use it, drawing you to a view, for example, or guiding you to your fire pit. Whether for personal preference or geographic location, some landscape designs rely heavily on hardscape while others put more emphasis on plants. We find, for example, that hardscapes tend to bring heat to a space, so when we’re designing spaces in the Southwest, where it’s already quite warm year-round, we make sure to have more plant-focused designs.
Regardless of your project site, preferences, or constraints, the one thing you don’t want to do with hardscapes is make a mistake. Make sure to contact a designer for this phase of your project, if only for a consultation.