Hardscaping 101: What Is Hardscaping & 3 Ideas for Every Home

If you’re looking to accentuate the beauty of your backyard, look no further than hardscapes. There are many landscape design ideas out there, but hardscapes such as gravel, sand, and other decorative aggregates are low-maintenance, durable, permeable, and sustainable, making them a great investment in your home’s value.

Read on to learn more about why hardscapes are getting so much attention, as well as the multitude of ways in which you can use them for your next landscaping project!

What Is Hardscaping?

Hardscaping is the incorporation of non-living elements into a landscape design, such as natural stone patios, or retaining walls. These features are made from materials like natural stone, concrete, or wood and contribute to a functional and aesthetically pleasing outdoor space.

Hardscaping complements softscape elements, which include the living and organic components like trees, flowers, and grass, creating a balanced and well-designed outdoor area.
Besides adding visual appeal, hardscaping also serves functional purposes. For example, walkways and paths made from gravel or pavers provide accessibility throughout a garden or yard, while retaining walls can prevent soil erosion and create distinct sections within the landscape.

Natural stone patio - Lyngso

What Is the Difference Between Softscaping and Hardscaping In Landscaping?

The difference between softscaping and hardscaping is that softscaping primarily involves the design and maintenance of living elements such as plants, trees, and shrubs, while hardscaping focuses on the use of inorganic materials like stone, pavers, and concrete to create functional and decorative structures within an outdoor space. In essence, softscaping contributes to the soft and natural components of a landscape, while hardscaping provides structure and solid elements to the area.

The Many Benefits of Hardscapes

Think of hardscaping as an investment in your property, adding beautification` and functionality to the place you call home. Some of the benefits include using hardscape features to direct traffic and a guided path throughout your property, around your garden, water features, retaining walls, fire pits, and expanding your outdoor living space.

One of the most attractive things about adding hardscapes to your landscape design is that you’ll spend less time on traditional lawn care maintenance (i.e., weeding, mowing, etc.). This drives up your home’s value as homebuyers prioritize a low-maintenance yard in their home searching journey.

How Hardscaping Can Significantly Increase the Value and Curb Appeal of your Home

Think of hardscaping as an investment in your property for the future by increasing curb appeal with durable and long-lasting materials. If you have plans to put your home on the market, hardscapes are a great investment. Data shows that the majority of homebuyers take into consideration an outdoor living space when making their purchase. Generally, you can expect to get upwards of 20-30% of your investment back when you upgrade with hardscapes.

3 Hardscaping Ideas for Every Home

1. You’re on the Right Path with Path Fines

Path fines, also known as crushed fines or often referred to as decomposed granite, are a more refined crushed rock that can replace a grass lawn, help prevent weeds and offer low maintenance and natural-looking pathways at an affordable price. Path fines are easy to install and maintain because they are permeable and will allow water to percolate to the soil beneath it. Path fines can be used as a surface for patios, walking paths, lawns, and driveways. Path Fines are available in various colors to complement your landscape aesthetics.

Additionally, they provide a softened and elegant transition as opposed to concrete pavers. They are easy to install and only require that you ensure the surface is weed-free. If you decide to use path fines next to fences, walls or borders make sure you install edging or retaining material so that the path fines don’t scatter all over your yard.

Lyngso Garden Hardscaping - Pathfines

2. Get Creative With Crushed Rock and Decorative Pebbles

Crushed rock is another hardscape feature that can be used to accentuate your grounds. You can choose various sizes and styles to customize and complement your landscape design.

For example, you could go with classic granite rock, the natural elegance of glacier green, or the shimmering essence of crushed rose gold.

Decorative pebbles are another creative way to add visual and textural appeal to your yard or garden. Do you have a dry or neglected patch of unsightly lawn that you want to be covered? Pebbles can certainly do a good job at ground covering. They also work well over drain covers because they are permeable.

Consider using decorative gravel or pebbles in your xeriscaping or anywhere a desert dry garden look is desired. They are best suited for native or arid gardens.

Lyngso Garden Hardscaping - Pebbles

3. Use Boulders for Dramatic Effects

If you are looking for a dramatic effect, boulders are another timeless, natural resource that can be used for unique accents or for a larger project involving levels or retaining walls. Boulders come in a wide variety of shapes and colors.

You can also use boulders for natural outdoor seating or at the base of a fire pit for added functionality and ambiance. Another great aspect about boulders is that they’re unique (no two are the same) and make great conversation pieces.

Depending on the size, color, or texture you’re going for, many options exist to stoke your creativity. You can allow the style and size of the area in your yard to dictate their arrangement. When in doubt, call on one of our landscape design professionals to help you with your next hardscape project.

Lyngso Garden Hardscaping - Boulders

Final Thoughts

Now that you know a little more about hardscapes, some of the benefits, and some of the different types, please know that we are here to assist you with all of your landscaping needs, should you have any additional questions. For over 50 years, the Lyngso team has served the San Carlos area and can assist you in bringing your ideas to life.

Whether you’re an experienced landscaper looking for materials to upgrade your curb appeal or you’re brand new to landscaping or hardscaping projects, we are here to help you navigate the process efficiently. If you have any further questions about where to start with your landscape design ideas, please contact us, and we are more than happy to assist you.