Supply Choices For A Beautiful Landscaped Property

The most uninspiring landscape to work with is not rough and tough terrain but a boring flat lawn. Sloping grounds provide natural contours while level plains need artificial enhancements to create depth and texture. Here are some landscape supply materials, sorted by size, that help design a vibrant yard.

Boulders

Large rocks from your local landscape supply help add dimension to your landscape. Slightly smaller ones can be used to form a slope or even a waterfall feature. Thick slabs can also be used as walls or as raised ledges for potted plants and orchids.

Pavers

Paving stones form an embossed pathway that puts the rest of the yard on lower ground. This landscaping staple gives the illusion of height the further away they are from each other. Pavers can also be stacked to create knee-high ledges or retaining walls.

Gravel and Stone

When it comes to stone or gravel supplies, there are several options. Smooth and round pebbles can be used for aquatic highlights and barefoot pathways. Jagged and colored edges can be used on other surfaces for contrast and gradation.

Sand

Create different overlays to your backyard by sectioning it off with different colors and sizes of stone and sand. Depending on your concept and landscape supply availability, paint your scenery black, yellow, brown or even red, white and blue.

Topsoil and Compost

Sand may look pretty but only plants that are used to arid or desert climates can survive on it. For your gardening and lawn grass needs, order compost and topsoil from your local landscape supply. These contain the minerals and nutrients your plants need in order to grow.

Mulch

A topsoil or compost based supply may not be enough for the sensitive garden plant. An added blanket of mulch is needed to retain moisture, stave off erosion, and nurture the soil. Mulch has a decorative function as well with the various colors that they come in.

Fill Soil

The last three options mentioned above can get very expensive and this is where fill soil comes in. This layer may not be visible on finished lawns but landscaping artists need it to create the artificial height and depth. It is the basic foundation for all landscaping supply soils.

Add your own touch to the grounds by not limiting yourself to the landscape supply choices listed here. Know the tools available to you and then have fun with it. Make the backyard uniquely your own.

The Elements of Landscape Design – What is Hardscape Design and Hardscaping?

Many homeowners are familiar with landscaping and associate the term with a well groomed lawn and a pickup truck full of men with great tans and dirt under their fingernails…they work for a living!

Landscaping is synonymous with cut grass, weedless flower beds, and pickup trucks parked out front once a week. Interestingly, landscaping and landscape design has taken on a whole new face. With the integration of hardscape design and hardscaping, as well as water feature design and creation, a full-service landscaping firm is about so much more than cut grass and weedless flower beds!

Interestingly, and particularly for the uninitiated, the term “hardscaping” or the phrase “hardscape design” may be as familiar as Swahili or Afrikans to the average property owner, commercial or residential, in the United States.

Hardscape design and hardscaping is a subcategory of landscaping that refers to the usage of inanimate objects in landscape design. As the subcategory implies, hardscape design and hardscaping refers to “the hard stuff,” components such as metal (i.e., iron), brick, stone, concrete, and timber.

Hardscape design is just that, the design process, creating a plan to integrate inanimate objects into a hardscape. Hardscaping includes patio and deck construction, the creation of a stone or brick walkways, stone wall construction, creating a wooden fence or gate, and so much more. The application of hardscape design and hardscaping is limited only by the design team’s imagination.

Significantly, hardscape design and its implementation, hardscaping, is not limited to large-scale undertakings. In fact, any metal, stone, brick, or concrete decoration integrated into your existing landscape is hardscaping.

When planning a big project from concept through design and on to construction, it is crucial to consider both hardscaping and softscaping elements. Creating the proper plan, considering all aspects of an intelligent, well thought-out landscape and hardscape design is crucial to its success.

A question that must be addressed early on is what comes first?

Do we begin with the hardscaping or the softscaping (the landscaping)?

In most cases, it is advisable to begin with the hardscaping elements because they are the easiest to work with. By beginning with the hardscaping, you lessen the risk of injury to the softscaping (the plants), which may be damaged or destroyed by the physical exertion required by most hardscaping projects.

When integrating hardscape design elements into an overall landscape design, many favor curved objects instead of straight lines. By recognizing how hardscape and softscape elements compliment each other, an aesthetically pleasing design is the end result.

Creating curved walls and walkways may soften the landscape, counteracting the harsh, straight lines offered in most housing construction, sidewalks, and driveways. Consider a curvilinear walkway or path of stone to break up an area and create visual interest. Consider a water feature, flower bed, shrub or tree line, balanced with just the right hardscape elements.

Creating a curving path or walkway will also allow you and your visitors to wander through your landscape, taking in and enjoying the experience and the view.

Balancing landscape design and hardscaping, along with water features, into a unifying theme and a complete presentation is the real value of a full-service landscaping firm. Understanding these elements and how to apply them is crucial to your landscape design firm’s success.

Planning Walkways in Your Landscape

Walkways are a great way to enhance the look and safety of the outside of your home, and incorporating them into your landscape design plans is easy. But there are several things you should keep in mind when planning walkways for the outside of your home.

For one thing, take a look at the outside of your home and observe the natural paths that you and your family use on a regular basis. You want to be sure to have your new walkways installed along those paths since those are the ones your family is already used to using. That way, when planning your new landscape design, you don’t have to worry about breaking your family of any bad habits of walking through your flower beds since there will now be a walkway where they are used to walking.

Keep in mind that any curves or steps you have installed in your walkway will probably add to the landscape design and installation costs. If you really have your heart set on some steps or a fancy curve, make sure you budget for that and recognize that this could drive up how much you end up paying. If you are working within a tight budget, keep the walkway as straight as possible.

However, if the walkway needs to slope more than 10% or so, then a curve or some steps will probably be a necessary part of your landscape design. And sometimes steps or curves in a walkway can look a little boring, so you can enhance the look of the walkway by adding flowers or other landscaping elements to the curve or steps. This will make it more pleasant for you and your guests to look at and walk past.

In this day and age, decorative and stamped concrete are more popular than ever. Thanks to advances in technology and methods of installing concrete, you can get pretty creative with decorative concrete these days. You can make your walkways quite interesting and eye-catching if you have them made out of decorative or stamped concrete. But the more intricate the concrete, the more it will cost, so be sure to budget accordingly for that in your landscape design as well.

After your new walkways have been installed, you might want to look into having small shrubs or flowers planted along the edge of the walkways. Just keep in mind that you do not want to plant anything that will grow too tall. Try to keep those plants to around two feet high or shorter so they do not overwhelm the walkway or cause people to feel too crowded. Plus, smaller and less imposing plants will make it easier for you to carry groceries and other items into your home. You won’t have to worry about knocking into the plants and damaging them.

Finally, try to plant a variety of plants and flowers along your walkway, and try to find ones that bloom throughout the year. That way, you and your loved ones always have something pretty to look at when walking in and out of your home.