What is Hardscaping?

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At a basic level, hardscaping consists of the non-living elements of your landscaping. This can include brick patios, stone walls, or even a wooden arbor or pergola. Hardscaping is one of the two major subcategories that make up your landscape (the other being softscaping). Often, hardscape is composed of materials like brick, stone, concrete, wood, and metal. However, hardscaping, or hardscape, can also include water features like ponds and fountains. Read on for a crash course on hardscaping!

Examples of Hardscape Projects

Just about any decorative or practical structure in a landscape can be considered hardscaping: from driveways, to fences, benches, and more! Your hardscape is an important part of any landscape design, as it provides definition and an overall sense of organization to the natural aspects of your landscape. Hardscaping can also define the use of a space, like a driveway, or it can lead visitors through different zones of your softscape, as with a concrete or gravel path that winds it’s way through a grassy area into a secluded garden. There are many ways to enhance your property using hardscape! Below are just a few examples:

  • Retaining walls can create planting areas or convert a slope to a flat yard space
  • Stone or concrete walkways are ideal for garden paths or to provide access to a sitting area with a firepit
  • Gravel paths provide a “softer” alternative to brick, concrete or solid stone.
  • Concrete patios are the classic, low-maintenance, and versatile patio option
  • Brick paver patios can offer an upsale look to your patio
  • Stone landscape steps use heavy stone slabs to make functional, natural outdoor steps
  • Metal fences can add to your landscape’s beauty when used properly
  • Wooden fences are the classic option for many homeowners
  • Wooden decks are also considered hardscaping, much like stone or concrete patios
  • Wooden arbors or gazebos can enhance your landscape and provide the added functionality of shade
  • Pergolas are arbor-like structures that can be attached to a house or other building, though they can stand alone as well

Water Features as Hardscaping

Water features used in your yard are also a part of your hardscaping. Water features can take a variety of forms, both with and without the use of fountains:

  • Stone Fountains
  • Ceramic Fountains
  • Inexpensive DIY Fountains
  • Clay Pot Fountains
  • Recycling streams

Small water features may include the use of a pool, often made with a preformed, rigid plastic liner. With larger features, a nice alternative is a flexible, rubber liner that will allow you to make pools or ponds of almost any size or shape. Growing landscaping plants in and around a water feature is a fantastic wat to integrate your hardscape and softscape elements.

Working on Hardscape Projects

Installing hardscape yourself can be very hard work! Most homeowners will opt to work on their hardscaping during favorable weather – during Spring, Fall, or the moderate days of Summer. However, even under the best weather conditions, and depending on the size of your project, they can be downright GRUELING to complete. Thomas Concrete & Landscape is here to help! We have years of experience working on both softscaping and hardscaping projects! Not to mention, some hardscape projects are too physically demanding to complete with manual labor alone and may require the use of heavy equipment! Thomas Concrete & Landscape has the equipment you may need to complete your hardscape project and save you the hassle of doing it yourself & buying or renting the equipment. Contact us today to discuss your project and get started ASAP!



Thomas Concrete offers professional concrete, lawn maintenance, landscaping, and snow removal services throughout SE Wisconsin.