Get On Top Of Your Fayetteville Landscaping Project: Create A Successful Hardscape Design

It’s every home or property owner’s dream to transform their empty yard into a majestic and appealing landscape. It’s like when the fairy godmother magically transformed the pumpkin into a beautiful carriage – everyone was left in awe and Cinderella was amazed as well. Oh well, if only transforming our yards into a fascinating masterpiece is as easy as waving a wand, I think everyone would live happily ever after. However, truth be told, landscaping, in reality, demands a lot from you and others who desire to build one: time, effort, attention, money, and patience. It needs hard work, determination, and perseverance despite the challenges that rise to the occasion. Of course, a successful never comes easy but it’s all worth it in the end.

 

Landscaping in Fayetteville is not easy as well, in fact, it can be challenging – but never impossible. It is usually difficult at first but in the long run, you’ll certainly get a hang of it. There would be a lot of things to take in consideration such as the main purpose of your landscape, your budget, the neighborhood, community guidelines, and of course a well-designed landscape plan which includes the basic principles of landscaping design. Landscaping is divided into two parts: the hardscape and the softscape. Incorporating these two can absolutely define the success of your landscape project.

 

Hardscape and Softscape Defined

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Understanding the parts of landscaping is an essential part of the entire landscaping project. It’s equally important as well to gain knowledge about the components of each part.

Hardscape refers to the heavy landscape materials being used in the landscaping such as stones, rocks, bricks and water-features. It is the part of landscaping which is usually the main component of patios, driveways, patios, arbors and gates. Hardscaping is usually done in the early stages of landscaping to accomplish the area’s add-on features and preferred shape.

Softscape, on the other hand, refers to the light materials used respectively in a landscape such as trees, flowerbeds, soil, vegetable gardens, grass, and other plants. It is also the living part of the entire landscape area. Softscaping adds color, texture, and appeal to the overall landscaping project whether it’s permanent such as evergreens or temporary such as seasonal plants or annuals.

 

Why Is Hardscape Important?

Hardscape is an integral part of every landscaping whether if it’s for business or residential properties. It comes before you start digging and planting. As what the expert landscapers say, a beautiful landscape is never complete without its hardscape components. The heavy materials make up the rest of the landscape and add up to its aesthetics, depth, and edge.

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Hardscaping is many things, but most of all, functional. In some cases, hardscape is also used to refer to some outdoor structures like retaining walls, but mostly the term still refers to paved spaces for the most part. It holds, retains, paves, encloses, protects, transitions, accents, and beautifies. Aside from that, it also gives more room for creative landscaping and paved areas which are beneficial in avoiding soil erosion.

 

With all of this in mind, you’re probably asking how to create a successful hardscape design that could make your landscape look more appealing yet functional? The answer would be a smart hardscape design. Hardscaping has a wide-ranged of materials used to achieve a beautiful landscaping such as stone, concrete, brick, and so on. It will also take a lot of time, energy, effort, and patience. Now, it’s time that you understand and learns how to create a successful hardscape design.

 

Learn How To Create A Successful Hardscape

Starting a landscaping project requires a lot from you in order for the best results to be derived. In as much as you plan for your softscape, you should equally consider a lot of ideas for your hardscape. Of course, you’d give anything to know and discover the secrets of the trade and come up with a successful hardscape design just like what you see on TV, brochures or even in catalogs. Isn’t that correct? I seriously bet on that.

 

Although we can’t all be good at the beginning, certainly, practice makes perfect and eventually, we’ll all be masters. An efficient and well-thought-out hardscape design incorporated with your wisely developed softscape is the secret. Now, you might be asking, how? Alright then, start your day by learning how to create a successful hardscape.

 

Evaluate The Site

Okay, so first things, first. Before anything else, it’s imperative that you evaluate the site where you want to develop your landscape and where you want to build it specifically. Take a walk around your yard and determine how much space you need for your hardscape. It’s better to consider taking a large portion or area if you’re thinking of adding chairs, tables, benches or any other features so that you can avoid your patio from being cramped in the end.

 

Contemplate on your design inspiration or any decors that you’d like to use for the hardscape and go over them with your landscape designer for suggestions. Be open about your thoughts when you share it with your designers so that they can get a full view of what you really want and listen to their relevant ideas. You can still adjust your softscape once you’re done with the hardscape, anyway.

 

Create Balance By Considering Your Landscape

One of the fundamental principles of landscaping design is the balance, and you should take it seriously. Hardscape and softscape are two different parts of every landscaping and there should be a balance between the two – no overlapping. In this phase, you have to be sure that everything you envision to add or include in your design complements and highlights the other.

 

In order to achieve balance, consider the entire area of landscaping as much as you can especially the area intended for hardscaping. Before you design the elements to include, be sure to ponder on the area. Remember, the hardscape should complement the softscape in order to accomplish a balanced look for your landscape, thus, it should be duly noted on your design. Divide the area evenly, create symmetrical and asymmetrical balance, and assign which element goes where while considering the overall appeal.

 

Make Room For A Focal Point

Focal points are very significant in every landscaping project, and when you are designing your hardscape, be sure to make room for it. A dramatic or a fascinating focal point can greatly benefit your landscape. By creating a focal point, however, you’re in effect telling the viewer what to look at first or where to direct their attention to. It provides a point of reference within the design where the eye can set its gaze and rest for a little while.

 

Focal points can be water features, ornaments, trees, outdoor furniture, and a whole lot more. For example, if you’re aiming for a more natural-looking landscape, focal points can be natural objects, such as rocks, ornamental lanterns or winding steps. Also, implementing benches, swings, or contrast of any other non-natural elements into the design is worth considering. Anyhow, focal points can indeed recreate your landscape.

 

Don’t Ignore Drainage

One of the most common mistakes in hardscaping is ignoring drainage requirements. Of course, before start employing your patios or retainer walls, you must plan how the drainage system of the entire landscape will be affected. Let’s say, you were able to achieve your desired walkway or patio, yet you failed to recognize the value of the drainage system, you’ll end up losing the softscape since the water requirements will be compromised. Thus, better think twice about it.

 

Furthermore, environmental factors must also be considered, such as planning runoff so that you can capture the water and use it on site. Otherwise, you’ll just waste water by letting it go down the pipe. Now, there are three types of drainage pavers that you could also benefit from permeable pavers, pervious pavers, and porous pavers. These segmental drainage pavers are environmentally friendly solutions for property owners who want beautiful hardscapes without harming the environment.

 

Keep The Greenery

Remember when we said that there should be a balance between softscape and hardscape? Well then, if you can still recall, then you should bear in mind to keep the greenery. Meaning, as you pay attention to the hardscape, don’t forget the beautification and the functionality. Although there are some landscapes which have little greenery, it only corresponds to the area’s climate and water supply. Let’s take the Southwestern people for example. Sometimes, they opt for a landscape without greenery due to the strong sun and too little water.

 

Luckily, the climate in Fayetteville is not as rigid. More so, you can have a beautiful hardscape framed by shrub and flowerbeds, and a small piece of lawn can be a good addition. Plus, you can incorporate hardscape with a patch of lawn and include other features to make the entire landscape area a comforting place and space where children can freely play.

 

Choose A Theme And Appropriate Materials

Alright, so we’ve mentioned the various design inspirations above and you can pick a theme that best suits your taste, then choose the elements that fit within your chosen theme. Once you’ve finalized that, you better stick to the elements and utilize the appropriate materials to meet your design. Select your materials wisely and it should complement your theme as well as your home’s interior and exterior. It’s not necessary to pick just one color or material for the entire design, of course, you can choose a contrast or complement or colors or materials to make it more visually attractive.

 

Moreover, please be reminded to contemplate on textual variety – it’s highly relevant. The texture is part of the fundamental principles of landscape design and considering it on your hardscape is a great idea. One of the most common examples according to experts is the flagstone underfoot and landscape blocks for low walls and a wood deck with stone or brick for hardscape.

 

Buy Extra Materials

Right after you’ve chosen your theme and the right materials for the project, remember to buy more than you need. Purchasing extra materials can be of great help especially to accent pretty beds with temporary edgings, or to add stepping stones or landings. The little extra your purchase will not go to waste anyway, it will certainly match the dominant hardscape of your theme. The materials don’t have to be expensive, just be wise in picking cost-effective supplies, and don’t cheap out. In the end, you’ll get what you paid for.

 

Now, there will be a lot of choices and options available for the materials. In picking the right materials, ask for sample materials and photos to review before you make a final choice. Each type of materials has its own advantages and disadvantages, and if you’re unsure about which type to pick out, discuss it with your designer. After which, you can decide what materials make sense for your specific project or theme.

 

Work With Professionals

The most important key of all is, to call in the experts. Hardscaping is not as easy as it seems and you must not underestimate the labor, time and effort that goes into it. Given this, you should work with a professional Fayetteville landscape company that can offer expert hardscape designers to do the job efficiently. There are a lot of companies to choose from, hence, you must pick the best one that could provide your specific needs and expectations. Get recommendations and check portfolios and references to help you decide.

 

Another important thing to do is to keep your communication open and frequent throughout the hardscape design project. Talk about what you want and make sure that your contractor company listens attentively and pays close attention to what you would like. Although DIY can help you save money, it’s still better to hire experts to guarantee the success of your desired hardscaping project.

 

 

Overall, to achieve a successful and majestic landscape in Fayetteville, you have to balance softscape and hardscape, deliberately select a theme and build around it. So, make sure to contemplate on what we’ve mentioned above and certainly, you’ll be on the right track. Don’t hesitate to ask professional help and advice from expert designers and landscapers. Their experience and expertise are crucial for the completion of your specific project and having them around can reduce the occurrence of errors. It’s understandable that you are looking forward to your accomplished landscaping project, specifically your hardscape design. Besides, a beautifully-designed hardscape is one that makes you comfortable, provides relaxation, and allows you to fully enjoy your property. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning now!

Plants Tom Hoff of Modern Landscape, LLC in Las Vegas Recommends for Vegas Landscaping

Iceberg Rose

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So many of the plants here in Vegas have such a short bloom cycle, that’s not the case with  the Iceberg Rose.

For over 50 years gardeners have been using Iceberg roses in their gardens and enjoying the almost year round floral effect.
This rose looks best when kept at about 3 feet wide and 3 feet tall. The rose is available in white, pink or burgundy.

Some care is needed occasionally to keep them in bloom. For the most part they are disease resistant.
Iceberg roses are a perfect fit for just about any style of landscape

 

You can plant them with rosemary and Italian cypress to create an old world Tuscan look, or try using them in urns next to Mediterranean fan palm and an Olive tree (pictured left) in the background for a Mediterranean feel.

For tropical landscapes try planting them in masses with royal blue cape plumbagos and Tropicana cannas.

Iceberg roses will also feel right at home in a cottage style garden mixed with garlic and salvia.

Mexican Feather Grass

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Its delicate and graceful leaves makes it the perfect plant for softening around boulders and less graceful plants such as Agave and Cacti.

Just the slightest breeze will put them into motion.

Mexican feather grass also works well in modern or contemporary landscapes.

Use them in groups next to the straight lines of a concrete patio or walk way. Because of their petite size you can also use them in decorative pots.

Unlike many of the grasses here in Las Vegas, Mexican feather grass needs very little maintenance or water once established. Occasionally clean out the clumps of seeds and old leaves that form on the top.

Parryi Agave

parryi-agave-225x300There are many varieties of agave that do well in Las Vegas, but most need a lot of room to grow, that’s one of the reasons I love the small Parryi Agave Truncata.

The Parryi Agave is a very slow growing agave to about 2 feet wide.

Because of its compact size and low water use, it’s a perfect fit for Las Vegas landscaping.

It has a very cool greenish-blue color with dark black tips.

 

sago-palms-150x150I love planting them in small groupings in either desert or tropical landscapes.

Try pairing them with sago palms (pictured left) for a unique look. They also make the perfect container plant in my contemporary designs.

Parryi agave are also very hardy and can withstand even the coldest Vegas nights.

Oleander

Oleanders get a really bad rap here in Las Vegas, but you cannot find a more universal shrub/tree that thrives in our climate.

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The oleander is available in red, pink, salmon and white. They are also available in dwarf sizes as well as tree form. So no matter the size of your yard, you will be able to add this beautiful plant to your landscape.

A lot of people tell me they are scarred of using oleanders because they are poisonous. While this may be true, but so are most plants in your landscape. Oleanders have a “toxic taste” to them so most animals won’t eat them and hopefully your pets and kids are not eating your plants and trees in the first place.

Another worry is pollen, but actually the pollen from oleanders are heavy and really stay trapped within the plant itself. Unless you are truly allergic to oleander then don’t let this stop you from using oleanders in some fashion.

In my opinion, there is not a better shrub in Las Vegas; from the wide range of colors and sizes, the rapid growth rate and hardiness–you can’t go wrong.

Oleanders are perfect for screening off from neighbors and adding a little privacy around your pool or patio. They fit right in just about any style of landscape. Try using them with Pygmy date palms and sago palms for a tropical oasis feel or use them as small patio trees in a Mediterranean landscape.

Palms

Born and raised in Southern California, Palms have been always been part of my personal landscapes… it’s a shame that some of Las Vegas neighborhoods are no longer allowing them to be a part of their landscapes.

I love every palm tree, from the large Canary Island date palms to the small shade loving lady finger palm (pictured below). For the most part palms are clean, low maintenance and stay green all year.

lady-finger-palm-225x300For large scale landscapes, you can use any of these large palms:

  • California Fan palm
  • Mexican Fan palm
  • Canary Island Date palm
  • Queen palm
  • Date palm

 

 

There are some great small to mid-sized palms as well:

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  • Mediterranean fan palm
  • Windmill palm (pictured right)
  • Sago palm (not actually a palm but on my list anyway)
  • Lady finger palm
  • Pygmy date palm

The pygmy date palms and queen palms do need protection from frost when the temperature gets down under 40 degrees.

I wrap mine in burlap the weekend after Thanksgiving every year and keep them wrapped till March 10th.

It’s so worth the effort.

Palms are all heavy feeders. If you do not have a fertilizer system hooked to your irrigation, get one! You will love it. I install about 100 systems a year to keep my landscape projects looking great.

Xylosma

Pronounced “zy-los-ma”. This great evergreen shrub is mostly overlooked in nurseries. What starts off as a sparse, straggly green plant, Xylosma turns into one of the healthiest looking green shrubs in Las Vegas.

I have used Xylosma in quite a few of my landscapes.

They start off kind of wild but after a couple years they turn into a great hedge, or small patio tree (I have one that is a 12′ tall umbrella shaped tree over my Koi pond).

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Xylosma can take heavy pruning to create just about any shape desired. They make perfect screens to hide pool pumps, A/C Units and block walls. Their glossy leaves look as if they were just wet down with the hose.

Great for a backdrop plant… planting Tropicana canna lily in front of them will show off great contrasting colors throughout summer.

Starting Your Own Hard Landscaping Project

Hard landscaping adds character and unique beauty to one’s outdoor.

This makes no two-garden the same as each feature is distinct from the other. Hard landscaping may seem easy to some as you just need to add stones and certain water structures but if you are not familiar with what you are doing, this may worsen the look of your garden.

What you think might be simple is no easy task, so it’s best to ask assistance from the experts to maximize the space and appeal of your place.

What is Hard Landscaping and the Different Elements?

This is the term used to describe the different hard construction materials needed to enhance the beauty of a garden by design. It is contrast to soft landscaping which is known to be using plants as materials. This is more than setting up drainage in your garden or adding pavements along the driveway.

In this venture you can choose among varieties of materials – rock, stone, concrete, brick, gravel, metals, etc.

Just like any other garden project or home improvement, there are lots of things to consider in ensuring the quality of the results. More often than not, this is the most expensive process to beautify your garden as it needs lots of materials, especially if you have a wide garden area. Most homeowners hire architects to guarantee that everything is well built according to their desire and design choice.

#1 – Planning Your Landscape

To incorporate all your desired functions and structures, a good lay-out is a must. Architects won’t start the project unless they are sure that you have approved the plan. In the long run, this will save everyone time, money and effort.

#2 – The Design

The best way to deal with hard landscaping is to avoid the temptation of decorating the nearest section of your house.

It is important to give way to the farthest portion to avoid hassles that you might encounter in the future just in case the trend changes or you find better materials and design appropriate for your front garden.

#3 – Furniture

Don’t disregard the presence of furniture and benches in your outdoor area. You never know, you might want to throw a party anytime so they can be of great use. Or if you just want to take some private moment alone with a great view, you can do that by having furniture in your garden or landscape.

#4 – Consider the Trees

If you have big trees around, don’t create a patio near it or else you’ll end up disappointed as it can dislodge the structure with its roots over time.

#5 – Strong Foundations

It is always essential to improve the foundations of your driveways and paths as more often than not, they tend to carry massive weights. Hardcore materials must be used or else it will break or become uneven which may cause unwanted accidents.

#6 – Use Quality Materials

A good architect understands the value of quality materials. However, they must not compromise the beauty of the entire landscape when choosing the materials to be used.

Landscaping Works

There are several hard landscaping works that can be accomplished before you can consider that your garden is well-built. A simple and plain area either in your backyard or garden can be made into a fantastic place to stay and have fun for you and your family. There is no limitation for hard landscaping – only your imagination.

  • Pergolas – this is quite similar to garden arbors but bigger in size. This structure is mostly used to support climbing plants or vines. This is ideal if you want to add element and stature to your garden.
  • Edging – this is essential to separate boundaries between your plants from your lawn or plants from other plants. You can be creative in your edging and use various materials like brick, stones, glass and metals.
  • Pathway Construction – it is important that you consider durable paving solutions that will last for years to come. You can choose materials that match your edging or garden structures to make it look uniform. Or if you want to have a unique appeal, try using contrasting colors and edgy materials.
  • Decking – your deck is considered as part of your outdoor area, this should not be disregarded as most decks are overlooking a good garden or view. Your garden will look even more interesting if it is connected to a lovely deck, so make sure to choose materials that are durable and easy to maintain.
  • Creating Fence – fence is used to screen or limit boundaries between two spaces. In the garden, this can be added if you want to secure a place for your own privacy or if you want to create a mystique effect from the public eyes. Either way, this is ideal to incorporate in your garden to add another texture and character.

Hard landscaping is more than just adding a focal point in your garden or a simple shelter – this goes beyond simplicity. A homeowner will never be satisfied with a garden without the element of hard landscaping; it is always partnered with plants.

No matter what design, color, texture, dimension and character you want to add in your garden, hard landscaping can make it possible.

Landscaping Your Garden around Trees

To successfully create a landscape that is personal and appealing, it is important that you check the entire site to look for a specific gardening theme or plant species that will inspire you to accomplish your landscaping venture. Oftentimes it can spark your thoughts which can help you come up with good ideas. A tree for example can be the focal of your landscape.

Landscaping around trees is quite challenging, most especially for those who are not familiar on how to combine the colors of flowering plants and foliage. You need to be creative to enhance the look of your garden with a tree as your focal point.

Fill Spaces around the Tree

It is not always that a tree is involved in a landscaping project. With a tree in the middle of your garden, ensure not to disregard the spaces around it. You have several plant options on which among the different plants are perfect on your garden spot.

There are varieties of plants that can be used to fill out the entire section underneath the trees. To achieve your plan, it is always good that you creatively experiment on what suits your garden best. You can choose to have ground cover plants to grow in the area.

Decorate it with Ferns

Ferns are one of the most favorite plants in the garden because it is easy to grow and appealing at the same time. The best asset of fern plants is its fine and soft waving foliage which can add texture to your garden landscape. Furthermore, ferns grow well even on shady parts as most section underneath the tree is not well penetrated by the heat of the sun.

A Garden within a Garden

Underneath your tree, you can decide on adding more flowering plants. This means that you can make another garden within a garden setting. Your garden will look lovely if you were able to transform the boring area into something worth a glance.

It is very essential that you use up almost all the parts of that area. It will show your ingenuity in establishing a great garden setup underneath the tree in your garden. Apart from the beautiful flowers and healthy plants in the garden, the focal attracts more attention. If you are going to plant annuals, then you have to redecorate the area once a year.

The process of landscaping an area around the trees is more rigid and intensive. It is somehow similar to transforming a small shady garden. In doing this kind of venture, there are some factors to be considered – the shady sections, plants to use and limited area. Landscaping a small area is quite hard so it is normal to perform some experiments before coming up to a decision.

Trees in your garden need proper attention just like any other parts of your garden. Don’t disregard them as they can help in making your garden more appealing. There is no limitation on what you can do to your garden, so be creative always. There is no wrong or right in landscaping your own garden, only beauty and fun.

Flagstone: The Best Material for Pavement Landscaping

Flagstone has been widely used today as a material in flooring outdoor areas – usually the garden, patio and driveway. With a number of flagstones available, varieties can be confusing so this article will mainly discuss what you should consider in choosing flagstones as the main material for your garden pavement. The colors to choose and design that would suit your garden style will also be discussed.

The good thing about flagstones is its ability to fit in whatever design – either rustic or contemporary. Also, it never goes out of style so you are assured that your driveway or garden is always on trend.

Fit it in

The color and design of the flagstones should jive with your house design. It is always important to make sure that everything works together as one. Uniformity is relevant to create focus and not overdo it. Before anything starts, complete designs, colors and flagstone sizes have been conceptualized.

Simple Considerations

There are simple yet reasonable factors that you should think about to get the right flagstones for your outdoor flooring venture.

  • Price – You must think about your budget since prices vary for these flagstones. They are sold in ton or pound and not by pieces.
  • Thickness – this might not be given enough attention but inappropriate thickness can result to loss of time and money. Thick flagstones are also known as lay-down because they can directly set on soil without any mortar while thin flagstones are used the other way.

Informal or Formal

For rustic or informal style of design, choose flagstones that have rough edges with assorted shapes that complement each other so it will have a great overall look after the installation. On the other hand, formal setup means polished and fitted stones. Usually, stones are cut with a saw to have simpler edges.

Garden Pathway

Though patio installations are more rigid compared to garden pathways, style is important. Usually, they are laid in a mosaic manner or end to end arrangement for narrow pathways.

In addition during installation, do not forget to walk in them to feel if they are easy to walk on and whether their gaps are comfortable for normal strides. If you are planning not to use mortar, make sure to cover the spaces in between them with low grasses or mulch.

Step by Step

Apart from using these flagstones as flooring for pathways, they are also conveniently installed for steps. Flagstone stairs create an organic look in the garden making it more stylish. They create each step secured and stable – usually lasts for a long time.

The Drama

A garden has to keep a drama to be remembered. Colorful and great arrangements of flowers are given, but adding drama into it adds fascination. Design your focal point with flagstones – combine various shapes to create a masterpiece. A structure can add thickness and texture to the entire place.

Seats and Tables

Staying outside is more fun if you have seats and tables installed. Usually, steel or wooden fixtures are placed outside for a normal garden setup. To make it interesting, why not stack flagstones to your desired height and cap it with smooth capstones to sit on. This way, you are creating your own seats and tables uniquely.

It can be a bit tricky, but if you able to surpass the challenge there is no doubt that you will get attention from your family and visitors. You can go with the same flagstones that are in your patio for a monochromatic appeal but if you want to have distinction, choosing different colored flagstones are fine.

Flagstones are the most common material today, price and installation wise. So, it is just your creativity that will make you different from the rest.