Hardscaping is a very popular preference when landscaping, especially with lack of water combined with the heat during the summer months here in Hill Country, Texas. Hardscaping involves outdoor areas that are not plants, flowers and grass. Hard landscaping includes driveways, walkways, patios, decks, retaining walls, fountains, pools, fencing, etc.
A variety of long lasting, low maintenance materials are used. These may include concrete, rock, stone, brick, gravel, glass, timber, pavers, natural stones, etc. Outdoor furniture, flower pots and the like are also considered 'Hard Landscape'.
Beginning with curb appeal, the drive is the first impression visitors have, not to mention our own "welcome home". The front drive should be pleasing and attractive as well as durable. A unique option is natural stone for drives and walkways alike as this choice will last a lifetime with little maintenance. There are different natural stones to choose from, in all sizes, shapes, textures and colors.
Limestone is ideal for patios. It comes in a variety of colors and has a laid back look. Travertine is related to limestone. Its porous characteristic makes an excellent choice for walkways. As with limestone, there are many color choices. Slate is a good option for pool decks as it is water resistant and is available in rustic shades. Natural stone can withstand temperature changes, impact and most importantly, the test of time. Artificial stones are available, and may be less expensive, but will not compare in endurance and beauty of natural stone.
Pavers are also a great option for walkways, as they allow creative curves to create eye appealing patterns. Pavers are an excellent choice for hot, dry Texas weather as they are durable and require little maintenance. In the event one is damaged, each piece can be easily replaced.
Adding focal points such as fire pits, fireplaces or water features, such as fountains can convert a patio to a true outdoor living space. Creative hardscapes are not only beautiful to look at, but enjoyable to sue as well. They are also more economical in the long run, being virtually maintenance free after installation. When considering southern landscape, hardscaping is a beautiful, low maintenance addition to any outside area.