Tips To Design Fun & Functional Hardscapes
In every landscape, there are features that we call hardscaping. This includes patios, retaining walls, and other landscape features that aren't alive. It isn't easy to figure out the design of a landscape. You may know you need a patio or need a retaining wall to route rainwater, but what shape should it be in and what should it be made of?
If you can take a moment to use your imagination, you'll be half way along to creating a gorgeous landscape design for your property. Imagination is a key element in all designs. But unfortunately, some of us have to work harder at it to get the ball rolling on the creative side of our minds.
One of the best tools you can use to get your creative juices rolling is a little bit of meditation, but not in the way that you would most often think. All you need is a quiet place with no distractions where you can quietly close your eyes for a few minutes just for time to think by yourself.
Of course, one of the best places to do this is by going outside and sitting in your current landscape or lawn. Just be sure when you're out there that you are comfortable, not too hot and not too cold, and have nothing to distract you. Close your eyes and let your imagination flow!
Hardscape Designs For Function
One of the most important things you'll want to think about is exactly how you want to use your outdoor spaces and what type of functional use you want for each area. Don't think about the layout of the lawn as much as you do about what all you want to do when you are outdoors.
Do you like to garden or want to start that hobby? If so, do you like flower gardening, vegetable gardening, or a combination of both? In each type, how much gardening do you plan to do or how much time do you want to spend on it?
If not a lot of time, you may want a cool patio garden where you have some built in planters where you can spend time on herb gardening or flower gardening. Conversely, growing veggies takes more space, so more area will need to be allotted with a walkway of some type leading up to it. So now you pretty much know how much gardening space you'll want and for which type of gardening you'll want to do.
Does your pool sidewalk, or surround, need to be wider in some areas so you can comfortably entertain? If so, a pretty patio with an arbor or gazebo may be right for you. Do you like to grill out? Why not incorporate an outdoor kitchen, large or small, to make it more enjoyable?
Which Direction Does Your Home Face?
Next, think about what area of the outdoors you'll want to spend the most time relaxing in. Do you want to watch a beautiful sunset every evening? How does your home face, do you have shade in the back for you to be comfortable under or do you have a better side area where you can see the sunset and spend a little time in the evenings? This will be the main area you and your family use to spend time after the day's activities. Did you choose the front, side, or back of your home's exterior?
Do You Entertain Guests?
Once you have a favorite area pinned down, you'll want to decide what all you'll be doing out there. And this is the fun part! Will you entertain guests with regular barbecues? Will you and your family have meals there? Or will you simply just need a couple of chairs so you can read a good book? The activities you want to perform in this main space will help determine what size the area needs to encompass.
This main area can be the basis on which you build up the rest of your landscape. But what's always the most important thing to remember is to make the space functional as well as beautiful. There are a lot of options involved as far as building materials go, but you are determining the design function more than anything else right now.
This is the ground for the aesthetic design, and just about everything else depends on the function you want for each area you plan to landscape or hardscape. Dream on and have fun thinking about all the great things you want your landscape to be and sooner or later you'll be doing those awesome things you are dreaming about!