Example of Hardscaping

Example of hardscaping

In a previous post we discussed Xeriscaping, the use of drought resistant, slower growing plants to minimize maintenance and water usage while provide you with a beautiful landscaping theme. Another current trend that works exceptionally well with that is Hardscaping. Hardscaping can be anything from pavers as walkways to full concrete, brick or stonework areas in your yard. As an alternative to grass, gravel, or mulch, hardscaping can be a very interesting choice for functional open areas in your landscape design.

While most people do not want a fully concrete or brick yard, using hardscaping in some areas for picnic tables, benches, fixtures such as hot tubs or fire pits, or just pathways can be beautiful. Using hardscaping in conjunction with other styles can create a very classic garden look or a rustic stone pathway and steps or anything between. It can help control soil erosion and make the use of bounding containers, which can be used for zoning plant types in xeriscaping seamless and classic.

Another trend that it works exceptionally well with is container gardening. Creating mini gardens to grow herbs, leafy greens for salads, or other vegetables is growing in popularity. When you combine the three — Xeriscaping and container gardening for plants, and Hardscaping in the areas around those two — you can create a uniquely beautiful and functional backyard. The Xeriscaping keeps an organic, living energy in an area while the Hardscaping turns the outdoors into a fully functional living area, and you get the bounty of organic fresh foods and herbs at your fingertips.

Now, the reason I am mentioning all of this is that if you add into that mix a well-planned lighting design, you can create a seamless overall design that utilizes the best of all worlds. Hardscaping can be combined with accent lighting by insetting the lighting fixtures into the stonework or concrete during their creation so that you have ambient lighting that is flush with the ground, giving you all the light you want without losing any space at all. Lighting can be set into brick containers, steps can be lit with recessed lighting and gathering points can be given a warm, soothing lighting design that creates a relaxing paradise. By considering all of the factors together at the onset we can plan ways of integrating the lighting into the other aspects design so that the hardscaped areas are an outdoor living area and not just ornamental.

During the cooler months having an outdoor area that is functional in many ways is fantastic and part of the Florida lifestyle. Whether it is a pool, a fire pit, or just a relaxing deck, having a serene escape from the rush of the world right outside your door is part of what Florida is all about. Not having to spend huge amounts of time and energy to keep it managed during the hotter summer months makes it even better. By planning your outdoor accent lighting design along with the other features, you can save time, money, and space and create unique, one-of-a-kind designs that make your yard a perfect haven from the world.


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