Our Guide to Hard Landscaping
Hard Landscaping may not be a phrase you have come across before. Hard landscaping (hardscape) is a term used to describe all structural elements of landscape design. It refers to hard components, like stones, tiles, bricks, wood, etc. essential in every landscape creation. Like components used to construct long-lasting, durable machinery, hard landscaping is a foundation required for a long-lasting outdoor space creation which adds value to a property. Professional bespoke hard landscaping services transform the look of any building, by adding structure to outdoor space.
Hard Landscaping Materials
Bricks Thanks to the variety of brick manufacturing techniques we can achieve very different aesthetic effects and performance qualities by using them for hard landscaping purposes. You can choose from rough, smooth, various colours, and different look. For older-style properties, even second-hand bricks with the weathered look can be sourced. Bricks come in all kinds of sizes, durability, shapes and frost resistance. The most common size is 215mm x 102.5mm x 65mm. They can be solid with a flat surface or have holes through them ("perforated bricks"). There are 3 main types of bricks:
Facing bricks - the most popular, usually used for garden walls, available in a variety of colours and textures.
Engineering bricks - usually used underground and for applications where durability, water and frost resistance are crucial. Typically red or blue in colour.
Common bricks - usually cheaper and lower quality than the two types above. Very often laid where they can't be visible i.e. for internal brickwork as they can't be laid below ground.
Decking Allows transforming outdoor spaces and gardens into feature areas. Can be build to any design. Decking boards lead the eye towards a feature, make a garden look elegant and clean, can be used in other ways around the outdoor space. Briefly speaking there are 4 main types of decking available:
Pressure-treated softwood boards - the most popular, low-cost, pressure-treated for durability, easy to work with, require regular maintenance ( a coat of oil).
Hardwood boards - sourced from tropical trees, naturally resistant to splitting, long-lasting, expensive, difficult to work with, require regular maintenance ( a coat of oil).
Composite boards - modern hard landscaping material, made up from wood-flour & recycled plastic mixture, very expensive, easy to install, create a classic and elegant finish, long-lasting, incredibly low to maintain (soap & water).
PVC boards - made solely from plastic, robust, most expensive, recyclable, long-lasting, can look artificial, require low maintenance (soap &water).
The most suitable decking type depends entirely on your requirements and budget. Gravels Rock fragments 4 to 64mm in size, produced by crushing many types of hard-wearing rocks to meet a variety of needs. Very popular material in hard landscaping and there are 5 main reasons for it:
affordability - cost-effective material for pavements, paths and other garden features;
low-maintenance - require very little to no maintenance. Just simply use a leaf blower, stiff brush or garden rake to clean plant debris;
flexibility - can be used to create any shape sturdy paths, dividers or to add visual appeal to dull areas;
durability - strong enough to cover driveways and high traffic areas;
climate-friendly - drain quickly.
We are witnessing a new wave of concrete usage in hard landscaping. Thanks to the innovation in moulding the versatility of concrete have been boosted recently. This hard-wearing material can blend really nicely with surrounding nature while applied in a variety of finishes to suit almost any style. Concrete is relatively inexpensive and often used as bricks substitute. Incorporating concrete into new landscaping project is very often an answer to creating a functional, modern and attractive space. Frequently combined with wood to add a hint of warmth to the composition.
If you’re designing a new outdoor space it is important to take hard landscaping into consideration as it is a fundamental element of good landscape design. Hardscape combined with soft landscaping is essentially required to give a complete look to any building and feature out your living space. Get in touch today to discuss any aspects of soft or hard landscaping requirements you may have. Let Yew Tree Landscapes experts team produce outstanding results that will suit your property and budget.