The structural elements in your yard, like pathways, retaining walls and patios, are the hardscaping. While softscape, or the vegetation, certainly is an important aspect of landscaping, you can’t neglect these other items.
If you want a yard that will truly wow guests and provide useful features for your family, the latest trends should be of interest. These go beyond garden pathways, walls, and the regular stuff, making strong statements in all the right ways.
Traditionally, outdoor dining areas have been right outside the house. The thought was that made transporting food, dishes, etc. back and forth more convenient. A new trend is pushing the dining spaces away from the home. People want pergolas or other fairly open structures in the garden area, allowing them to eat surrounded by their plants. It makes for a more relaxing atmosphere, even if you must carry the plates further
Everyone seems to be interested in doing what’s best for the environment, which helps their pocketbook as well. Sustainability is a consideration with hardscaping, especially when it comes to pavers and stepping stones. Some materials are porous and so retain rainwater, releasing it later to provide water for surrounding plants. Other pavers are made of porcelain or recycled materials, instead of relying on stone quarries.
It might not be a new trend, more like one that won’t go away, people really love firepits. Whether they’re gas or wood-burning, homeowners like the idea of having a place to congregate and warm up on a cool evening. There’s something about staring at a flame in the dark that’s captivating and brings everyone together.
Thanks to the availability of LED lights, strip lighting is another big trend. Put them along lines like benches, at the edge of steps, or on either side of a pathway to add that extra wow factor. Strip lighting can also help guests tell exactly where stairs or walkways are in the dark, helping to avoid simple accidents.
People don’t want to just eat outside, they want to live there. This trend of outdoor living areas goes beyond kitchens. Think about putting in a daybed for reading a book or watching the birds during the daytime, a sunken lounge for entertaining guests, or a shower for a truly refreshing way to spend your time outdoors.
An increasing number of people are realizing the benefits of handmade, completely custom hardscaping in their yard. While a trellis or planter from a big box store is an easy solution, they’re anything but unique and provide limited artistic value. This trend toward real artisan pieces is bringing out individual tastes and preferences in interesting ways.