Common Components of Maryland Hardscapes

Landscaping is more than just a few plants and trees surrounding a house. Experts estimate that homeowners in the United States spend between 30 and 40 billion dollars per year on the creation and maintenance of residential outdoor spaces. The landscape has become an extension of the home rather than simply exterior decoration.

Landscapes are an integration of both hardscapes and softscapes. Hardscapes are permanent structures that require installation and construction, such as patios and fences. Softscapes are the natural living components, such as plants and trees.

Areas for entertaining. Decks and patios are great for entertaining and for simply enjoying the time spent outdoors. Typically, they are positioned adjacent to the house to allow easy access. If a house is built on a hill, terraces provide a creative way to turn an unusable slope into a series of beautiful steps or step gardens. Terracing can be accomplished with natural or manufactured stone retaining walls, and it may incorporate patios, benches, and other spaces to enjoy the outdoors.

Features. Landscape designs now commonly incorporate one or more water features as a pleasing focal point. Ponds, waterfalls, and fountains are designed and constructed to enhance a garden or entertainment space. Ponds can incorporate bridges, fountains, and a variety of aquatic life. A textural contrast to water, stones and large rocks give definition to a landscape. Boulders can be used to anchor a lawn or garden, and smaller rocks are popularly used to edge planting beds and create walkways. Features like water and stone elements will add beautiful texture and dimension to any landscape design a homeowner chooses.

Lighting. Lighting is an important and integral part of landscaping. Lighting can create an elegant nighttime atmosphere and can draw attention to particular aspects of both the landscape and the home. Moreover, homeowners who plan to do a lot of outdoor entertaining should make sure that their lighting design is adequate for evening events.