stone paver patio hardscape with wicker bistro furniture chair and table set stock photo

An Introduction to Hardscaping: The Backbone of Landscape Design

Whether it be putting in stone-lined flower beds throughout your yard, or planting trees in key spots along your property—most people understand the basics of landscape design. But hardscaping is a lesser known—but very important—aspect of designing a successful landscape. 


So, what exactly is hardscaping and why is it important? Let’s take a look at a few key components and explore why hardscape design is such an integral part of the most beautiful backyards.



Hardscaping defined

Hardscaping encompasses the nonliving or man-made elements in a particular landscape, such as stand-alone structures, stonework, decks, patios, and more.


In addition to the design elements and curb appeal hardscaping can provide to your property, there are functional perks, too. The practical application of hardscaping can be utilized to help prevent the over-absorption of water and soil erosion, build retaining walls or grade elevations, and more.

To learn more about this design option offered by many landscapers, let’s take a look at some important hardscaping basics.


Hardscaping: The backbone of landscaping design

Hardscape design is composed of a variety of factors that aren’t organic to your landscape. These elements include adding concrete, rock, pavers, decking, retaining walls, water features, and more—to transform your outdoor living spaces into special areas for entertaining your family and friends. 

These elements are the design anchors and backbone of your outdoor living spaces. They can set the mood, guide the path and focus of your visitors, add design and organization to your natural areas, and create different focus areas within your yard.

Examples of popular hardscaping projects include:

  • Arbors, pergolas, and gazebos
  • Concrete, brick, or stone retaining walls
  • Decks
  • Driveways
  • Firepits
  • Flagstone, concrete, tile, or brick patios
  • Fountains
  • Driveways and pathways
  • Landscape lighting
  • Metal, stone, wire, or wood fencing
  • Ponds
  • Pools
  • Privacy screens and shade sails
  • Steps and ramps
  • Waterwalls and waterfalls

Many of the tasks mentioned above aren’t simple weekend DIYs for an ambitious amateur landscaper. Instead, they’re in-depth, heavy-duty projects involving moving big landscaping boulders or heavy pavers, pouring concrete walkways and patios, building man-made ponds, and so on. This type of work can be understandably overwhelming to both plan and install. That’s when hiring a pro can make a world of difference.


Why hiring a hardscaping pro is important

Leaning on the knowledge of an experienced landscape provider means you’ll get top-notch horticultural, architectural, and design pros. Starting a job that you just can’t finish—or needing to hire a pro, after you weren’t successful in your original hardscaping plans, can be expensive. 

You can save yourself both time and money by partnering with a trusted professional, right from the start. 

Plus, there are areas of expertise required to bring a good hardscape design to life that many laymen just don’t realize are part of the process. Safety, electrical, architectural, engineering issues, and more, are all part of building a good hardscape design. For example: designing and installing a pool, setting up a landscape lighting plan and wiring the lights, or preparing and pouring a concrete driveway all require in-depth know-how during every phase of the planning and implementation processes.  

Additionally, a professional hardscaper or landscaper will likely have existing relationships with suppliers, builders and developers, and local zoning officials—all bonuses when you’re looking for efficient and budget-friendly results for your next outdoor project.


The best landscaping companies either have hardscaper professionals on staff or partner with reputable professionals, to take care of everything for you—so you don’t have to research or pick-and-choose contractors for different aspects of your job. 


How we can help

Count on Charlotte Backyard and Outdoor Living to bring life to your outdoor project. We’re proud to have been voted the Best Landscaping Company in South Charlotte (2019) and to be accredited by the Better Business Bureau. Our state-of-the-art technology can show you what your project will look like before we install or break ground on your project. 


Additionally, we’ll work within your budget and adjust as needed to keep costs aligned with your needs.


No project is too big or too small for the Charlotte Backyard & Outdoor Living team. We have over 25 years of experience beautifying homes and landscapes throughout Charlotte, North Carolina, and its surrounding areas. Please give us a call at 704-672-5572 to learn more about our services or to discuss your hardscaping needs. We look forward to partnering with you!