hardscapes 101

Hardscaping 101 – Everything You Need To Know

When thinking about designing your landscape, you think about beautiful greenery and flowers. However, there’s one big thing you’re probably not thinking about—hardscaping. 

If you hire a great landscaper, they’ll know just how important hardscaping is to designing a beautiful landscape your clients, customers, and employees will love. 

While greenery and perennials will help bring your landscape to life, you need to consider hardscapes and the impact they can have on your landscape’s aesthetic and functionality. 

What Are Hardscapes? 

Within the field of landscaping, there are two major subcategories: softscape and hardscape. 

Softscape includes the living, horticultural elements of landscape design. These elements are shrubbery, flowers, greenery, etc. that the majority of people think of when they think of landscape design.

Hardscape encapsulates all of the non-living elements of landscaping. Hardscaping is typically used to complement the elements of softscape, providing the overall design with a pleasant contrast. 

These elements include concrete, brick, stone, or wood embellishments like a stone wall, stone or brick patio, pergolas, lounging areas, and even water features. 

Water features, such as ponds and fountains, are also considered part of hardscaping despite the moving flow of water in the feature.

Need some hardscaping inspiration for your landscape? Check out our beautiful gallery of elegant designs. 


What are Hardscapes Good For?

Defining The Outdoor Area 

Different types of hardscapes will promote different kinds of activities happening in your backyard. For example, when you think of creating a little community area with specific chairs that match your aesthetic and a fire pit in the middle with chairs surrounding it, it lets people know they are welcome to join together and share an experience. 

Depending on what your goals are for your landscape, with a great landscaper you can create a hardscaping design that complements your business and makes a statement about who you are. 

Whether you add benches, fountains, or even bird feeders, it can set the tone as to what kind of business you are and what you want your potential clients and even customers to feel. 


Hardscape elements aren’t all about the looks. It can also define the use of space like driveways, sidewalks, or gravel paths through a garden. 

There are so many ways to use hardscape elements to enhance your property:

  • Concrete: As one of the most versatile manmade materials out there, concrete is a very common hardscape material. It’s great for pathways, patios, and pool areas as it provides a sturdy surface that is easy to maintain. 

While you may think of concrete as a plain slab of gray, there are plenty of ways to make it more interesting. You can stain it, stamp it, and even embed it with other materials like sea glass and pebbles. 

These techniques also make concrete less slippery, which can be a hazard when it surrounds a pool or is the main walkway in a backyard.

  • Stone: Natural stone or flagstone gives a hardscape a similar look to concrete, but it typically looks a bit more rustic and homey. Many homeowners choose to use stone for courtyards and outdoor areas that see frequent foot traffic because of its durability. While it provides this durability, its more natural look goes well with any existing greenery in your yard. 

Keep in mind that with natural stone, you will have bumps and ridges that could pose slight tripping hazards.

  • Pavers: You will often see pavers in hardscaping because they are easy to install and can suit a wide range of design needs. Pavers can be made of several different materials, including concrete, brick, and flagstone. 

No matter which material you choose, pavers are designed to easily fit into one another, creating an appealing design for your hardscape while providing the durability and stability you need.

Not only are hardscapes visually appealing but they can have many different practicalities that can be added to your landscape!

Increase Property Value

Filling your backyard with hardscape material can increase the value of your property. Whether you are a homeowner or a business owner, creating an outdoor extension to your building adds more usable square footage and the opportunity for potential buyers to envision themselves relaxing and entertaining in the space. 

In fact, 84 percent of buyers look for an outdoor patio when purchasing a home.

Therefore, there is no harm in trying to make the most out of your landscape by adding water, brick, stone, and even wood and metal features that show the practicality of it and also a visual appeal that potential future buyers would not be able to resist. 

Summit Landscape

When you’re creating a new landscape, you will likely need the basics like hydro-seed, topsoil, plantings, and mulch. However, if your dreams are a little larger, we can help you design and install even the most intricate of landscaping elements. 

At Summit Landscape, we offer a wide range of materials, and our experienced team has the skills to execute even the most elaborate of designs. We’ll help you achieve the best results possible, all while achieving your goals on budget and on time.

Turn your landscape into a beautiful, accessible area that people can gather to relax, entertain, and enjoy the fresh air. From granite, slate, concrete, brick, and more, we have the materials and the skills to help you bring your dream patio to life.

Take control over the shape, stability, and functionality of your landscape. From gravity walls, green retaining walls, anchored walls, stone steps, and more, we have a wide range of material options for you to choose from.

Make the most out of your landscape so you can relax, entertain, and enjoy the leisure of indoor living right under mother nature’s sky. Connect with us today to see how we can help!