6 Suggestions for Harmonious Hardscaping

A lot people have necessary but oh-so-problematic hardscaping transversing our outdoor spaces, hardscaping that stops the eye and keeps us from attaining that constant, tranquil flow that we desire for our own gardens. Some of you may have given up, creating pockets of annuals, ground covers and dull shrubbery sandwiched between sidewalks, driveways and front porches. Deep down, though, you know that you want something better, more cohesive and more amazing. Let us see how to accomplish it.

Perello Building Corporation

The issue of integrating hardscaping into the landscape was solved by employing symmetrical equilibrium, like through using allées. However beautiful these tree-lined avenues can be, though, most people no longer live so officially, nor do we possess the acreage to accomplish this look. So what do we do?

Designing Nature Inc..

Use conventional principles in fresh and exciting ways. This backyard is a perfect example of an updated formal design, with plants which are very much in tune with the current aesthetic. Notice the proper lines and equilibrium of this garden, but also observe the more informal plantings.

This front garden captures the character and repeat of this allée however in an updated manner that is within the realm of possibility for many.

The designer has used the idea of asymmetrical balance; one garden bed is larger than the other but is weighted to seem equivalent. The rock column imitates the lamppost, bringing continuity to the distance. Notice the way the caladiums (Caladium sp, zones 9 to 10) are more prominent in the more compact bed on the right. Acting as a fulcrum, they balance the beds, which makes them visually pleasing. A carpet of ground cover at the foreground of each bed brings that extra dose of calming continuity.

If you are not confident in your ability to lay out bed lines that appear to flow effortlessly across your hardscape, look at employing the use of a garden hose. Stretch it throughout your walkway and generate a serpentine or curved line which makes sense to you personally when seen from other angles. It’s a lot easier to alter the nozzle compared to redig your bed lines.

Denise Dering Design

Achieve balance through rhythm and repetition. This beautiful garden evokes pictures of Victorian England. Notice the way the salvias (Salvia nemorosa ‘May Night’, zones 5 to 9) are implanted in measured periods. As a result, the designer has attained rhythm. The roses offer that calming thread of continuity.

More gorgeous looks for a narrow planting strip

The Design Build Company

In the prior photo we can see only one side of the hardscape. Here we see rhythm switching between either side of the hardscape. Notice how both the boulders and the landscape light equilibrium this stairway from side to side, pulling the eye up to the very best in a pleasing manner. Having a cute dog as a focal point never hurt, either.

The restrained use of boulders can be an effective tool in achieving continuity from one side of the hardscape to the other. Just take care not to overdo it.


Permit plants to overflow on the hardscape. The right use of this technique will soften the edges of the hardscape and deliver continuity from one side to the other.

Notice the reproduction achieved in this backyard through the use of decorative grasses, hydrangeas and spreading perennials. Some planning and maintenance are required to assure that the plants never pose a danger to the customer or seem overgrown.

Jay Sifford Garden Design

Similarly, boulders can seep the walkway slightly to create continuity from side to side. Do this to avoid a tripping hazard.

Blue Stone Woodworks

Integrate plants right into the hardscape. This designer has adopted and softened the hardscape by introducing a ground cover right into the joints of their sidewalk. Notice how the appropriate use of this unexpected technique pulls the eye toward the house and creates an oasis in the midst of the walkway. Creeping and wooly thyme (Thymus cvs, zones 4 to 9) are especially suited for this purpose.

More plants for your pathways

Jay Sifford Garden Design

Expand your horizons. Sometimes the eye stays too focused on the hardscape and needs help to see the big image. The designer of this garden utilized bluestone planks of diverse lengths and widths, placed opposite each other and also a dull cement sidewalk, to pull on the eye outward so that it can have the entire space. The use of similar colours and textures makes this procedure effective.

Portal Design Inc

Boldly adopt your hardscape. At times a bolder strategy is the best strategy. Here the designer has adopted using hardscaping by creating and wrapping planter boxes at the hardscape. The effective use of plant material can help to soften and balance this front lawn. If this strategy is overly austere for you, consider softening the edges of the planters with a creeping and cascading ground cover.

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