Precautions To Take When Incorporating Non-plant Materials In Your Landscape

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If you want your landscaping design to stand out, don't just rely on conventional lawns and plants. Non-plant materials, such as stones, pebbles, wood, concrete, and even asphalt also have a role to play in landscaping. For example, you can also use such hard materials to improve the aesthetics of the sections of your yard that have poor soils that can't sustain plant life. However, there are a few precautions you should consider before hardscaping your home compound. Here are three examples of such precautions:

Watch Out For the "Heat Island" Effect

The "heat island" effect is a situation in which a built-up area is hotter than the surrounding areas that aren't built up (hence have more plants).  Using too many rocks and stones in your landscape can induce this effect. This is because the rocks prevent water from soaking into the soil underneath while also reflecting sunlight and heat.

Here are a few precautions to limit the "heat island" effect:

  • Use a reasonable balance of hard and soft materials; examples of soft materials include live plants' barks and mulch.
  • Use hard but permeable materials, such as porous asphalt, that allows water to seep through and reach the soil.
  • Interplant the hardscape with plants.

Make Sure the Hardscape Won't Choke Your Plants

Even though it's a good idea to use plants alongside your hardscaping, you should be careful on how you do this. It's easy for the plants to be affected by the heat reflected off the hard surfaces and the lack of moisture in the soil.

Therefore, your landscaping design should take this into account by ensuring that the areas immediately around each plant aren't hardscaped.  Using mulch or seashells around the plants is a good way of minimizing the effect of the hard materials.

Make Detailed Plan Beforehand

Depending on the hard materials you are using, redesigning or correcting hardscaping mistakes tend to be more difficult than, say, correcting plantscaping mistakes. For example, if your lawn has encroached on a path, the correction might be as easy as trimming the edges of the lawn. However, if you mistakenly install a concrete pavement on a part of the garden meant for something else, it would be costly and difficult to correct the mistake.

In short, hardscaping is a great way of improving your home's aesthetics and value, but you should approach it with care. This isn't something you wake up one weekend and tackle as an impromptu DIY project. Plan well for it, preferably with the help of a professional designer, and you won't regret it.

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26 July 2016

Discussing Landscaping Practices

Hello, my name is Willy Wilson. When I was in college, I rented a small home with my friends and coworkers. The home was in bad shape and needed a lot of help across the entire property. My friends and I decided to build up the home from the inside out with a unique landscaping layout. The landscaping process ignited a passion for creating gardens out of tired, patchy lawn space. I want to use this site to explore all of the different ways you can create a beautiful landscape around your home. Come by anytime to learn about this fascinating subject.