Landscaping is the process of improving the appearance of your yard. It includes adding decorative plants to your property like flowers, trees, and shrubs, maintaining your lawn, and sometimes even changing its natural grading. Hardscaping, on the other hand, consists of all the features in your landscape that are non-plant. Usually, hardscapes are made of concrete, metal, wood, stone, or brick.
To honor our 30th year in business, here are our 30 favorite hardscape and landscape features!
- Walking paths – Concrete, brick, or stone – the possibilities for walking paths are endless. They can lead visitors to your front door or to a tranquil reading spot.
- Flower beds – The best beds provide color and texture year-round. Try cabbages and pansies for some color during colder weather, and for texture, try Baby’s Breath, Asters, or Amsonia.
- Fire pits – Pass the s’mores! You can incorporate a fire pit into a patio design or give it its own space to establish a really fun focal point in your yard.
- Outdoor fireplaces – The big brother of the fire pit, outdoor fireplaces are a great way to produce heat so that you can enjoy your outdoor living space during the fall and winter months.
- Ponds – Everyone loves ponds. Pair them with some live fish and floating plants (e.g. water hyacinths and water lettuce) and you’ll feel like you’ve got the coolest fish tank in the neighborhood.
- Pools – Who doesn’t love an oasis in their own back yard? Make sure to strategize when you are considering the decking and landscaping that is going to surround the pool, though; there’s nothing worse than cleaning grass clippings out of the pool filter.
- Waterfalls – Waterfalls are beautiful accents to pools, ponds, or even just a tiered backyard.
- Fountains – Just like waterfalls, a fountain can create a dazzling focal point anywhere in your yard – especially when illuminated at night.
- Edging – It’s hard to argue against the power of edging. Realtors can attest that yards with handsome stone edging around trees and flower beds have greater curb appeal.
- Pergolas – Pergolas are pretty and utilitarian. They bring shade and privacy to your backyard with the help of drapes, screens, and latticework. They also increase the value of your home.
- Patios – Patios are a great way to create an outdoor living and entertainment space. The possibilities are endless with brick, concrete, and stone.
- Decks – If your home sits on a slope, then a deck may be a better option for our outdoor living space than a patio. Decks can be constructed quickly and are cost effective for any budget.
- Gazebos – Nothing is more delightful than a gazebo in the summer. Try screening one in for instant protection against mosquitoes and gnats.
- Pavilions – If you have a larger space, consider erecting a pavilion. Pavilions can be screened just like gazebos, and provide great protection from the sun and rain.
- Secret gardens – How about a walkway to a secret garden? Create a separate space away from the rest of your outdoor living area that can be used as a book-reading refuge or maybe a hammock hideaway.
- Stones – Large stones are a natural way to accent almost any landscape. Envelop them soft light at night for a more magical look.
- Retaining walls – Retaining walls can be appealing and practical. Brick or stone walls are a perfect earthy backdrop to ornamental shrubs and trees.
- Benches and seating – There’s never enough seating! Stand-alone benches made of wrought-iron or wood can enhance any corner of your garden, and built-ins on decks and patios are great for entertaining.
- Fences and walls – Walls and fences can provide privacy and security no matter where you live – making them great for parents and pet owners.
- Decorative statues and sculptures – From a hidden garden gnome to an artistic sculpture on full display, decorative pieces are a great way to add personality to your landscape. Some even double as pest repellers!
- Vegetable gardens – An edible garden can be pleasing to the eye and to the stomach. Northern Virginia is a great place to grow cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins, squash, and all sorts of beautiful berries.
- Lighting – Lighting is a fantastic way to enhance – and add drama – to your outdoor living and entertaining spaces. Try lighting a large tree, waterfall, or retaining wall for a nighttime focal point.
- Outdoor kitchens – You don’t have to stop at a fire pit or fireplace when it comes to cooking outside. You can install a gorgeous outdoor kitchen – complete with a grill, refrigerator, sink, and counter space – to do all your cooking, spring through fall.
- Steps – A great way to enhance a tiered or sloped property, steps can be dainty or substantial depending on what works best for your yard.
- Hanging baskets and flower pots – The best way to dress up pergolas, latticework, decks, and patios is through hanging baskets and flower pots. Make sure to use plants that do well in pots, like Bergenia and Japanese Pieris, and vary textures and colors for maximum impact.
- Manicured hedges – Sometimes a hedge makes more sense than a fence or wall. They look (and smell) nice, attract wildlife, and are weather-resistant. They are also considerably less expensive to install and maintain.
- Bridges and stepping stones – If you have a water feature in your yard – either natural or man-made – consider installing a bridge or some stepping stones as a way to get across it. Both children and adults will love walking “on” or over the water.
- Inuksuit – Possibly the quirkiest thing on our list, inuksuit are little stone figures that vary in size and shape. Made popular in Canada, they are great for filling in empty spaces. Just stack rocks to form legs, a belly, arms, and a head. They are incredibly charming.
- Trees – Trees are an inexpensive way to dress up any yard, especially when lit from underneath for an ethereal effect at night.
- Grass – Ornamental grass is wonderful, but nothing is better than a lush, healthy, green lawn. An exquisite lawn is the best centerpiece for all your other landscaping and hardscaping projects.
For a refreshing perspective on your landscaping or hardscaping project, contact Sunrise today.
Sunrise Landscape and Design is Northern Virginia’s premier landscaping company offering a full range of landscaping services. Our landscape and design services include hardscapes, water features, irrigation and landscape lighting. Our property maintenance services will keep your landscape vibrant and healthy year round with mulching, edging, garden cleanups, lawn mowing, tree pruning and mosquito/deer control. Contact us today for all your landscape and lawn care needs!