Hardscape Design for the Urban Garden

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Hardscape Design for the Urban Garden

Apr 11, 2011

Hardscaping is an essential component of the urban landscape. The use of retaining walls, paving, sculptures, planters, birdbaths, benches, and other nonliving garden features help create focal points and visual boundaries between outdoor areas.

There are many schools of thought regarding proper balance and focus within the design world; however, a guiding principle is to have a single focal point which draws the eye. Interior decorating, graphic design, and photography apply the same principles to design. Careful planning helps create a beautiful landscape that incorporates complementary colors and sizes, and thoughtful placement of hardscape items, such as large planters, embellish and add focus which pulls the whole design together.

Another useful component of hardscape design in urban landscaping is the use of retaining walls. These walls add an extra dimension to outdoor design. The use of retaining walls allows the creation of multiple levels of green space, instead of an otherwise flat, uniform garden. Retaining walls can help add balance to both small and large gardens. Design elements of retaining walls, including the structure, material and arrangement are crucial when working toward an overall theme.

There are many practical purposes for retaining walls. In high-traffic gardens, retaining walls can help protect plants and delicate flowers. In addition, retaining walls raise the soil and if designed well, can help guide the flow of water to prevent damage and appropriately conserve water to promote healthy growth.

Paving is another excellent way to divide and protect your garden. Outdoor living areas, patios and rooftop retreats are often created from paving bricks, concrete paving, etc. Paving could be as elaborate as slate or exotic stone laid in pattern between flowerbeds, or as simple as laying cement paving bricks. Paving can create mowing or weeding headaches, so it is crucial to plan for easy maintenance.

Well planned paving, patios, sculptures and decorative stones can help create the perfect balance of beauty and practicality in your new garden oasis.

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