Thousand Lakes Realty
Eric Ristey

 If you recently bought a new home with any kind of outdoor space, chances are you’re researching ideas on how to make the most of your yard. You’ve started Pinterest boards for landscaping, flipped through endless Better Homes and Gardens photo galleries, and binged-watched more HGTV than you can believe. Sometimes you just need a little nudge to actually get your hands dirty and start working toward making your barren land an outdoor oasis. Not sure where should you start? Think about hardscaping.
First, you should know that landscaping has two components: hardscaping and soft scaping. While soft scaping refers to the live elements of a landscape (flowers, trees, soil), hardscaping involves the nonliving elements of landscaping. This includes patios, retaining walls, arbors, and water features. These elements not only help define various spaces in a yard but can also be used for decorative and other practical purposes. Here are a few hardscaping ideas:

 1) Patios/Walkways:
Building a patio and walkway in your backyard can quickly transform the blank canvas into a useful space that caters to you and your family’s needs. Are you looking for a place in your home to relax with a glass of wine after work or to start the day off with a cup of coffee? A patio and walkway extend your home’s living area and provide additional room for entertaining.

 2) Retaining Walls:
Retaining walls have a specific purpose in your landscape: carving out and creating functional outdoor spaces from land that was previously unusable due to its slope. These man-made walls hold back soil from shifting into other areas of the yard and allow you to flatten out the land both above and below the wall. Although they’re functional, they can also make a statement about your aesthetic.
 3) Arbors/Pergolas:
To incorporate living elements seamlessly in your hardscape design, consider installing an arbor or pergola. These structures support vines and other climbing plants, as they are typically open-roof structures comprised of beams or lattice. While similar, arbors and pergolas differ in size and function. Arbors are smaller and more decorative, usually placed over a walkway. Pergolas, on the other hand, are larger structures that provide more coverage than an arbor. These usually cover a patio, and many homeowners add a canopy or curtains to provide more protection from the weather and create a more personal, inviting entertainment space.

 4) Water Features:
Good feng shui shouldn’t be hard to come by in your yard. Incorporating water features into your hardscape design adds both energy and harmony, creating a relaxing place to spend your downtime. Water features include waterfalls, fountains, ponds, and water gardens.
Take the next step toward making your house feel like home by incorporating these hardscape ideas into your outdoor design. Hardscaping can help you expand your living and entertainment space, create various areas with different functions, and enjoy a beautiful, purposeful yard that feels personal to you!

Please stay healthy and we hope to hear from you soon to discuss your property search and status.
                                                    Until Next Time!

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