Hard landscaping

Hard landscaping includes all the non-living structures used in landscaping. Those structures can be permanently built or removable items. Some hard landscaping items could be purely functional without decorative purpose, such as water pipeline underground. Some items could be both functional and decorative, such as chair, patio … Some items could be purely decorative, such as water features, sculptures.  The use of hard landscaping features is almost endless. Below are some examples.

Drives and Paths

Drives can be designed to make an attractive entry from garden to the house and the garage while paths or walks leading to different parts of the garden.

Drives also could be additional parking space if it’s big enough. Drives should be flat, dry and pleasant for people or vehicles to travel on. Paths break up a garden and make it look smaller. Paths should not be generally too high or too low from the adjoining ground except in a marsh or a rock garden. The type of construction for garden drives and paths depends upon the length and width, cost of material, amount of traffic, colour preference or character of surface and the amount of maintenance required.

Paths can be made from various materials such as: concrete, bricks, gravel, tiles, stone, wood chips …

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Patios (courtyard)

A patio is a paved outdoor area adjoining a house. They help to enlarges the home and can be used as outdoor rooms for relaxing or entertaining. They can be made from concrete, brick, stone, tile or wood. They may include: outdoor seating, a barbeque, planted pots, and may be combined with a pergola. Appropriate drainage need to be planned together with paved patio.

The paving that is used in a patio determines the look and feel of the space created. You should avoid too many textures and colours in one place while choosing materials for paving.

Decks and decking

A deck is a flat surface can support weight, elevated from ground and connect with the building, usually made from wood. Decks are generally enclosed by a railing. In some cases, decks can also be covered by a canopy or pergola.

Decks create: flat space on steep, rocky or bush-clad gardens; outdoor spaces on multi-level buildings; an outdoor space to enjoy the sun or view.

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Children’s play equipment

You have kids and want to bring them some fun in the garden? You could set up play equipment for them depend on age and interests of your children. They could be: shed, jumping pillows, climbing frames, swings, paddling pools, trampolines, playhouses and tree houses. You could include some foldable roof such as a big umbrella to cover the place when needed.

These items can be bought ready-made or built on site. Often built-in equipment made out of natural materials blends in better with the garden.

As children grow you can remove bought equipment. Adapt built-in equipment, for example: a paddling pool may become a pond or bird bath, a sandpit may become a raised vegetable or flower garden, a swing frame may be able to hang a rocking two-seater.

In small gardens you can design play equipment for adaptation when it’s not in use, for example, a sandpit with a timber lid to sit on. 

Conservatories

While pergolas are totally outdoor set up where wind and rain still can come in. Conservatories are separated with outdoor by glasses. You still can observe and enjoy the beauty of the garden and enjoy a sunbath, while not being affected by rain and wind. This is perfect for colder months, rainy season and infants, toddlers who shouldn’t be outdoor too much yet. You also can provide indoor plants which normally hard to survive outside.

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Garden steps

Steps are needed when the garden is steep and you must walk from one level to another. Steps are to connect different levels of the garden. But even in gardens with only slight changes of level you still can use them to add interest and decorative value. They can blend in with their surrounding and become the gracious garden ascents that set the mood for an entire landscaping scheme. You should consider have both function and appearance of steps.

Steps can double as seating if designed correctly. Step-like patios or decking can provide flat levels on a sloping site. Steps can be made from: stone, bricks, concrete, wood, tiles, railway sleepers.

Outdoor steps should be shallower in raiser height and broader in tread than any indoor steps.

Walls & Fences

Walls and fences can be quite similar in functions and sometimes materials, thus, they can overlap each other. For example: they can both define boundaries, provide privacy, provide shelter from wind, reduce noise, define spaces within a garden … However, walls are solid and permanent while fences are hollow and can see through.

Walls can be made of concrete, stone or brick, thus they are heavy; while fences can be made from wood and metal, thus they’re lighter.

There are freestanding walls to define boundaries, provide privacy and screen wind and noise; and retaining walls help to retain soils to keep them at a certain level in comparison with common ground. Thus, you also can use wood for these walls.

Beside some similar functions with walls, fences can be used for safety, as around decks and pools and support climbing plants.

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Water features

A water feature can be artificial pond or water fall, pool, fountain, cascade and stream. Ponds can be any size and shape. The water element plays the role of relaxation from its sound to its flow. It’s a great charm and expression.

One of favorite water features in Bunbury wa is fountain, which works by re-circulating or recycling the water contained in a pool. Fountains in a running condition are very pleasant to look at. They alone can be an attractive feature of a garden. Water feature fountain need to go with pump to pump the water up. Water can reflect vegetation and make smaller gardens seem larger. Evaporation of water into the air lowers the air temperature near a pond in hot dry gardens.

Outdoor furniture

Outdoor furniture (table and chairs) can serve as an outdoor dining table, outdoor living space, book-reading space. You can buy ready-made or can build by yourself. They should be durable in weather, comfortable, match with garden theme

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