When you're designing your home's landscape, there are many decisions you have to make. You need to take into account your own wish list, the budget you have to work with and the size and nature of your property. The amount of sun you get, the soil you have and the slope of the ground will also have an impact. These points are particularly important when you are deciding whether you want to have a hardscape, a conventional lawn or some combination of the two. Below are factors you should consider.
A green lawn is a beautiful thing, but it can take a lot of work and maintenance to keep it that way. Depending on your own personal preferences, choosing to have a hardscape (or to add hardscape elements) might seem like an appealing option. One reason for this is that while lawns are all roughly the same, a hardscape can make use of a wide range of materials and features that can result in many different styles. Hardscapes make use of patio pavers, pebbles, custom wood decks, fire pits and even outdoor kitchens. Whether you are creating an entire rock strewn hardscape or adding hardscape features to your lawn, it can make your landscape much more interesting.
Grass doesn't respond well to a great deal of foot traffic, which means that for certain areas of your yard a hardscape approach might be a better option. For instance, if you have an area where you carry out activities like parties, family get-togethers or an outdoor hobby, a deck or paved patio might be a better option than grass. You can also do hardscaping in areas where you park your car, which is not something you want to use grass for. This will allow you to keep the grass you do use in your yard looking even better overall.
There's no denying that installing grass is going to be less expensive then even the simplest hardscape. Also, grass works well on a slope, while hardscape usually requires little or no slope. In order to make a slope work for a hardscape, you are going to have to grade the area and install retaining walls. This takes time and money. On the other hand, a lawn is going to have to be mowed, fertilized, dethatched and otherwise maintained on a regular basis, while a hardscape normally only requires an annual cleaning.
For homeowners concerned about the environment, lawns definitely have major drawbacks. Lawns require a tremendous ongoing use of fuel, fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides, all of which can make their way into the surrounding environment. While hardscapes do use energy for their initial manufacture, transportation and placement, once they are installed they have very little impact on the surrounding environment. Of course, depending on the type of lawn you install and how you choose to maintain it, you can reduce the impact it has on the environment as well.
In the end, how well a hardscape or a grass lawn works in your landscape depends on how you use them and how well you maintain them. The smart approach is to incorporate each type into those your parts of your landscape where they will work best. Talk to your local landscaping experts, such as Wojcik Landscaping, for more information.