Wednesday September 17, 2014
When it comes to patio pavers, you may think that once you pick out your preferred style, that you are finished with your Hardscape™design decisions. Not so fast. You may ultimately decide to have the lawn meet up to your patio pavers, but if you are looking for a more natural or rustic landscape, consider incorporating other outdoor Hardscape™ elements such as boulders, rocks, stones or gravel.
Moving a Small Mountain
Some homeowners are fortunate enough to have existing boulders in their backyard, so it just may be a matter of relocating them. If you plan on using existing bedrock to create a more natural landscape design, your paver color should match your boulders in tone and texture. This will help carry the earthy look and feel throughout the backyard.
Before you move them, take a moment to notice how boulders exist in nature. You'll notice that boulders appear in clusters, and rarely stand alone in nature. Larger rocks are often grouped with other rocks that vary in size and shape. The "odd rule" of design applies here, meaning, the eye prefers groupings in odd numbers.
Moving large boulders or rocks is no easy feat, so this is defiantly one landscape decision that requires some vision and forethought. This would be the time to really look at the rock's shape so that it can be placed to showcase its best angle. Does it have a natural ledge or seat that could be used as backyard seating? Or, maybe it has an interesting formation or that could be highlighted with lighting?
Rocks Pave the Way
Using rocks or stone is an attractive way to transition from patio pavers to a water feature. You can use flat rocks, like slate or flagstone, to cover liners and hardware around ponds. Smaller rocks can fill gaps in-between larger ones, and will add texture, color, and dimension to the landscape design.
Pool Your Resource
Using large rocks on pool decks is an idea way to add natural seating, a place to leave your towel, and hide pumps or other hardware.
Plants add so much to a backyard landscape design, but having flower beds on or around a pool deck can be problematic if there is a lot of splashing. Mud and pools just don't mix. You can solve the problem by incorporating a rock garden near your pool deck. A few hardy plants in your rock garden will go a long way in adding color and softening the hard edges.
Walk This Way
Walkways are another great place to use rock or stone. Characterized by straight lines and right angles, formal walkways can be flanked with small stones or gravel to help to visually transition from pavers to grass. Using rocks, stones and gravel alongside informal paths helps to keep plants and mulch off walkways.
Whether you are planning your own landscape design or hiring professional, integrating boulders, rocks, or stone can go a long way in tying the look together.