The rise of DIY shows and the trend of turning backyards into outside rooms has led to hardscaping (with a few plants on the side) replacing the humble lawn. Hardscaping includes all non-living elements of your backyard design – patio, deck, paving, concrete – often areas otherwise covered by grass. And while they might look fantastic, there are some definite drawbacks to installing too much hardscaping – everything in moderation to create a well-balanced design.
Some considerations when deciding on hardscape or turf:
On a hot day a lawn will be 30-degrees cooler than concrete and pavers; and 20-degrees cooler than synthetic grass and 14-degrees cooler than bare soil.
Hardscaping is typically installed in the early stages of landscaping, although many hardscape elements can be added at any time. These elements will cost considerably more than the cost to establish a lawn, and lawns can soften the hardscape elements in your design, and add colour and warmth. Some elements of hardscapes, such as ponds, pools or decks, require a professional’s knowledge and experience for proper installation. Hiring a professional adds to the overall expense of hardscaping.
Over time, though, if you factor in the cost of fertiliser, herbicides and lawn care tools such as mowers and whipper snippers necessary to maintain a lawn, the cost of a lawn increases.
Maintenance and Care
Most hardscape elements, such as walkways, walls and patios, require minimal care after they are installed, while other elements, such as ponds and pools, require frequent care and maintenance. Depending on the species of grass you plant or install, lawns are usually lower maintenance than a pool. However, regular tasks are required to ensure a healthy lawn, such as mowing, fertilising and weed eradication.
Pros and Cons
Hardscaping can prevent or correct problems in your landscape. For example, retaining walls prevent soil erosion, while walkways allow visitors to enjoy your plants without walking through your gardens. A steep slope can be fitted with terraced steps, or a shaded or moist area where grass doesn’t grow well can be filled in with a patio or a pond. Hardscaping adds definition and visual interest to your landscape design, but a landscape dominated by hardscaping can feel cold and ultramodern.
A lawn on the other hand adds colour and can breathe life into your landscape. It can prevent soil erosion in sloped areas, act as natural air-conditioner, a natural firebreak, filter pollutants and run off.
Whether you decide on turf, pavers, ponds or all of the above, the team at Perth Landscaping can help. Arrange for a quote today.