6:30am

Sat August 25, 2012
Garden Report

Hardscape Made Easy

The upcoming fall season is a great time to hardscape your garden. KUNC’s Gardener Tom Throgmorton says adding a terrace, patio or water feature can drastically transform your outdoor space.

Hardscapes are the walls, floors and accents that create our outdoor rooms.  These features blend in as functional parts of the landscape.  In Ft. Collins we’re fortunate to have The Rock Garden to supply our hardscape needs

Most hardscapes are structural parts of the landscape.  They need to be thought out and designed properly.  These are the things that support and hold things.  They must be designed to do a job and function safely.

Walls function in a lot of different ways.  They hold back soil like a terrace retaining wall.  They can be built with native boulders or strip-stone.  These walls are designed and constructed for strength.  Terrace walls also become seating areas. 

Decks are the floors of our outdoor rooms.  They add living space at ground level or stories high.  Multi-level decks add different rooms at different levels. 

Decks must be designed, engineered and constructed to hold loads.  Ten adults enjoying an evening on a deck adds up to a bit of weight.  A hot tub plopped on any old deck probably won’t work.  Decks need to be built to hold these heavy loads.

I grew up with a huge slab of grey concrete as a patio.  It wasn’t pretty but it was functional.  Now patios are made of beautifully colored and patterned concrete or a myriad of paving stones.  I like to use native flagstone.  Flagstone offers a wide choice of patio colors and pattern styles. 

Regardless of the material they’re made from, patios create versatile outdoor space.  A south facing patio becomes a sunning space in the winter.  An east patio is the cool place to entertain in the summer.  A patio on solid ground supports the largest of hot tubs. 

Water features are the creative accents to our outdoor rooms.  This season we’ve built water features with bubbling boulders.  The Rock Garden bores out boulders so water flows through them.  They make great accents by patios or decks.  Water features offer tranquil sounds.  They are a habitat for plants, birds and fish.  Water features create special planting and seating areas.

Autumn is a great time to add a hardscape feature to the garden.  Check out late summer sales at hardscape suppliers.

tom@throgmortonplantmanagement.com

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