Landscapers call the permanent structural elements of a garden, such as walls and paths, arches and arbours, ponds, water features, patios and decks, the “bones” because they literally hold the garden together and give it its fundamental shape and style.
This terminology also applies to trees and shrubs that are planted once and constitute the “foundation planting” and usually stay in place for the life of the garden.
But when you decide to build a garden, the structural “hardscaping” should always come first. This is why it is always wise to have a professional designer draw up a plan for you.
It is not necessary to complete everything in the plan at once, but it is good to know what will be going where and to have the work scheduled over a specific time. This is one way to achieve a functional, well-designed garden rather than a mishmash of structures and styles.
Wood and stone are still the key defining hardscape materials in most gardens.
Cedar fencing and timber trellises, arbours and pergolas are still popular, and fencing is one way to define a perimeter and property line, although more homeowners opt for hedging, particularly cedar, yew and laurel to provide a less intrusive, more natural, leafy barrier.
The hottest trend, however, in hardscaping, particularly stone being used for patios and retaining walls, is to use stone that comes with an attractive, wood-grain texture.
Terra Nova Slab and Bridgewood Slab are two kinds produced by Barkman that are being used in many new garden landscapes, especially for patios, pool decks and paths.
Bridgewood Slabs look like freshly sawn beefy chunks of wood and are available in weathered grey and cedar brown. It costs $7.99 a square foot.
The Terra Nova Slab is thin paving material with a grainy wood finish, either tamarack or mountain ash. It costs $8.75 a square foot.
This was used by Josh Weaver, of No Limits Landscapes,…