The ideal landscape is visually interesting, and features an artful blend of natural materials (trees, shrubs, grasses, and flowers) and hardscape. These contrasting materials should interact with and complement each other in an outdoor space that flows both functionally and visually. And, it should reflect the needs, preferences and personalities of the owners. One way to achieve a balance and a transition between hardscapes and softscapes is to use paving stones. Here are some paving stone options that blend seamlessly with softscapes in Lebanon, PA.
Create a Stepping Stone Path
Pathways lead from one space to another, but they also serve as a transition. Installing a stepping stone path can give you access to a garden while maintaining a more natural feel, as the stepping stones can be divided by pebbles or grass. Beacon Hill Flagstone comes in random bundles of three sizes – but also offers an XL rectangle that is perfect for use as a stand-alone stepping stone. The rich colors and natural texture of this paver blend it perfectly into the softscape, and a wide range of colors offers plenty of options to pick up specific colors in the landscape or your home’s siding.
Retaining Walls, Planters, and Water Features
Retaining walls and planters give you an opportunity to match your paving stones to vertical features. For modern settings, Lineo Dimensional Stone provides a sleek, high-end look. Rivercrest Wall is a high-texture option that offers traditional softscapes a timeless aesthetic. Planters can be stand-alone to bring a touch of nature into the middle of a hardscape, or soften the transition between outdoor living spaces and the softscape. By incorporating planters into a retaining wall, you not only soften its stark appearance, but create a wonderful mini-garden at a convenient height that is perfect for a culinary herb garden next to an outdoor kitchen, or a children’s garden where they can learn to grow their own veggies. Similarly, water features beautifully blend the hardscape with the softscape. Moving water creates a soothing atmosphere that further enhances the appeal of your landscape. Richcliff pavers are the perfect match to either of these wall units.
Borders are a way to visually soften the transition between a walkway or patio and the softscape. For example, choosing light-colored pavers in the main field of a patio could create a high-contrast transition to the lush green of a lawn or a mulched flower bed. By softening the transition with rich earth-toned Copthorne, a brick-like concrete paver, you not only tie the two elements together with color, but also in texture.
Walkways and Secret Spaces
A great landscape isn’t just two spaces: hardscape and softscape. You can integrate the two beautifully by creating little secret spaces such as a meditation nook using charcoal grey Courtstone pavers, which mimic the look of old European cobblestones. Courtstone pavers are perfect both for a meandering walkway that leads to a small, intimate space surrounded by lush plantings – a little hideaway that lets you unplug from your worries and enjoy the natural surroundings. Curved, meandering walkways also visually soften the scene, as perfectly straight lines are rare in nature and create a stark contrast. And, to bring more nature into the hardscape, use borders of tall ornamental grasses that sway gently between the two spaces – a softer, breezier and more modern look than traditional evergreen shrubbery.
The title image features a Courtstone paver walkway.