In This Chapter

  • Choosing your flooring
  • Building great wall, fences, and other barriers ^ Putting a lid on your outdoor room ^ Finding your footing with paths and steps ^ Constructing a sustainable outdoor room r
  • very garden needs basic hardscape features: places to sit and entertain, *^and safe steps, paths, and enclosures. However, conventional hardscape can be entropic, high maintenance, and troublesome. It's made up of materials that are taken from the planet and that can be toxic, nonrenewable, high in embodied energy, and transported from far away by means of climate-wrecking fossil fuels. Their operation and upkeep can require toxic finishing substances and energy-intensive processes.

Sustainable hardscape, on the other hand, emphasizes plants and biological elements over industrial elements made of concrete, steel, plastic, and other manmade materials. Even hardscape at its most sustainable is a "less-bad" solution to the problem of environmental impact. For that reason, you should try to use the least amount of hardscape that serves your needs. The good news is that many alternative materials and methods minimize negative effects; you can use them to create some truly beautiful and useful additions to your project.

This chapter covers some popular hardscape options that can add both visual appeal and function to the landscape. With the right approach and materials, you can have great hardscape features without all the environmental problems.

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Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.

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