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Hardscaping Backyard Design Ideas

The term “hardscaping” refers to the more permanent design elements in your landscape: stone steps or patios, retaining walls, pergolas, water features and so on.

Hardscaping Backyard Design Ideas

When designed and maintained properly, hardscaping can add curb appeal and increase the function and beauty of your landscape.

Here are some unique DIY outdoor design ideas for using stone, wood structures and mirrors to liven up your garden.


Year-Round Entertaining Space

You don't have to limit outdoor entertaining spaces to a table and chairs. Instead, create an outdoor room by hardscaping stone floors, seat walls and a stone pathway, or steps leading to the space from the front of your property.

A focal point like a fire pit will draw friends and family together against a snowy backdrop peppered with evergreen plants in winter. In warmer weather, the fire pit can double as a container for beverages and ice or summer annuals.

Natural stone such as slate and flagstone are available in an array of colours and sizes suitable for both large and small landscaping projects. This rustic material can be pieced together as a stately patio, stacked horizontally as a retaining wall, or mortared on end to create a seat wall or water or fire feature.

It's important to choose a paving material that complements the architecture of your home. Each project can be tackled individually over time and, with proper planning, result in an impressive, collective hardscape installation.


Be Seated

Outdoor seating is one of the most practical elements of usable outdoor space, but practical doesn't have to mean ordinary. An oversize square daybed, built from pressure-treated wood or recycled composite materials and piled with bright outdoor cushions, can be a comfortable escape.

For larger groups, a stone or timber seat wall can add interest to a plain fence or wall when dressed up with outdoor pillows and a trellis of fragrant jasmine. You can punctuate a bar-height seat wall with raised planting beds for ornamentals or dress up a lower wall with flower boxes filled with colourful annuals.

A Space for Quiet Reflection

Glazed pots in eye-popping finishes of cobalt blue, olive green or autumn red can be grouped in varying sizes to add colour and interest just about anywhere. And you can instantly double the visual impact with mirrors.

Vertical wardrobe mirrors are easy to install and will quickly dress up a wooden fence. Mount them close together to set off a large installation or space them evenly along a fence for a more modern look.
A trio of containers brimming with plants and flowers of different shapes and sizes double in the mirror's reflection and your space will feel open and enlarged. This is an especially appropriate installation for enclosed townhouse or row-house gardens.

Year- Round Hardscaping Care

  • Help protect your hardscaping investment by keeping composite, brick and stone pavers swept all year long. Debris, especially wet leaves and soil, will cause stains when left sitting on the surface.
  • Using a sealer on stone surfaces will help keep them from staining and prevent the stone from absorbing moisture, which can cause damage during cold winters as the moisture freezes and expands. Re-seal every two to three years, or annually in particularly harsh climates.
  • Sealed pavers, stone and bricks are easy to clean with a mixture of mild soap and water.
  • Wooden decks can be winterized with a good scrub using a deck and fence cleaner and a fresh coat of water-repellent sealer before sleet, snow and ice warp and crack your timber.
  • Treat set-in stains, mould or mildew as needed with a pressure washer*. Set the machine on the lowest setting and wash the surface in sections.
*Do not use on cedar decks

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