Enhance Your Garden with Hardscaping

Footpaths, patios, ponds and pergolas provide the structural framework for your garden. They highlight softer areas of lawn and plantings and tie together your outdoor designs. Here, a few basic ideas to get you started.

Excerpted from Garden Design
Structural Garden Features, Steps and Bench DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Laying Deck

Wooden decking is adaptable and blends with most garden styles. It can be built from hardwood, pressure-treated softwood or naturally durable softwoods. Pretreated decking can be left natural, or you can choose from a huge variety of colored stains or treatments. Whatever you choose to build, or hire someone to build, make sure to check building regulations and planning requirements for large or above-ground structures.

Constructed Flower Garden DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Planning a Path or Pergola

Before you start your project make sure you measure your yard carefully. Paths should be at least 4 ft across, enough space for mature plants to spill over the edges. Don't fret if you're not a master carpenter. Many simple projects can be tackled by gardeners without a ton of building skill in just a day or two. Pergola kits are widely available and simple to assemble. You can buy pressure-treated wood that's been pre-cut for raised beds or decking.

Intimate Stepping Stone Pathway DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

When to Ask for Help

Building patios and paths can turn into major DIY projects. If you intend to pave or deck big areas it may be worth considering professional help. Small blocks or bricks laid in intricate designs also require expertise. A gravel surface requires less skill to lay, and is ideal for an area around planting, or for a path.

Small Pond DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Incorporate a Water Element

Informal ponds are beautiful features and quite easy to construct. Depending on how large a pond you'd like, a backhoe might be helpful.

Excerpted from Garden Design

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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