When one thinks of creating a native or natural landscape, the first image that appears in their minds is lots of softscaping, or plant material—flowers and full foliage with lots of textures and aromas blowing in the breeze—a dreamy garden full of luscious plants.
But what’s often overlooked in a natural garden is the harder elements that contrast these softer plant materials. Contrary to the rough and tough images they conjure, hardscapes are an essential part of the natural landscape vista. In fact, hardscapes provide the essential foundation on which a landscape is built. Not only are hardscapes functional—directing people from one area to another with ease—but they are also extremely aesthetic. The hardscape elements chosen for a commercial property can do just as much to set the scene for a natural setting as the plants.
For at least a decade, using concrete as the hardscape of choice and stamping it or treating it to look like a natural material like stone or brick was the trend on commercial properties. Today, however, stamping is falling out of trend.
The new trend: Atlanta commercial property managers are choosing to opt for the natural look they desire with real stone or brick, instead of trying to make a material like concrete imitate another natural product. The look is more authentic and each material chosen is embraced for its inherent attributes.
When HighGrove builds patios, walkways and retaining walls, we know they will be around for quite a long time. All of the materials provide decades of durability and lots of design options.
Natural stone pavers—from flagstone to granite to cobblestone to travertine—are very strong and can stand up to a lot of wear-and-tear. Bricks provide a different feel but are also incredibly durable. When it comes to bringing hardscapes to commercial landscapes that seem to be installed by Mother Nature herself, the options are endless.
There are so many hardscape products, and each one can provide a different look and feel to the commercial landscape—many of them offer natural, “old world” looks.
Natural stones, for instance, have normal bumps and ridges with varying heights and weights that need to be taken into consideration when installed.
How stone is cut is also an important factor to ponder. Precut geometric shapes are more formal, while irregular flagstone pieces provide a more rustic look.
Thinking about the intended spaces for hardscapes and how they will be used is also essential in choosing the right material. Entryways, outdoor entertainment areas and pathways all require smoother surfaces to cater to a variety of footwear types. Less slippery surfaces provide an element of safety on a commercial property.
Don’t worry; concrete hasn’t disappeared from the commercial landscape entirely. But, today, it doesn’t have to be plain, cold and gray. Where commercial property managers are still opting for concrete, they are embracing it as concrete but brightening the material up by texturizing and embedding it with other materials, such as pebbles, sea glass, marbles or gemstones.
This also makes concrete a less slippery surface, which enhances safety while providing something different and unique.
Looking for a more natural feel on your Atlanta commercial property? Think hardscapes!
HighGrove has you covered. Call us at 678-298-0550 or use our simple contact form to the right for a free consultation. And for more helpful landscape tips, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog.