Hardscaping is an important element in dog friendly yards. First let’s define it, “hardscaping,” or “hardscape” refers to the non-living elements of a landscape. Hardscapes include patios, sidewalks, stone paths, mulched areas, retaining walls, arbors, trellises, fences and lattice dividers.
Living plants, by contrast, constitute the “softscaping” or “softscape” of the yard …
Hardscaping is a practical choice for yards shared with our canine friends because it is low maintenance, practical and very useful.
The benefits that hardscapes add to the landscape are numerous. Here are a few good reasons to utilize them in your dog friendly yard:
• Paver, concrete or stone pathways and walkways create transition by providing clear, recognizable transit areas through which traffic moves from one point of interest to another. This means fewer worn grassy areas in high traffic zones.
• Stepping stone, gravel or flagstone paths can also create zones of interest and make a yard look bigger by altering the perspective and depth of the scene. They add interest and charm to your landscape.
• Retaining walls can be used to change the grade of the landscape. They are aesthetically pleasing while helping with erosion issues.
• Courtyard walls create enclosed spaces for privacy and conversation. Fences can make areas off limits such as vegetable gardens or rose gardens to keep your dog safe.
• Garden pergolas, with their lattice walls, can screen the view of eyesores like the air conditioner unit or garbage cans.
• Patios and decks establish entertainment, lounging, napping, and dining areas for the family, pets, and guests.
• Stairways and steps leading to and from the house create drama and a sense of grand entrance. They add dimension and interest.
• Arbors, gazebos, and awnings provide shelter so you can use your yard more. They can protect you and your pooch from a light drizzle or create shade and comfort on hot, sunny days.
• Less lawn area equals less work for you. Also equals less muddy paws tracking into the house!
Combine a variety of hardscapes to create a dog friendly yard…plus one people will enjoy as well. Establishing a delicate balance between your needs and your dog friends does not have to be a chore. Turn your space into a backyard oasis the whole family will love, use, and share!