Paver hardscape – pavers, stone and concrete – represent shapes with an edge easiliy softened with timely landscape plantings. After investing in a patio, walk or retaining wall for your Madison WI home, finish it with a selection of plants. Paver hardscape structures are used to define property – outdoor living spaces, meanderings from place to place and driveways. Landscape planting brings color, texture and style to the yard.
Patios make your outdoor space not only inviting they make a space functional. Add a personal sensitivity to the environment and you soften the hard edge. But, not every plant you see in a catalog or garden center will work with your paver hardscape.
Integrate Plants Into Paver Hardscape
The traditional row of bushes along a paver path is a favorite, but there are other ways to integrate flowers, shrubs and trees into your outdoor living area. Planning to bring plants into your paver hardscape plan? Consider:
- Plants Dictate Travel Patterns – a straight pathway may be easier to install, but it lacks pizzazz. A curved walkway framed with greenery moves people from place to place with style. Curves slow a person’s gait, allowing them to appreciate the surroundings.
- Planting Beds With Flare – raised beds for flowers, uniquely-shaped planting areas and exciting mixtures of plants bring art to your property.
- Match Planting Beds and Pavers – when you’re using unusually-shaped pavers, consider building planting beds using the same shapes. Or, when pavers are square or rectangular consider oval or round beds.
- Add BIG elements – bring in boulders, statues or other creative elements that attract attention.
- Put Plants On The Patio – using colorful or unique containers to bring plants right onto your paver patio opens up your landscape planting to a whole new palette.
Make It ‘Green’
There are a lot of considerations that go into selecting the right plants for your site. How much sun does it get every day? Too much shade? How has installation of the new paver hardscape influenced overall drainage in the yard? What kind of soil do you have – a soil sample is a great first start and you can do it yourself or send it off to a lab.
Visit a local nursery or garden center and you’ll create a long list of plants you love. Nothing is worse than buying great plants and then finding out they won’t grow where you want them. When it doubt, consult a professional prior to your landscape planting.
The latest trend in landscape planting to finish a paver hardscape is emphasis on conserving resources and minimizing the use of chemicals and pesticides. As you plan, consider:
- Trees for residential landscape – you have two groups to choose from: Evergreens and deciduous (those that lose their leaves in the fall). Evergreens are ideal for anchoring a hardscape installation as foundation plantings – especially along a wall. They can provide privacy and block the wind. Deciduous trees come in dozens of shapes and grow to just as many sizes. Choose them for their ability to provide shade where you need it and for their fall colors.
TIP FROM A PRO – Even though the new plants look perfect just a few feet from the house or wall, remember they will grow. A 6-foot tree today can be three times that tall – and several times as wide – in a few years. Don’t plant too close to paver hardscape features of structures where you may have to deal with overhanging branches, roots and even insect threats in a few years.
- Think ‘Native’ – native landscaping plants and their cultivars adapt to local conditions much easier than imports. Reminder – just because a plant is “native” to this country or the state doesn’t mean it will work in your yard. Soil types, available light and water all make a difference.
- Ornamentals – a vast array of flowers and shrubs, these plants provide color, interesting foliage and style to the landscape. You’ll have a choice of annuals – plants that have to be planted fresh each year because they won’t survive a Madison WI winter – and perennials, the plants that keep coming back year after year.
- Edibles Options – berry plants, fruit trees and decorative vegetables do double-duty providing color, shade and food. They attract birds and butterflies, too.
Water is the Essence of Landscape Planting
The more lawn you have, the more water you need to keep it green. Once established, landscape plants don’t require as much water. Plan with these concepts in mind:
- Water is Precious – some kind of irrigation accounts for a third of the water used in the yards across the country. Hundreds of gallons of rain water is waste and allowed to flow into gutters and sewers. Advanced planning for hardscape, drainage plans and ways to capture storm water contribute to conserving this valued resource.
TIP FROM A PRO –One inch of rain on a 1,000-square-foot roof with eaves and downspouts sheds 600 gallons of water every time it rains. A modern rain barrel holds about 50 gallons of that rain water, making it available for container plantings, landscaping and your garden. A solid cover and regularly using the water reduces the risk of mosquitos. In Madison WI you’ll have to drain it in the winter.
- From the Ground Up – review the need for proper drainage prior to a paver hardscape installation. Avoid compaction during construction. Compacted soil restricts plant growth and promotes erosion, runoff and flooding.
- Waste Not – a sustainable approach to patio landscaping relies upon appropriately-sized plants and building materials that are eco-friendly. Don’t overlook plants that are already on site – if they’re doing well they’re sending you a message: “We like it here!”
Maximize Your Investment
Planning landscaping planting to go with a paver hardscape? What do you see from your window as you look toward the new patio space? What will the addition provide the outdoor living space? You have dozens of choices from natural groves of trees, water features and large rocks to formal historic garden creations. With proper planning and the help of trained professionals, most anything is possible.
Contact Marvin Martinez at Martin’s Brick Pavers, 608-630-8855 or email us at www.marvinsbrickpavers.com for professional landscape planting and paver hardscape design for your home in Madison WI and throughout Dane County.