A Guide For Sustainable Hardscapes

While most homeowners imagine vibrant flower beds, a lush lawn, and trimmed shrubbery when they consider landscaping projects, hardscaping can also greatly enhance the beauty and usability of your backyard. When implementing man-made elements in your outdoor space, however, it’s important to keep your impact on the environment in mind. With proper planning and installation, you can create a hardscape that aids water filtration, limits runoff, and reduces pollutants.

At Northern Virginia Landscaping, our experts in expert hardscape installation are here to help you design and construct a sustainable outdoor space that fits your preferences and needs. With a decade of experience serving homeowners and businesses in the Fairfax, VA area, we are committed to providing the highest quality services in landscape design, hardscaping, drainage, and more.

Keep reading for an introduction to sustainable hardscapes and recommendations for creating your own green space:

What is Hardscaping?

Landscaping encompasses both softscapes and hardscapes. Softscapes include organic matter in your outdoor space, such as shrubs, mulch, grasses, trees, and flowers. Hardscaping involves non-organic features, such as patios, walkways, driveways, and steps, that will allow you to better organize and utilize your landscape.

Creating a Sustainable Hardscape

When planning your hardscape, there are a variety of ways to make it environmentally friendly. One element that can make a significant difference is the type of material used for your patio, walkway, or driveway.

Recommended materials include:

  • Pea gravel – Versatile and affordable. Pea gravel aids drainage and prevents runoff.
  • Flagstone, pavers, and brick – These materials can be situated in patterns that allow water to percolate through the joints and into the soil.
  • Pervious concrete or asphalt – The unique substance of these permeable materials captures stormwater and allows it to drain into the ground, which replenishes groundwater while reducing runoff that could pollute waterways.
  • Open concrete grids – Open concrete grid blocks create pockets of space to place drainage-friendly material, such as gravel or soil to grow grass turf.
  • Urbanite – Urbanite is composed of reused or recycled concrete, and similar to flagstone, pavers, and brick, its placement allows for water to permeate the ground. Another benefit of using this material is reducing the amount of construction waste entering landfills.

How Sustainable Hardscapes Make a Difference

Sustainable hardscapes benefit the environment by:

  • Limiting use of material resources – Material resources are finite, so it is best that reused or recycled materials are incorporated whenever possible to limit waste.
  • Preserving soil and plant life – Permeable materials can filter out pollutants, improving the health of soil and vegetation.
  • Putting water to good use – Water should be treated as a valuable resource; sustainable hardscape design returns water to the soil rather than creating runoff into the sewer.

Northern Virginia Landscaping: Quality Hardscape Installation in Fairfax, VA

With the information and materials suggested above, you can begin making a plan to update your landscape and increase its sustainability. At Northern Virginia Landscaping, our professionals in efficient hardscape installation will work with you to create an outdoor space that is both beautiful and environmentally-friendly. For years, our team of professionals has offered services to assist with landscaping and design, tree removal, drainage solutions, and more to homeowners and businesses in Fairfax, VA and throughout Northern Virginia.

Contact us at (703) 982-0100 to see how we can assist you today!

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