Hardscapes that Help Sustain the Environment


With a heightened awareness of climate change, many people are taking necessary steps to conserve the environment both in and outside of their home. When it comes to your backyard, there are a variety of ways to practice sustainability. Beyond the types of plants you select, you can also optimize your hardscape for the environment. With hardscaping, the most sustainable materials are those that allow water to penetrate the ground rather than cause run-off from rain or snowmelt. Adding hardscaping elements to your yard, such as patios or walkways, may require professional assistance.

At Northern Virginia Landscaping, our experts in hardscape installation can help you build a sustainable outdoor space that fits your needs. We are committed to providing clients with the highest quality in landscaping and design, hardscape constructions, and more.

Below, we provide several materials that are ideal to use in a sustainable hardscape.

Organic Mulch – Bark

Organic mulch material, made from plants, can improve the structure of soil, moderate its temperature, and enhance water filtration and retention. Bark mulch, shredded or chipped, is the most common type and is widely available. It’s best placed around trees, shrubs or in areas that won’t be disrupted by digging like near front walkways.

Inorganic Mulch – Gravel

Gravel is both an affordable and sustainable option for your hardscape that aids drainage and prevents runoff. Pea gravel is one of the most popular forms of gravel, loved for its natural appearance and satisfying crunch underfoot.

While inexpensive, pea gravel offers a variety of elegant uses in any hardscape, including walkways and paths, filler between stone pavers, and as a patio. An added bonus, it also can act as a rodent barrier when placed around the base of a house.

Flagstone, Pavers, and Brick

Available in numerous sizes, shapes, and colors, these materials offer a lot of versatility for an environmentally-friendly hardscape. They can be arranged in different patterns to create a backyard pathway or patio that is pleasing to the eye and allows water to permeate into the soil.

Pervious Concrete and Asphalt

Using a permeable pavement in your hardscape, such as pervious concrete or asphalt, can reduce your environmental impact. The substance of these materials captures stormwater and allows it to drain into the ground, which replenishes groundwater while reducing stormwater runoff that could pollute waterways.


Urbanite is composed of reused/recycled concrete and is another sustainable option for pathways or patios. Similar to flagstone, pavers, or brick, urbanite creates spacing in the design for water to permeate the ground, and the use of this material also keeps construction waste from entering landfills.

Northern Virginia Landscaping: Innovative Hardscape Installation in Alexandria, VA

With the materials suggested above in mind, you can start to plan an update to your landscape that increases its sustainability. At Northern Virginia Landscaping, our professionals in hardscape installation can work with you to create an outdoor space that is both attractive and friendly to the environment. For several 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 Alexandria, VA and throughout Northern Virginia.

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

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