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Hardscape in Backyards and Hardscape Lighting Are Perfect Cool Weather Projects

hardscape lighting

First, let’s get clear on what hardscaping is: it’s not anything hard, like a tree. In fact, trees are part of the softscape. Confusing? Nah. Here’s the breakdown: hardscaping is any part of your landscape that is non-living. Softscaping is the rest: the plants and horticultural elements–all the living parts–of a landscape. And while warm weather is the right time for a lot of landscaping projects that involve plants, cool weather is perfect for hardscape projects in backyards, hardscape lighting, and other fun additions that will make your landscaping and outdoor spaces even more enjoyable. 

Hardscape Elements for Backyards

Hardscaping includes permanent installations, such as a concrete retaining wall, a swimming pool, a deck, a driveway, or a gazebo. Hardscaping also includes less permanent elements, such as a bench or that light-up reindeer you put in the yard every December. 

Here are a few more hardscape examples that are ideal for backyards: 

  • Ground cover such as gravel, mulch, bark, or wood chips: reduce time spent mowing, conserve water, and create a level, weed-free area for outdoor games and play. 
  • River rock around a fire pit: reduce the risk of embers spreading and create a natural yet defined look with a level bed of river rock under your backyard fire pit. 
  • Paving stones for parking, working, or playing: create an extra parking space, a good spot for big projects, or a place to shoot hoops in the backyard.
  • Patio fireplace or built-in barbecue: make the most of the last summer days and cool fall weather with a cozy outdoor fireplace and grill. 
  • Lattice or fencing for a privacy screen: enjoy your outdoor spaces without prying eyes, especially when the foliage dies down. 
  • Walkway of stepping stones to the pool, patio, or fire pit: make it easier and safer to enjoy all the outdoor spaces in your backyard with an actual pathway.

Cool Weather for Hardscape Projects

Cooler weather–which is anytime between early fall and when the ground is frozen–is a great time to tackle some of those hardscape projects you’ve been thinking about. In fact, even when we’ve moved into true St. Louis cold, there are some hardscape projects for backyards you can still do. You just need to avoid working with concrete once the ground freezes and the temperatures drop. At that point, you probably want to be inside in front of a cozy fire, anyway. 

Cool weather works well for hardscape projects and lighting in the backyard because, well, it’s cooler. If you’re moving a stack of brick or laying pathway stones, it’s nicer to work in cooler temperatures. It’s also easier to work when the foliage is dying back naturally. As vines shrivel and leaves drop, you get a clear view of what needs to be done, and it’s easier to access the places that require work. 

Hardscape Lighting for Your Backyard

Some hardscape projects need lighting to function well, and to be seen and appreciated. For example, there are outdoor light fixtures designed specifically for walls. These lights provide a horizontal wash of light when mounted on a retaining wall, fence, or landscaping wall. They show off the beautiful brick or stone of the wall, and bring attention to nearby plants and natural elements. But it’s a soft glow rather than a blinding beam of light–perfect for highlighting your hardscape projects and creating a beautiful ambiance. 

Other hardscape lighting options to consider: 

  • For a backyard play area, consider bistro lights strung around the perimeter and a few spotlights mounted on nearby trees. Keep the games going into the evening
  • For a fire pit area, use walkway lights to make it safe and easy to move from the backdoor to the fire pit and back again. Bistro lights or walkway lights around the perimeter of the seating area create a defined space. 
  • A floodlight can be useful near a work area for projects that continue on into the night; spotlights or uplights create a more targeted beam for lighting up trees and landscaping. 
  • Bistro lights strung corner to corner across a paved area, patio, or deck create the perfect ambiance for relaxing. 
  • Outdoor chandeliers and entryway lights are perfect for the backdoor, patio, and outdoor kitchen area. 
  • Perfectly angled spotlights can show off those beautiful evergreens all winter long. 

Cool weather is a great time to enjoy your backyard spaces in a new way. Take the time to walk around your yard and let the ideas simmer. Then give us a call–we can help bring the perfect lighting to your new hardscape projects in the backyard. 

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