Hardscaping Design

Giving Your Garden Good Bone Structure


We may forget, or consider far down the road in our plans, the hardscaping, or garden structure.

We are careful to plan the shapes and position of garden bed, spend delightful hours poring through plant catalogs, and numerous trips to the nursery while creating our gardens, but the hardscape sometimes escapes our attention.

Plotting the paths, vertical structures, walls, and other such parts of the garden come only from necessity. They are quite often inherited from the previous owners, or put into place on a whim.
brick and garden hedge
It may be observed that the more experienced a gardener becomes, the more appreciation builds for planning such features. Then the race is on for finding materials and adding to the garden bones of the landscape plan.

This page is a collection of garden design and feature pages centering on the all important hard landscape portions of the garden plan: stone, wood, and metal forms and structures.

Garden buildings such as sheds, furniture like benches, are all a part of this rewarding part of the garden plan. This will all be with the desire to make this part of garden making more intentional to the purpose that our yards be places of more enjoyment for us and our families.

Garden Structure Pages

Containers and Their Plantings

As focal points and features, containers can be considered a structural part of the garden when their size is large enough. They draw the eye and provide strong design in themselves, or along with the right planting.

Sunny container

Sunny container


Supplemental pages from My Garden Journal:

Examples from Inniswood Garden

Raised Beds

pathways create the design as well as access
Raised beds create design and structure

Hidcote Quintessential English Garden

Of the many lessons one may take from the famous Hidcote garden, built by Lawrence Johnston, is the importance of strong design structure.

Rooms with an array of color and interest for all seasons, it is filled with many accessible ideas. In his unique way, Johnston united the clashing landscaping views of his day, and came up with the “wild garden within a formal setting”. This seems to me a very American take on what makes a beautiful garden. When our ideas are lazily stripped down into what’s “easiest” we are left with uninspired foundation plantings with a tired lawn, but when invigorated with a wish to see our garden dreams come true, those severe outlines spring up with color and some of the natural exuberance of our native landscapes.

That is a great lesson to take from Hidcote, an example of how that may work in our own creations.

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