First Came the Hardscape

Reynolds Landscaping - Hardscaping

Before you begin planting your garden this spring, you will want to complete your hardscaping projects. With so many materials and uses, bringing hardscaping plans to fruition is just as rewarding as watching your garden bloom.

A few of the more common hardscape materials are natural stone, brick, concrete and wood. When deciding which material to use, consider the following:

  • What is your desired look or style?
  • Which material best complements the exterior of your home?
  • What is the function of the hardscape?
  • Which material is the best natural fit for your yard?

Let’s examine a few of the materials and their best uses:

Natural Stone

The category of natural stone includes bluestone, granite, fieldstone, cobblestone, peastone and stonedust also known as decomposed granite. Natural stone often works well within existing environs and adds an additional boost of texture and color. It is best to choose two to three different stones (no more!) and use them repeatedly in different ways, patterns and configurations throughout the yard. Natural stone is extremely versatile and can be used for pathways, patios, walls, outdoor fireplaces, seating, flowerbeds, pool decks and more! Stone can even be hand-carved to create wonderful accents such as mounted torches. And stone is extremely low maintenance.


Brick provides a colonial or traditional look and is usually used in the yards of brick houses (or homes with brick accents). Bricks can be laid in varying patterns as patios, driveways or paths for a unique and textured look. They are also commonly used as line borders, walls and pillars. Brick works best in areas with some sunlight to avoid moss coverage. It’s also important to note that some salts can deteriorate brick. Proper installation and mortar is imperative for walls, pillars and steps to ensure a solid foundation.


Pavers are a popular hardscape material – probably because of their extreme durability. They come in three main types: interlocking concrete pavers, permeable pavers and segmental wall stone. Interlocking concrete pavers are harder than brick and commonly used for paths, patios and driveways. An added bonus is that they are not slippery when wet. Permeable pavers have the benefits of a standard paver but allow for small gaps in between the pieces to allow for drainage. Segmental wall stone is actually dense concrete made to look like natural stone and is commonly used for retaining walls, plant beds and steps.


Wood is most commonly used for decking as well as raised or roofed structures such as gazebos, hot tubs and lanais. Cedar planking is durable, versatile and won’t transfer heat to those bare feet! Other wood options include pressure-treated decking (which usually includes a warranty against termites and decay) and composite decking (a combination of wood and plastic particles embossed with wood grain for a natural look). However, wood hardscapes go way beyond decks and are often incorporated into outdoor bars, showers and saunas.

Whether your dreams envision complete outdoor living, a tropical oasis, a secret garden, formal sanctuary or backyard retreat, Reynolds Landscaping can help. Call us today for advice on designing and creating your perfect hardscape.

Reynolds Garden Shop

Discover the hidden potential that awaits your garden. Reynolds Landscaping offers complete design, project management, lighting, irrigation and maintenance on Long Beach Island, Manahawkin and Ocean County, NJ. Our professionals have over 30 years of experience creating impeccable gardens so beautiful that you may never want to go inside.

Reynolds is also a wonderful shopping adventure that offers something special for every corner of your home. Stroll the quaintly restored buildings of our full-service retail Garden Center, Floral & Gourmet Markets and Shoppes. Visit our website or stop by our shopping sanctuary located only minutes from Long Beach Island, and let us make the most of the inside and outside of your favorite place – your home.