Borders are absolutely essential in any hardscape as they organize the design by breaking up large spaces and separating different outdoor ‘rooms’. Without clear distinction between different outdoor spaces, furniture arrangements and other features can seem poorly anchored and out of place. Borders are also excellent tools with which to create variation and contrast, or highlight focal features within the landscape. Borders come in various forms, from neat foliage to low walls and paver patterns. Consider the following border ideas to refresh and reorganize your Amherst, NH, landscape.
Concrete pavers are exceptionally versatile and offer a near-endless range of colors, shapes, sizes and textures. With such a vast array of options at your disposal, you are guaranteed to find pavers that perfectly complement the rest of your hardscape. Selecting pavers in a color that complements the surrounding patio floor will result in a more cohesive, well-put together design. Consider deep black pavers to accent a slate-grey patio floor, for example. Contrasting borders tend to draw attention to the features they enclose and are excellent at highlighting focal points. Consider deep burgundy pavers as a romantic accent to a sandstone patio, for example. With concrete pavers, you are given the freedom to customize the color and thickness of your borders, as well as how subtle or eye-catching they might be.
Large patios can be segregated by plant beds that have been nestled into cut-out patio spaces. These plant beds often incorporate soft shapes, revitalizing hues and offer a sense of tranquility to the outdoor spaces that they enclose. For a rustic look and feel, you could allow these plants to overgrow and spill out onto the patio. Not only will this have a whimsical effect on the aesthetic of the patio, but will also result in a softer, less distinct border between spaces. Your green borders can be customized in plenty of ways, most noticeably in the selection of flowers that fill them. Have your plant beds filled with flowers that complement the aesthetic of your patio and reflect your own personal flair. If you’re opting for a minimalist design, consider filling your natural borders with neatly-cut ornamental grasses instead.
Low walls offer clear definition for your outdoor rooms and provide a greater sense of privacy and intimacy than paver borders and flower beds. These walls can also serve as additional seating, should the headcount of your get-together exceed your expectations. Have your retaining walls topped with smooth coping to avoid catching any delicate dresses and trousers. You can also bring out characterful cushions for added comfort. Consider using a retaining wall to visually segregate your patio from the softscape, and allow a stunning selection of flowers to spill over the top. You could also adorn any low walls with banding that matches the paver borders underfoot, creating visual flow throughout your hardscape. Banding refers to a simple strip of pavers or wall units, that are different from the rest, and run along the length of vertical elements like walls and grill islands.
Taller shrubs and potted plants
Although tucking flower beds between outdoor rooms can add a natural touch to the hardscape, taller foliage like shrubs and potted plants can have a greater impact. The size, color and design of the pots can be selected to accentuate the aesthetic of the hardscape. This option also offers more privacy than low-lying flower beds and creates a clearer distinction between outdoor rooms.
Image courtesy of Unilock.