Winter Hardscapes

Let's Talk Idaho Winters

Article by Riley Rehberg

Photography by Franz Witte & Provided

Originally published in Meridian Lifestyle

The patio furniture is tucked away and crinkled leaves hang from bare branches. The dogwoods are showcasing their skeletal structure and vibrant color. Perhaps a blanket of snow gently kisses the ground.  Maybe you’ve caught yourself longingly gazing out the window, dreaming of warmer days and lush, green landscapes. But just because the plants have fallen dormant doesn’t mean outside activity has to. 

Hardscaping is just as essential as the plants that surround it and necessary to enjoying a cohesive landscape--no matter the season. Hardscape refers to paved and structural areas such as patios, pergolas, driveways, paths, pools, and fireplaces. It is an important element that not only provides an extra layer of depth and texture but also incorporates functionality. There are numerous ways that hardscaping can be used to increase the value of an outdoor space. 

Consider Idaho winters and how much your landscape is used (or not) during the season. With the limited winter plant palette and low temperatures, it’s no wonder most people call it quits on the backyard activities. However, what if our yards were used to their fullest potential year around? Most people living in the Treasure Valley value the outdoors regardless of the season. Hardscaping adds consistency throughout the year and a sense of permanence to the yard.

Function and aesthetics really drive the desire for a beautiful space.  It’s a way to tie the landscape to the house and customize personal taste. The integration of hard materials brings harmony and cohesion to its surroundings. Metal, brick, wood, concrete, and stone are a few primary examples of materials used, and each has a place in the landscape.  Plus, it doesn’t get any lower maintenance than hardscape. 

In winter, fireplaces or pits bring the warmth of heat and comfort. A crackling fire brightens dreary days and hot tubs make for a fun evening of relaxation. Stargazing can be on the agenda with a view from a hot tub.

Outdoor heaters surrounding seating or tables creates a serene outdoor oasis for meals or game nights. Spruce up the garden pots on the porch with fresh greenery giving the space a seasonal facelift and fresh scents. The addition of lights in warm yellow tones hung on structures or dormant tree branches offer an invitation to step outside.  

Those who love spending their time outside should not have to surrender their outdoor space for the cold months or cold temperatures. The beauty of winter should be enjoyed!

For more information: FranzWitte.com

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