Spring is finally here and that means putting those plans you made for your landscaping into action. Now days, our landscapes are becoming extensions of our homes. They bring us outdoors and provide a great place to entertain or even relax.

So where do you start?

Start by asking yourself some initial questions. Consider your personal style, are you traditional, natural or contemporary? Think about the existing area, do you want to use the same material as your house or other structures or do you want something different? Figure out whether you want to create color contrasts or use simple hues of a single color.

Think about the type of material that’s best for your project. Stone is sold by the ton and decomposed granite by the yard. Don’t worry about trying to figure out exactly how much you’ll need, your local landscape company will be able to help you based on your measurements.

For hardscape projects, here are some of the commonly used choices.

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Chopped Block: Most stone can be purchased as a rough-hewn brick-like shape that is more natural in form. These are used to build retaining walls, planting beds and even pathway borders. River rock, flagstone, chopped block and other stones come in specific palettes of color. From golds to browns and reds, grays and pinks, choosing the right block color is like choosing a paint color for your house.

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Decomposed or Crushed Granite: This type of stone is usually used in patios and paths. It’s a great filler for many different projects, except on steep slopes.

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Flagstone: This type of stone can be used in a number of landscaping projects, from paths to patios to walls. It can be mortared into place or set in decomposed granite or gravel so water can pass through it. This is important especially with our winters as freezing water could spell bad news. Do you have a sidewalk strip in front of your house where the grass just can’t seem to stay green? Try some flagstone set in decomposed granite.

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Gravel: Great for addressing drainage issues and it adds some texture and contrast to the garden. It also comes in a variety of different colors.

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Pavers: Like gravel, pavers come in a number of different colors. The most commonly used are made of concrete and can be used for patios, porches, paths and even walls. Pavers are extremely versatile. They can be placed on sand, either close together for a more “structured” look or even laid to be set apart to allow for grass to grow between.

River Rock

River Rock: Available in a number of size ranges, river rock is smooth and comes in a blend of colors. It can be used to create a meandering dry stream through your landscaping or to solve drainage issues. Additionally, you can simply replace grass with a great looking contrast of natural material in your yard. It’s important to note, you will want to vary the size of the rock in a dry creek, scattering in the larger rocks before you put down the smaller size for a more natural look.

Adding different types of material to your landscaping can make it interesting and inviting. Creating contrast and texture that enhances the curb appeal of your home.