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Late Autumn Into The Wintertime Is Ideal For Adding Hardscape Features

While many of us don’t really think about landscaping during this time of year, the months from late Autumn and into the wintertime are ideal for enhancing your landscape with hardscape features. 

Since we’re in the midst of the chilly season, we asked our very own expert on the subject, U.S. Lawns Hall of Fame Inductee and owner-operator Bryan Smith of U.S. Lawns Myrtle Beach to tell us more, so we’ll start with explaining what, exactly, a hardscape is.

Hardscapes Defined

Typically, the first thing that comes to mind is a paver patio, but there are all kinds of hardscape elements. Firepits; retaining walls and knee walls to accent a protective tree ring; a sitting area with a built-in grill; paver stone or stamped concrete walkways; water features; gazebos; trellises; and even landscape drains and parking lot blocks fall into the hardscape category. In short, a hardscape can be any non-living, hard structure or material incorporated into the landscape.

Why Are The Cooler Seasons The Most Opportune Time To Make Hardscape Enhancements?

So why are the cooler seasons the most opportune time to enhance your landscape with hardscape features? According to Bryan, “In the winter months, it’s usually wetter so you start seeing and identifying drainage issues more at that time of year. Plus, all the green things are dormant, so you’re not so focused on grass cutting and services like that, so wintertime is a good time to start looking at hardscapes. And it’s also firepit season.” 

Now it may seem as if firepits and drainage are completely unrelated, but as Smith explains, “Your property could have a low area that just holds water, so you could build a big patio with a firepit in the center of it and that’ll help to bring that low spot up to level.” 

Improve Landscape Drainage And Transform Your Grounds Altogether 

In other words, you can improve your drainage issue while transforming poor ground into a useful outdoor space, which Bryan further expanded on with this: “Since you’ve got to bring in the sand and the base and everything else, you’ve already created somewhat of a drainage situation anyway, so you could tie all your French drains into that project, and it knocks out two birds with one stone. You’re properly draining the property because you’ve installed all the piping and you’ve enhanced the property with the patio and the firepit.” 

We find this approach to be brilliant, not to mention cost-effective!

Winter Hardscape Enhancements Are Often More Affordable

What’s more, there are often incentives to be found, which can make winter hardscape enhancements more affordable. Smith says there are a few reasons for this.  

  • First, many landscape services providers are looking for opportunities to keep their crews gainfully employed during the slower months, so they’re willing to offer better pricing to keep the work flowing. 
  • Secondly, the local distributors, much like many automobile dealerships, are trying to get rid of their existing inventory in order to make room for next year’s supplies. This means they will offer extra incentives to sell their overstock, which results in lower costs that Bryan is able to pass on to his customers. 

Cool Season Hardscape Installation Leads To More Timely Completion

Another advantage to cool season hardscape installation is that once all the greenery is dormant, the workload is usually a little lighter for your professional landscape management team. Their shorter backlog means they are able to complete your hardscape project with fewer delays, and this is especially true in regions that are transitioning into snow mode. 

Of course, as with everything, there are always going to be exceptions such as:

  • If your landscaping team is also your snow and ice management team, they’ll have to prioritize snow removal and ice treatment services over continuing with hardscape projects. 
  • Or in the case of heavy wintry precipitation and frigid temperatures, conditions must improve enough for the team to be able to work on your new hardscape feature.  

Hardscapes Can Protect And Beautify At The Same Time

Although budgeting for the addition of a hardscape may strike you as frivolous at first glance, there are many situations where hardscapes can address safety hazards, protect your other landscape investments and also help improve curb appeal. Bryan shared a couple of specific situations where he and his team have utilized hardscapes to the benefit of their customers:

  • “We just recently had a property where a road had to go in, and it went right next to a bunch of big oak trees. In order to protect the roots, we surrounded the oak trees with a knee wall. To save those trees you had to do this, or else they were going to die because there was so much dirt being piled up on them.” 

In this case, if Smith and his team hadn’t been paying attention while they were servicing the property, the result could have been far more costly than it ended up being, since replacing big old Oaks is a major expense. 

  • “Another perfect example is, we have a property that has an asphalt walking trail all the way through the whole neighborhood and over time that asphalt has gotten soft and cracked and broken in places. So instead of saying ‘Hey, we’ll go get some premade asphalt and try to patch this thing,’ we just cut out squares and backfilled those sections with pavers. So now throughout that whole neighborhood where the asphalt has failed, there’s probably thirty paver squares throughout, so it looks like it was part of the design of the whole neighborhood. It makes it appear as if it was planned that way from the get-go, even though it was failed asphalt that was too soft when they put it down.” 

Because Bryan was looking out for his customer, they were able to both beautify the community and eliminate fall hazards for their customer with some simple hardscape improvements.

Your Local U.S. Lawns Is Always Looking Out For Your Best Interests

In fact, U.S. Lawns owner-operators all across the nation are committed to being ever on the lookout for ways to help their customers enhance their landscape and mitigate liabilities, and because of this, we stay busy all year long no matter the climate. 

If you’d like to have a team of commercial landscape maintenance professionals looking out for your best interests, get in touch with us today. You can count on us to make recommendations when improvements are needed whether for hardscape or softscape enhancements, and we’ll always treat your turf like it’s our lawn.

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