This time of the year is slightly awkward in the Kentucky landscape. We're not talking about Valentine's Day, although Perfection has no doubt plenty of awkward dates are happening as we type. No, we're talking about in terms of landscaping your yard. There's not a whole lot to plant in early February, but you're probably starting to feel the itch to put something into your landscape. But not to worry, because we have the Perfect solution: hardscaping. Hardscapes are evergreen in Greenville and beyond. They take little upkeep, and if you're adventurous and bundle up, you can use them all year! Here are our top hardscaping features for your backyard. Walls When you hear hardscaping, walls may not be the first feature that comes to mind, but we frequently create beautiful hardscaped walls to incorporate into backyard living spaces. One reason we build hardscaped walls is for functionality - to retain hills (retaining walls) or to build vertical space in gardens. Garden walls can be multi-tiered, allowing your creativity to ascend above the ground. Though made of concrete, they needn't be plain. You can decorate your walls to emulate your style. Finally, you can use walls to create multi-level stone seating around your fire pit or patio. Fire Pits & Fire Places And speaking of fire, it's the Perfect element to incorporate into your hardscaping! Fire pits and fireplaces are favorite spots for guests to gather. Perhaps it's in our DNA to be drawn to the warmth of flames, even in our age of electricity. Whatever the reason, it's nearly universal that starting a fire will liven up your outdoor gathering. Fire also can extend your season of entertaining by creating warmth and extending your evening by creating light. Outdoor Kitchens Take fire to its next iteration, and you get an outdoor kitchen! Outdoor kitchens have gained in popularity in the last several decades as home cooks have flocked to smokers and pizza ovens to round out their cooking hobbies. Today, Perfection can build you a simple outdoor kitchen with a built-in grill or a more ornate one with electricity and running water. But, of course, if you're not cooking-inclined, roasting marshmallows in your fire pit remains an option. Water Elements Where there's fire, we have to talk about water too. Fountains, ponds, birdbaths, and more are ways to incorporate this calming and cooling element into your hardscapes. A water garden can be an excellent place to reflect, and the sound of water can help to mask traffic noise. Walkways Travel your property with safety, stability, and style with a walkway made from brick, pavers, stone, or concrete. Mix and match to create a rustic or modern look. With all the material available and the ability to add color as necessary, there's no reason your walkway can't match your home or create the perfect complement. Patios & Outdoor Living Spaces For many, the patio is the heart of the backyard. It's where you gather, cook, and entertain. It's also the place that all the other outdoor elements tend to surround. What's the difference between patios and outdoor living spaces? Well, you could say that every patio is an outdoor living space but not every outdoor living space is a patio. Outdoor living space is a somewhat encompassing term that refers to any area outdoors where you congregate. However, outdoor living spaces typically refer to more elaborate areas than patios. Though patios can be elaborate, they can also be a simple concrete pad attached to the backdoor. Steps Steps can add beauty to your yard, but most importantly, you must install them in a way that is safe and easy to use them. Often we will add steps to a hillside to create more stable ground for those who have a more difficult time walking on an uneven surface. You should use professionals for step installation because the wrong pitch can be the difference between a safe or dangerous stairway. Hardscaping is Whatever You Want it To Be As a term, hardscaping is nearly as broad as landscaping. You can use hardscape materials, including rock, stone, concrete, and pavers, to create whatever you want your backyard to feature. Ideally, your hardscapes will blend seamlessly with your living landscape to make a complete picture that improves your lifestyle. The question to ask yourself is, what hardscape features would accentuate my home, hobbies, and life? Whatever the answer is for you, Perfection wants to help you create it!