Transform Your Lakeside Retreat: Blending Landscape with Hardscape for Functionality and Beauty


Enhancing a lakefront property is not just about the aesthetics. It’s about creating a magnetic, functional space that attracts more visitors and increases revenue. Whether through strategic landscaping or the practical functionality of hardscaping, every upgrade plays a crucial role in elevating your business’s appeal and overall efficiency. This guide will explore how both landscape and hardscape can revitalize your property, perfectly aligning with your business objectives and aesthetic aspirations.

What Makes the Difference?

  • Landscape (Softscape): This involves the living, garden elements of design such as plants, trees, shrubs, and flowers. Landscaping aims to bring life to a property through vibrant, natural beauty that evolves seasonally.
  • Hardscape: On the flip side, hardscaping refers to the non-living elements made from hard materials like stone, concrete, and metal. This includes structures such as patios, stone pathways, retaining walls, and outdoor kitchens, which add permanent, functional features to the landscape.

Blending Landscape and Hardscape

Integrating the two can transform an outdoor area into a visually appealing and highly functional space. Here’s how these elements can be effectively blended:

  • Visual Harmony: Use hardscape to create natural contours that frame and elevate the planted areas. For instance, stone pathways can lead to a series of flower beds, or a composite deck can transition seamlessly into a lush garden. The key is to balance the hard and soft elements so that they complement each other rather than compete.
  • Functional Integration: Hardscape elements can enhance the functionality of landscaped areas. For example, a paved patio adjacent to a garden provides a solid foundation for outdoor seating, making it an ideal spot for relaxation or entertainment while enjoying the surrounding greenery. Similarly, retaining walls can be used not only to prevent soil erosion but also to provide raised beds for gardening, combining utility with aesthetic appeal.
  • Erosion Control: Strategic placement of hardscaping can help manage water flow and prevent erosion in your landscaping. Properly installed hardscapes, like gravel paths or drainage channels, can direct rainwater away from sensitive plant areas, preserving the landscape’s beauty and integrity.
  • Seasonal Flexibility: By integrating hardscaping with landscaping, you can ensure that your outdoor space remains attractive and functional across different seasons. Hardscape elements like stone fire pits or covered pergolas provide year-round outdoor enjoyment, allowing you and others to admire your landscape even in colder months.

By integrating sturdy, functional hardscapes with vibrant, life-filled landscapes, you create a dynamic outdoor environment that meets both aesthetic and practical needs.

Cost Considerations

Initially less expensive than hardscaping, landscaping offers a significant return on investment (ROI) by enhancing curb appeal and making the property more enticing to guests and potential buyers. However, it requires ongoing investment in maintenance to keep the flora thriving. If wanting less upkeep and more durability, hardscape could be the right choice. Though the upfront cost is higher due to the materials and labor required, hardscaping is a long-term investment that often increases property value substantially.

Commercial Property

Investing in the right enhancements can show a faster ROI if you know what your customers are looking for. 93% of consumers consider visual appearance to be the most important factor when deciding to buy a product. Take into consideration how people shop, think of how you can increase the amount of premium clientele just by offering a well thought out outdoor area.

What does the average customer spend on one bill? How many more seats can you add creating more demand for outdoor seating? Understanding those numbers will help you determine what kind of investment you can make and how quickly you can make that back.


The cost for maintenance for landscape could include regular watering, pruning, fertilization, and pest control. All are essential to maintain the health and appearance of your garden and green spaces. For monthly services, you can look at spending anywhere between $150-$800/visit depending on how detailed your landscaping is.

Hardscape maintenance, though generally low maintenance, does require occasional cleaning, and in some cases, sealing of stone surfaces to prevent weathering and staining. You will want to consider it could range from $300-$500 just for power washing alone. Most times, service providers do offer a discounted rate when you are set up on a regularly scheduled plan because it reduces the amount of work each visit.

Integration with Existing Structures

Integrating hardscape and landscape elements with existing structures like docks and decks can dramatically improve the cohesion of your outdoor space. For example, matching the stone of a walkway with that of a dock can unify the property’s aesthetic, or strategic plantings can soften the hard lines of a deck, blending it naturally with the surroundings.

The idea is to highlight what makes the property stand out and enhance the given space. Consider how the current space is used and how it can be integrated even more through a high quality design of either hardscape or landscape.

Optimizing the Potential of Your Lakefront Property

Understanding the unique benefits and considerations of both hardscape and landscape can lead to informed decisions that enhance both the property’s value and its appeal to visitors and clients alike.

Ready to transform your lakefront property into a stunning and functional space that aligns with your business and aesthetic goals? Contact us today to explore detailed designs and consultation services tailored specifically to your needs. Let’s maximize the potential of your property together!

Share This: