What is hardscaping and do I need it?



What is hardscaping? The term hard landscaping (hardscaping) is used by practitioners of landscape architecture and garden design to describe the construction materials which are used to improve a landscape by design.

The corresponding term soft landscape (softscaping) materials is used to describe vegetative materials such as plants, grasses, shrubs, trees etc. to improve landscape or outdoor space.

Hardscaping 101

Hardscape refers to hard landscape materials in the built environment; structures that are incorporated into a landscape. This can include paved areas, driveways, retaining walls, or any other landscaping made up of hard wearing materials such as stone, concrete, etc.

Hardscaping allows the erection of landscaping features that would otherwise be impossible due to soil erosion, or that compensate for large amounts of human traffic that would cause wear on bare earth or grass.

While there are many hardscaping products, AquaReale tends to work primarily with natural stone products. We work with wallstone and flagstone materials.

We tend to stick to natural flagstone pathways and patios because the materials blends well with everything from modern to older architecture. It withstands the test of time, and can hold up for decades if installed properly.

Natural stone allows for more raw creativity, because no system is being followed. This allows us to go with the flow of the design, creating everything from steps and benches to drainage culverts.

Hardscaping and Stormwater Solutions

AquaReale understands that without nearby bare soil, a hardscape with an impervious surface requires artificial methods of drainage or surface runoff to carry off the water that would normally be absorbed into the ground as groundwater.

Lack of capacity can cause problems after severe storms. We make certain that there is adequate drainage or runoff on every hardscaping project we complete.

Contact us to see what hardscaping solution is best for you.


Light up the night with beautiful pond lighting


Nighttime is the only time one can see the whole pond, inside and out. During daylight hours the surface of the pond is highly reflective, acting like a mirror to the sun. You can see reflections of nearby objects like buildings and trees on the surface of the water, but it is very difficult, even with very clear water, to see down into the depths of the pond.

Pond lighting Information

We recommend using LED bulbs in pond lighting. We use Aquascape LED bulbs, 1 watt and 3 watt. Most pond systems take 2-3 lights and a transformer. Larger ponds may be use 4 or more lights.

Purpose of Pond Lighting

Not only is lighting up your pond an aesthetic choice, but it is also a safe choice.  While you use your lighting to highlight and accentuate the pond’s appealing qualities, you have the added benefit of outlining clearly for your guests where the pond is so that they can be careful around it.

Places for lights:

Less is more with underwater lighting.  Here are some places to consider:

  • Light on waterfalls is dazzling.
  • Illuminate the stream bed; the moving water will create magical lighting effects.
  • Don’t just light water to light water. Feature objects which are interesting to look at, such as: – Interesting rock formations – Fish caves – Plant material, especially water lilies.
  • Marginal plants

AquaReale also recommends using pond lights inside the pond to shine on things outside the pond. This reflective look makes it look like the water is dancing. Contact us to talk about lighting or any of your pond needs.