4 Oct 2011

How Hard Landscaping can Enhance your Garden

Posted by bcsands

Hard landscaping isn’t landscaping that’s particularly difficult to do! In fact, it’s a bit of landscaping jargon for the more construction-oriented items that are used in landscaping.

However beautiful your plants and garden beds, it’s often the hard landscaping elements that give your garden or landscape its real character.  Hard landscaping elements can range from decorative rocks, through wooden sleepers and concrete pavers, right up to the bricks and blocks used to build retaining walls and other structures.  

Pine – logs, edging, sleepers and more!

Pine products are among the most versatile hard landscaping products around. They come in different shapes and sizes, including sleepers, which have a rectangular profile and come in a range of lengths, round logs, in different heights and diameters, and slabs, which are flat on the top and bottom, but have rounded sides,

There is really no end to the ways that pine can be used. Pine products make quick and versatile garden edging, can be used to make raised vegetable or flower beds, bolted together as retaining walls or fences, or even stood up on their ends, concreted into the ground and joined with a mesh to make an archway for a climbing plant. Pine is easy to work with and fits into almost any landscaping scheme.

A word about “treated pine”

Treated pine simply means that the pine has been chemically treated to be resistant to rot and insect attack. An ‘H’ rating system indicates the use to which the timber can be put. For landscaping, H4 is the most usual rating – H4 products can be used in, or in contact with, the ground. Other ratings apply to different circumstances – for example, if your pine will be in the ground with water contact, you would need H5, or H6 for constant contact with salt water. In the old days, pine used to be treated with arsenic – in most cases alternative products are used, but feel free to check with your supplier.

Flagging and pavers

The range of flagging and pavers on the market is extensive! You can buy anything from a plain concrete slab (including round slabs or Evocrete – a light concrete reinforced with fibre) to the fanciest etched and coloured pavers. Another option is a natural stone, such as sandstone flagging, or modern stacked stone slabs, which are designed to look like narrow pieces of natural stone, piled on top of one another and look fantastic in the right setting.

Garden Edging

Garden edging is probably the hard landscaping product most used by the home gardener or landscaper. This comes in all types, including wood or plastic edging that is simply hammered into the ground, aluminium edging that can be nailed in with purpose-made spikes, pine sleepers or pre-shaped concrete edging – for example, round tree surrounds that neaten the area around your trees and keep mulch in place.

Retaining walls

Retaining structures can be made out of a variety of materials, including bricks and pine sleepers, but there are also purpose-designed retaining wall systems, such as Tasman blocks. These ranges include everything you need to build a great-looking wall, including blocks, corner blocks and caps. These systems can be used to build straight or curved walls and can cope with steps and angles, and come in a range of colours to suit every landscape.

Bricks and blocks

It’s usually only the most ambitious home landscaper who will go as far as to construct walls, steps or retaining walls, although bricks and blocks are useful for smaller jobs too – many of us are familiar with the faithful brick barbecue!


BC Sands has a wide range of hard landscaping products – in fact there’s a whole section on our web site dedicated to hard landscaping: www.bcsands.com.au/landscaping/hard_landscape

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