Landscaping is a vital part of an association’s curb appeal and a driving force in attracting new residents to live there. When most people think of landscaping, they think of dew-covered green lawns, shrubs and trees, meticulously maintained flowerbeds and artful plantings scattered around a building or development.
But live vegetation isn’t the only hallmark of a beautiful property. An association can create an outdoor oasis with walking paths, fountains, statues, rock gardens, patios, terraces and decorative wall elements. Otherwise known as ‘hardscaping,’ this approach encompasses any non-plant-related landscaping. While some associations just use greenery, others are committed to a hardscape-only property. Still others use a combination of both.
Form & Function
Forgoing the foliage and decorating a property with properly placed rocks and paving stones can not only look beautiful, but these designs are also extremely functional. First, they may be used to correct any potential land problems with the property. For example, building a fence or wall can function as a windbreak, and a walkway may be used where grass would be worn down due to constant foot traffic. Other hardscape features, such as a fountain or patio may be more for beauty, or to provide residents with a comfortable amenity.
In most cases, hardscaping require less maintenance and no water—an extremely important consideration in certain parts of the state where the U.S. Drought Monitor (a consensus of information gathered by federal agencies and academic scientists) reports continued lack of rainfall, dropping lake levels and drought notices.
“When you’re under water restrictions, your grass dies,” says Glenn Minnis, president and owner of Turf Concepts in Boca Raton, who has seen his artificial turf business increase over the past year especially because of drought conditions.