Debbie Roland, Master Gardener
Nonliving elements in your yard or garden are called hardscape. Hardscape can improve the appearance of your outdoor areas. Some common types are patios, decks, statues, metal artwork, water features, walkways and paths. They can be rustic or formal or whatever appeals to you.
Now is the perfect time to plan an outdoor getaway area for your yard or garden. When planning your hardscape pick out several different textures you like and that complement your home’s exterior. Use two or three different colors to liven it up. Think of a pathway that begins with an archway and has a gentle curve as you follow the path. Along the walkway could be whimsical statues or water features for birds and small wildlife. Although you don’t know what comes after the curve it draws your eye to what is at the end of the path. As you follow it, it opens up to a seating area or patio with a birdbath and two chairs waiting for you to sit and enjoy everything that the outdoors offers.
One of my favorite things on Pinterest lately are the wooden fences that have huge flowers and butterflies painted on them. That makes a great backdrop for a flowerbed or a patio and can work to hide unsightly areas.
Fire pits are another area worth investigating. A relaxing evening cooking out and watching the stars with your family will fit in with social distancing and get everyone outdoors. A few pots of full sun plants strategically placed will add texture and color. These areas also allow you to have less lawn to care for thereby using less water and less labor for the gardener.
Many have spent this time at home cleaning storage buildings, garages and getting their yard in shape. I am seeing many items offered for free on local sites that would work well being repurposed and reimagined in your yard and constructing an area for your family.
If you have questions, please call the AgriLife office in Odessa at 498-4071 or in Midland at 686-4700 for more gardening information. Additional information is available at https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu and westtexasgardening.org.