Winter Hardscapes


Let’s talk Idaho winters.

The patio furniture is tucked away. A few crinkled leaves hang limply from bare branches. The red-twig dogwoods are showcasing their skeletal structure and vibrant color. Perhaps a blanket or skiff of snow gently kisses the ground. Our attention shifts to the evergreens as they are the one reminder that life remains outside. Maybe you’ve caught yourself longingly gazing out the window, dreaming of warmer days and lush, green landscapes. But just because the plants have fallen dormant does not mean the outside activity has to.

Hardscaping is just as essential as the plants that surround it and necessary to enjoying a cohesive landscape–no matter the season. Hardscape refers to the paved and structural areas of the landscape such as patios, pergolas, driveways, paths, pools, and fireplaces. It is an important element that not only provides an extra layer of depth and texture but incorporates functionality. There are numerous ways that hardscaping can be used to increase the value of an outdoor space.

So again, consider Idaho winters and how much your landscape is used (or not) during the season. With the limited winter plant palette and low temperatures, it’s no wonder most people call it quits on the backyard activities. However, what if our yards were used to their fullest potential year around? Most people living in the Boise area value the outdoors regardless of the season. Hardscaping adds consistency throughout the year and adds a sense of permanence to the yard. Dreary days may be brightened with a crackling fire or stargazing may be on the agenda with a view from the hot tub.

Functionality is not the only benefit, either. Aesthetics really drive the desire for a beautiful space; a way to tie the landscape to the house and customize personal taste. It allows the eye a place to rest. The integration of hard materials brings harmony and cohesion to its surroundings. Metal, brick, wood, concrete, and stone are a few primary examples of materials used, and each has a place in the landscape to be enjoyed by homeowners and their company. Plus, it doesn’t get any lower maintenance than hardscape.

Spring, summer, and even early fall all provide ideal weather for numerous outdoor activities. Winter gets trickier, but fireplaces or pits bring the warmth of heat and comfort. Hot tubs make for a fun evening of relaxation. Outdoor heaters surrounding seating or tables creates a serene outdoor oasis for meals or game nights. Spruce up the porch garden pots with some fresh greenery to give the space a seasonal facelift and fresh scents. Even the addition of lights in warm yellow tones hung on structures or dormant tree branches offer an invitation to step outside.  

Winter does not have to be a bleak and unforgiving season. Rather, its beauty in all that is should be enjoyed! Those who love spending their time outside should not have to surrender their outdoor space for the cold months or cold temperatures.

If you need any help, inspiration, or professional expertise please contact Franz Witte to create the hardscape oasis of your dreams! Outdoor pot designs are also available.      

By Riley Rehberg

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