The Concrete Path to Landscaping: From Geometric Styles to Modern Minimalism
Here in the United States, the weekend warriors adventure out every week to tackle new projects and ideas to improve or fix their homes. These projects might range from anything including fixing a broken door knob, building a table from scratch, or enhancing our home’s exterior through landscaping design. Landscaping is a far broader task than might first meet the eye. It is not just about the plants, but about the kinds of materials, including colors, rocks, stones, grass, or gravel that you use. The use of concrete is a major part of many landscaping projects, as it is the foundation that people use to set pathways, fire pits, and more.
Landscape design has evolved over many centuries, and broadly speaking there are generally two approaches to it:
Formal design: A formal design typically consists of a far more uniform, geometric, and symmetrical design.
Informal design: This look goes for the ‘natural,’ unplanned, sometimes eccentric sometimes evoking of the craziness and lack of uniformity in the natural world.
The Early Days of Landscaping
Is there anything the Ancient Greeks didn’t have a hand in? The answer is likely no. Their contributions to math, science, and philosophy are still reverberating throughout the Western world. The Greeks loved mathematics and, more specifically, geometry. The Greeks looked for the natural symmetry and beauty of things. By some accounts, formal landscape design began with the Ancient Greeks and the love of creating an ordered world out of the chaos of nature. So many of the structures in this ancient civilization always portrayed geometrical and symmetrical displays.
According to The Spruce, there was a revolt against this type of landscaping design that centered around the idea that nature was not, in fact, always perfectly predictable and symmetrical. That in nature there was chaos and disorder and surprising elements that one was not always ready for. And therein lies the major difference in the two styles of landscaping.
One might argue, of course, that the very nature of engaging in ‘landscaping’ means that there is some form being imposed upon the landscape. The informal style, however, focuses on trying to emulate the craziness of nature. The formal style often tries to control the content and form of the landscaping. This means that someone might go out and seek to create a very specific vision and thus chooses only certain plants, certain types of stone, etc, in order to provide a very cohesive landscaping design.
Concrete in Landscaping
Enter concrete, one of the most widely used, versatile, and easily accessible building materials in the world. We see it used in highways, bridges, but also in our backyards. Why do so many people turn to concrete for their building projects? Well, here’s just a few reasons:
- It’s durable as heck. Get some good quality concrete and it will last you a long time.
- It’s not a one trick pony. In other words, it’s versatile. It can be effectively used for a variety of different projects.
- It wears many hats. Concrete offers unlimited design flexibility.
- Won’t make a hole in your wallet. Concrete is easy to install and easily accessible. This means it’s quite economical, especially if you’re looking to build something that requires a little more material.
Ideas for the Modern Landscaper
So, in what ways is concrete utilized for modern landscaping projects? Well, there is no end to what a creative homeowner with a little help from his/her friends (mainly Pinterest and other DIY websites) can do. So whether you are looking to landscape in your front or backyard, here are a few cool ideas.
A Firepit. Nothing is more romantic, or cozy, or warming than sitting outside by the fire under the starlight. And you don’t have to plan a camping trip to do this (although we don’t guarantee you’ll get many stars in the city) BUT a concrete fire pit is the perfect solution to bring your landscaping together and keep things simple outside.
Paths with Pavers. A great idea for your front or backyard might include creating pathways and pavers that give dimension and direction to your landscaping.
Gravel beds. This is not a flower bed, but a gravel bed! And concrete can serve as a separation or build steps. Creating a pattern of gravel bed and concrete steps will add levels and dimension to your backyard. This is a great way to create atmosphere and establish spaces as uniform.
Concrete back porch. Especially here in the desert, using a lot of grass and plants can be difficult to keep up with. Using concrete in a smart way with the right balance of plants and stones or Southwest plants is a fantastic way to keep your bills down and not compromise beauty and design.
Get Quality Concrete From Your Local Supplier
Here at New Mexico Ready Mix, we use only quality aggregates to ensure that our product is high-grade. Whether you are a weekend warrior or a first time DIYer, we are here to provide the materials you need.