Hardscaping in Your Utah Yard

firepit in stone patio area

Whether you want a low-maintenance yard or one with a variety of materials for visual interest, hardscaping is a great addition to any Utah landscape. Cottonwood Landscapes can provide you with design ideas and professional installation for whatever purpose you want your outdoor space to serve.

Ideas for Hardscaping 

Contrary to popular belief, hardscaping doesn’t have to mean your yard is devoid of vegetation; it can be a way to complement your plants or water features to elevate your outdoor spaces. Hardscapes can include:

  • Arbors
  • Benches
  • Decking
  • Driveways
  • Fire pits
  • Patios
  • Pergolas
  • Retaining walls
  • Steps
  • Water features

As stand-alone features or a part of your green scapes, any of these elements can make your yard a place you return to day in and out.

Materials Used in Hardscaping

Anything that doesn’t ebb and flow with the changing seasons is considered a hardscape element.

  • Gravel
  • Pavers
  • Stone
  • Wood

Landscaping with rock and wood materials helps establish a good balance between organic and inorganic features in your yard, which is why we love incorporating hardscaping in designs for our clients.

Best Landscaping Rocks

What are the best landscaping rocks to use in Utah? Well, it largely depends on the final look you’re going for, as well as your budget. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular landscaping rocks and their best uses.

  • Brick
  • Cobblestone
  • Flagstone
  • Lava Rock
  • Pea Gravel
  • River Rock


One of the oldest man-made types of rock, fired clay bricks continue to be popular in outdoor spaces. Bricks bring visual interest with their range of colors and sizes. Homeowners love using brick in borders, as patio pavers, and in walkways. Brick can also seamlessly tie in elements of your home’s architectural details with your outdoor space.


Another original hardscape material still used today is cobblestone. Similar to raw river rock, cobblestone can vary in size and shape, giving an organic look to your design. Cobblestone has been used in roadways and pathways for centuries, and they’re still a beautiful element in modern landscape design today.


Flagstone is popular because it can be sourced from a variety of rock types- bluestone, limestone, quartzite, and sandstone. It’s durable and low-maintenance, making it a beautiful and practical choice for walkways, stepping stones, walls, and even patio spaces. 

Lava Rock

This is a popular material in many Utah parking strips and gardens due to its ability to retain moisture. Lava rock makes a great substitute for bark mulch and brings rich color to any outdoor space. Lava rock can be sourced in red, black, or gray.

Pea Gravel

An alternative to lava rock, pea gravel is a less-expensive material that makes a great filler. Pea gravel is small stone that varies in color and works well for spaces that need drainage. 

River Rock

Larger than pea gravel, river rock is similar in its versatility. Like pea gravel, river rocks are smooth and come in a variety of colors. They also vary in size, giving lots of visual interest to your yard. Unlike pea gravel, river rock is likely to stay put, making it a good filler material that also helps control erosion.

How to use Rocks in Hardscaping

Maybe your yard serves as an oasis in the desert climate of Utah. Full of vegetation and shade, you can still incorporate rocks as a hardscaping element without making it too harsh. 

  • Drainage
  • Dry River Bed
  • Fire Pit Surround
  • Ground Cover
  • Pavers
  • Raised Garden Beds
  • Rock Garden

Best Wood for Hardscaping

When it comes to wood, treating it is key to increasing its lasting power. With that said, picking the right lumber in the first place also makes a difference. Some of the best wood for outdoor landscaping includes:

  • Cedar
  • Cypress
  • Oak
  • Redwood

Composite wood is also a good choice for hardscaping since it’s splinter-free and doesn’t need to be pressure-treated, painted, stained, or sealed annually.

How to Use Wood in Hardscaping

You can bring your outdoor room visions to life with the right application of lumber in your hardscaping.

  • Arbors
  • Decking
  • Edging
  • Mulch
  • Patios
  • Pergolas
  • Planter or Garden Boxes
  • Retaining Walls
  • Seating

Let Cottonwood Landscapes help you determine which wood is best for your hardscaping so you can enjoy your outdoor rooms for years to come.

Cottonwood Landscapes is the place for premier landscaping designs in Utah. Give us a call if we can help elevate your yard.

Cottonwood Landscapes is your source for premier landscaping in Utah.

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