The Log Cabin

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Log Cabin Landscaping - The Hardscape

Just like the softscape or live horticultural elements of landscaping, you also need to plan the hardscape aspects of your log cabin landscaping. Hardscape includes such structures as driveways, walkways, patios, retaining walls, fountains and stone walls.

In keeping with the natural motif of my rustic log cabin and the surrounding mountains, there will be no concrete or asphalt hardscape on my property. The driveway and parking area will be stone covered. The parking area will require a retaining wall since the property slopes downward. The wall will be made of pressure treated boards.

The walkway from the driveway to the front door will also be connected to another path that will circumvent the log cabin. The paths will be covered with mulch and bordered with a rather unusual edging. I worked one summer in high school at a private residence. The owner bought some wooden fencing and had me cut the fencing lengthwise in one foot increments and wire together the cut ends. I soaked both ends of the wood in preservative, dug a trench along the edge of the landscaping and ‘planted’ the edging. I have to admit that the result was quite natural looking and attractive.

I will also need to cover the ground area where the log cabin’s rear basement doors will be situated underneath the back deck. I have previously constructed a patio from brick pavers which are available in a variety of shapes and colors. I would be inclined to do the same with the back patio. The pavers are installed on a sand base and bordered with edging material. Due to the slope of the land, I will need another retaining wall for this patio. My hot tub will probably be situated on this patio on top of a wood base.

I have another hardscape project for my log cabin property as well. The slope of the land increases for the lower two thirds. I will probably build a walkway to the bottom. What more appropriate step material than split logs? The logs should be dried and treated with a clear acrylic sealant to protect them from the elements and insects. Starting at the bottom of the hill, a two to three foot wide step area is cleared. Sand is poured on the base and the logs are tamped onto the step.

The number of hardscape projects you can come up with is almost limitless. I’m sure I’ll think of more after I’ve finished the ones above. I will guided by my desire to enhance the natural log cabin look of my property.

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