Hardscapes are structures within your landscape design such as terraces, patios, walls and paths. They are features constructed of hard materials including brick, stone, wood, and concrete. However, it is important to use permeable materials, or place impermeable materials (such as bricks and pavers) with enough space between them to allow water to infiltrate. Allowing water to percolate into the soil reduces or eliminates runoff and helps irrigate the soil.
Hardscape can create architectural interest by changing the shape or elevation of your garden, as is the case with short retaining walls and terraces, or direct the eye, as well as the foot, by forming permeable walkways that meander through your landscape.
Every southern California home should take advantage of our incredible weather by expanding our living space into the outdoors through the use of patios, lovely dining or sitting areas. These areas are great for entertaining and just plain relaxing and also help ease the transition between house and garden.
The Los Angeles Coast Water Wise Gardening and BeWaterWise.com websites have a lot of examples of beautiful, highly functional hardscapes.