Editors Note: Soft Sife of Hardscaping
Soft Side of
Billy R. Sims, Editor
This issue’s special section on hardscaping
lays the course for your success.
outdoors more with their families and guests. But
t’s easy to ﬁnd contradictory reports on
they want the amenities the inside offers, such as
hardscaping trends. The Wall Street Journal’s
a TV and kitchen,” he says. “Hardscaping deﬁnes
sibling Marketwatch website, for example, reoutdoor living spaces, and softscaping (plantings)
cently posted a story stating outdoor kitchens and
connect these spaces to their surroundings.”
ﬁreplaces are “out” with homeowners in favor of
You may not have the advantage of dealing
“smaller spaces,” such as simple patios.
with well-to-do clients that
Don’t tell that to 2012
Youngblood often has (and
TLC Landscaper of the
earned). But in our feature,
Year Finalist, Ryan Young“Hardscaping in Stages,”
blood, whose custom paver
page 26, you’ll learn stratdriveway project, page 22,
egy for selling clients multiwas just part of a package
phased projects that allow
of hardscaping installments
you to shape their desires
his client purchased that
around their budgets.
included an impressive ma“We’ve found homeownsonry wall with a custom
ers... may not have the
iron gate leading from the
money to do the whole
driveway to a secret garden
thing at once, but the desire
and entertaining area in the
is still there,” says Belgard’s
rear of the home.
Ken O’Neill in the story.
This venture isn’t unique
Managing editor Jenny
for Youngblood, who’s curAgee-Aldridge takes you
rently at work on another
Hardscape projects are key to
through the process of
ambitious project for a
Ryan Youngblood’s landscaping philosophy.
not only how to sell such
local professional athlete
involving an outdoor kitchen, inﬁnity edge pool
and expansive patio entertaining area. “Hardscaping has always been a large part of the company,”
he says. “Hardscaping and softscaping go hand-inhand. You have to have both.
“After working inside all day, people want to be
projects, but how to set goals, choose materials
and maintain client relations (especially during the
project when their property may be disrupted).
Think of it like a paver project: The outcome
depends on the unseen, upfront work you do —
another soft side of landscaping.
May 2012 / TOTAL LANDSCAPE CARE 11