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  1. Hardscaping refers to the hard landscaping materials around your yard. These can include your patio, walkways, retaining walls, or any other structure made of wood, stone, or concrete. If you live in a desert environment, maximizing your hardscaping can significantly decrease your water usage. This will not only save you money, but it will also be beneficial to the environment. Save Water and Increase Usability Maximizing your hardscaping will not only reduce your water usage, but it will also increase the usable space you have to enjoy your backyard. For example, an attractive and stylish flagstone patio with a matching stone outdoor kitchen will quickly become one of your family’s favorite places. Best of all, hardscape can create a place for outdoor entertaining, and it serves as an extension of your home’s interior living space. Raised Beds for Better Gardening You can also build raised beds from brick, wood, or concrete. Raised beds are great if you have a bad back or mobility issues, and they’re also great if your yard has poor soil. Many gardeners swear by raised beds, estimating you can double your yield of vegetables. You can also reduce your water use by embedding a drip watering system into the raised beds. Imitation Materials There are a lot of different materials you can use to hardscape, and natural stone and brick are among the most attractive and enduring. However, while concrete may seem boring next to them, you can hire a creative concrete company to add some pizzazz to your backyard. The fact is, concrete can be tinted to nearly any color you like, and it can be stamped with a multitude of patterns. Tinted and stamped concrete can imitate brick, slate, flagstone, and even wood. Boulders and Gravel A Japanese zen garden is a stylized landscape carefully composed of rocks, water features, and gravel along with precisely pruned bushes, moss, and small trees. If you like a modern, minimalist, and sophisticated style, a Japanese-style rock garden could be the hardscape for you. If you’ve ever been to the Southwest, you may have noticed a different style of rock garden. Rock and cactus gardens have long been a staple in places like Arizona, and this idea is adaptable to many regions of the country. Simply arrange boulders and rocks in a natural style, and plant with cactus, succulents and native wildflowers. Fill in between the rocks with gravel. Creative and stylish hardscaping will not only save water, but it will also make your yard a more beautiful and comfortable place for both you and your family.