This one was just asked. I believe it was determined to be off topic in the definition phase of this project (In the spirit of This off topic question and this one too ), but I'm not sure so I'm asking here. I'm really not trying to be a stick in the mud, just trying to bring some definition to the board.

4 Answers 4


I have personally no interest in paving, patio, decking etc, but I would have thought all of those fall under landscaping and are therefore on-topic, otherwise what's the and Landscaping for?

As for the off topic questions from the definition phase, it's my understanding they aren't binding.

  • I don't disagree in principal, however the landscaping seemed to mean lawn care, garden beds etc, rather than patio pavers and the like. See the two off topic questions from the definition phase that I posted.
    – wax eagle
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 14:38
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    @wax personally i would see lawn care, garden beds etc as falling squarely under gardening, without needing the extra "and landscaping". if the "and landscaping" is to mean anything then it is as a signifier that broader questions about beautifying the garden (patio, even furniture) were allowed. as i say, that stuff doesn't interest me ... just trying to be inclusive Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 14:45
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    I agree with @hawbsl. To me landscaping is inclusive of hardscapes. If not, why is landscaping even in the name of the site?
    – Shane
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 16:06
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    I think these questions belong here. Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 16:17
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    @Shane: My gut says that "Landscaping" in the name of the site refers to a focus on aesthetics rather than practicalities. The question in question seems to be unconcerned with how the end product will look and most concerned with how to get the project down efficiently. If there were no other outlet for practical questions, it might be ok. But given a competing community where the question is certainly on-topic, I think it's too far afield, so to speak. Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 18:24
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    "I have personally no interest" should be a warning sign. There is a site where this question will be accepted with interest and no opposition, so it probably belongs there. Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 18:26
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    @jon-ericson: I respect your opinion, but I disagree. If "landscaping" only refers to aesthetics then we're making a major portion of this site about an issue that is completely subjective and opinion based. Where-as something like a "How to" question can typically be responded to with evidence and facts to back it up.
    – Shane
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 18:32
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    I think the "And Landscaping" is going to be a pain in the rear to deal with. Its not easily defined and will draw questions that are of little/no interest to a large part of the community.
    – wax eagle
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 18:44
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    Gardening goes hand in hand with landscaping(maybe it even encapsulates it IMO). I am interested in both, anyone with a garden has to deal with things like edging materials, good ground covers, drainage, fencing, etc. Otherwise this site should be called horticulture or something.
    – Dan
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 20:13
  • @Shane: I would suggest that there are objective and non-opinion-based standards of aesthetics. The example of a Chinese garden (or at least one designed on the same principles) would certainly be on-topic and objective. Even in Western gardening, there are standards of aesthetics that could be applied. (Think of rose garden design, for instance.) But that's neither here not there, in my opinion. Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 20:13
  • @Dan: No doubt. But gardening also goes hand in hand with biology: cells, DNA, biochemical processes, etc. Should all such questions be on topic here? What about the all-important topic of weather? Is this an appropriate place to ask about the causes of Global Climate Change? (Note that a huge variety of questions are perfectly on topic already, iff they have some special interest to gardeners and are not better addressed on a competing site.) Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 20:24
  • @jon-ericson: That makes sense. I still think landscaping should be more inclusive though.
    – Shane
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 20:40
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    I have little to know interest in dozens of top tags on SO. There is no requirement that the primary audience be interested in all possible topics...
    – Nicole
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 22:14
  • I think the question is off-topic BECAUSE the "and Landscaping" needs to be removed from the title of this SE site.
    – Lisa
    Commented Jul 17, 2011 at 4:27

The problem I have with that specific question is that it seems more on-topic in the DIY space than the gardening (or landscaping) space. I can think of two modifications that would push the question our way:

1) Change the thrust of the question from the mechanics of laying pavers to the question of how to lay pavers in an aesthetically pleasing manner.

2) Include the question of how plants (such as grass) might be allowed to grow between the pavers.

I think "How do I do X?" is a home improvement question unless there is some specific aspect of the question related to either aesthetics or plants. And the aesthetic questions are very close to the outer limit, I suspect. I just think a group of people who are focused and expert in home improvement in general will provide better answers than the (sometimes overlapping) group of people interested in growing plants.

By the way, paving stones and rocks are very much on-topic here, in my opinion, in the context of a Chinese garden. I get the impression from this question that the asker just wants to cover a bit of ground with something solid.


I'm more interested in the site for the gardening Q&A for my vegetable gardens, but there's a lot of knowledge overlap with "hardscaping", and it would be helpful to get landscapers in this community too. So long as the questions are properly tagged (this one is), I think this is no problem at all and should be considered perfectly on-topic.

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    I'm not an expert in landscaping, but I suspect this particular question holds no interest for serious landscapers. Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 18:27
  • Point taken. But if I ever ask any landscaping questions (on this site or elsewhere), they are going to be on a completely newbie level. I'm going to have questions both about what should be done and also how to do it. In as far as "what should be done" has to do with aesthetics, I'm assuming that you would consider it on-topic. Should I then go elsewhere to ask about the details of how to do it? Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 19:12
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    A quick search on the DIY site shows 18 questions on "pavers": <diy.stackexchange.com/…>. I'm sure the question in question would be welcomed over there... Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 20:17

It is no wonder that all I've seen on this site is about 'gardening' but very, very little about landscaping. Aesthetics!!??? I've spent most of my life involved with nothing but aesthetics? Amazing. No way...

Landscape Architects should be the first to be on site, even to chose the site. We are taught functionality. Something that functions correctly is therefore aesthetic. We are trained in all different sciences necessary to 'landscape' a site to benefit humans as well as caring for the environment and all of life that makes that environment, the environment we need to survive. We are taught 'the forest as well as the trees'!

Gardening is not a nicety, it is necessary. We are not separate from gardens, but dependent on their health.

Aesthetics...grrrr. We can design vegetable gardens, condominium complexes, freeways, grading and drainage, irrigation, lighting, architecture and even Utopias.

We design environments that include humans, animals, insects, plants, bacteria, fungi...etc. Very complicated but essential. This includes soils, weather, hydrology, architecture, gravel, pavers!, solar energy, wind energy...gees. This isn't about individual plants, individual sites but about how to consider everything in a design so that what one designs fits into a bigger design.

I've been looking for landscape questions and now I see why I haven't been able to find much. Are there any other Landscape Architects involved with this site? Otherwise, lacking the ability to see the larger picture, this site should be called Botany, period.

Yes, pavers are a necessary part of the flooring package in some designs. Just as lawns, gravel, granulithics, boardwalks, asphalt, concrete...'steppable's' and even astro-turf are in the same category. Pavers installed correctly, can vastly increase the value of a home but more importantly can make a highly functional, easy to repair, easy to maintain and aesthetic flooring surface. There are tips we as Landscape Architects can provide, such as never have the long side of a paver perpendicular to the primary views. How not to succumb to mortar, concrete in their installation. How to use pavers instead of wood decking...impervious versus pervious percentages of materials as specified by codes.

I think this site needs a much clearer definition. A main objective/goal. Why are we all working our butts off answering these questions over and over again? For points and badges?!? Grin. I've probably said too much. But I feel better!

  • Might be helpful to raise this in a new question, rather than reviving something from the earliest moments of this site.
    – wax eagle
    Commented Jul 6, 2014 at 22:58
  • Guess I don't know what those moments were, are. Please help me to understand, Wax Eagle!
    – stormy
    Commented Jul 6, 2014 at 23:34
  • this question is from 2 years ago.
    – wax eagle
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 17:02
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    And...'2 years ago'...what does that mean!? Are people leaving this site that pronounces 'gardening and landscaping' and going to other sites to ask simple very much landscape questions like pavers, gardening tools.l Sites that don't cross over into human activities, plants...just 'get 'er done'!! Grin. Why are we throwing away questions this site should be able to answer and giving them up to other sites? Guess I don't get the politics. And then it looks as if we are worrying we aren't getting enough. Sigh. Help me to understand!
    – stormy
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 0:06

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