The Secret To Maximizing Landscaping Materials: Combining Hardscape And Softscape
March 21, 2018
Most people have heard about landscaping, but what about hardscape and softscape? If you want to maximize your landscape and the materials you have purchased, you need to know what this is. You also need to know how you can combine your hardscape and softscape aspects to create the perfect landscape for your home.
What Are Hardscape And Softscape?
Before you can look at combining hardscape and softscape in your landscape, you need to know what they are. Hardscape elements are the fixed or permanent elements in the landscape which are generally man-made. These elements are generally the first which are laid out by landscapers because they are immovable. Hardscape elements will include driveways, walkways, swimming pools, fountains, gates, and patios.
On the other side of the landscape spectrum is the softscape elements. These are the living elements of the landscape and will generally be temporary in nature. There are some permanent softscape features such as trees and shrubs which will make up part of the landscape. However, flowers and other plants will generally make up the majority of softscape.
Why You Should Combine The Two
There are many people who choose to create a landscape that is hardscape or softscape. However, you should consider combining them to get the best possible landscape. Each of these elements will bring something different to the landscape which will add a new dimension to it.
Hardscape features will generally add some depth to a landscape that would otherwise be full of empty spaces. Combining the two will also create a juxtaposition of living and solid which can add something different to the landscape design. Softscape features are able to soften the hardscape which will make the landscape more inviting and give a better impression.
Plan Your Hardscape First
When you are planning your landscape, you should start with the hardscape elements. This will include mapping out where the walkways in the landscape are going to be. You should also consider where the edging of flower beds will be placed and any other hard elements such as fountains.
It is important to take permanent softscape elements into account when you do this. You do not want to place too many hardscape elements close to your trees unless they are enhancing them. A circular paver wall around a tree can enhance it but placing a large fountain next to the tree will not. Additionally, a pathway that curves around an old tree and established plants is a great way to make the most of the softscape materials that you already have.
Understand Landscape Balance
There are 2 types of balance in landscape design and they are symmetrical and asymmetrical. Symmetrical designs are generally not used in homes because of the central axis that is needed which cannot always be provided by a driveway or path. This means that many homes look at asymmetrical designs which need to have a discrete axis and different shapes and objects on either side. However, there will be a similar visual mass on either side to ensure that there is balance in the landscape.
When you are designing your landscape, you need to find the right balance. If you are going with an asymmetrical balance for the landscape, you can attain the visual mass balance with a combination of soft and hardscape. If you have a large man-made item on one side of the landscape, you can balance this with an organic element of the same size on the other side such as a tree.
Balancing the proportion of hard and soft in the landscape is as important as the visual mass balance. A large paved area can be balanced with enough greenery, but a small paved area can easily be lost in a large green garden. Proportion is vital if you are going to combine these two elements correctly.
If you are going to be paving large sections of the landscape, you can frame the edges with greenery such as a hedge. You can also use container plants to add the softscape elements that you need for balance. To ensure that a landscape is not overdone with softscape, you can add paths, benches, and other man-made items.
Have Focal Points And Accents
To ensure that you are combining your landscape correctly, you also need to look at focal points and accents. You should never have a landscape that does not have a focal point. It is important to note that the focal point could be soft or hard depending on which one you like the post. The focal point could be a fire out or the vertical softscape elements that you have.
Accents are also important in a landscape because they help to break it when you view it. If you have a landscape that is all a single color, it will be hard on the eyes and will make the landscape dull. This is one of the other reasons why you should be mixing your soft and hard elements.
A fully paved landscape will need to be broken by green plants and colorful flowers. Additionally, a green landscape should be broken by accents of other colors from plants and from man-made items. A table in the greenery could add a dash of color that breaks the continuous green.
Always Work Around Permanent Elements
One of the most important points when it comes to combining your soft and hardscape is to work around the permanent elements that are already established. This will also help you maximize your landscape materials because you do not have to move anything or buy new permanent elements. This working around elements is another reason why you need to take the time to properly map and plan your landscape. You can consult with lawn care in Ohio to get help.
Maximizing your landscape materials is something that every person should look into. One of the best ways to do this is to combine your hardscape and softscape elements. These elements will need to be balanced correctly and worked around to create the landscape that you want.