More often than not, a homeowner looking to get into landscaping their front or backyard doesn’t know where to start. The idea of tackling the aesthetics of the yard can be overwhelming, especially when you don’t have the faintest idea of what will look good and what might be too much. And also, what the heck are the differences between hardscapes and softscapes? Do you need both? Where do either go?! AHHHHHH!
Okay, perhaps it’s not as dramatic as that, but, we’re here to help you figure out how to properly assess the two main components in landscape design – softscape and hardscape. Hint, the difference between the two is much simpler than you think.
What Are Softscapes And Hardscapes?
Anyone looking to get into the design aspect of landscaping their yard should start at the beginning. There are two primary components to landscape design, hardscape, and softscape. Hardscape elements are those that are non-living. Think, pavers, concrete, rocks, gates, fences, bricks, metal, and the like. Softscape elements are those that are living, such as grass, flowers, trees, shrubs, and groundcover. As you can imagine, both are equally important in order to balance out the design in your yard.
What Are The Primary Differences Between Softscapes and Hardscapes?
Hardscapes Are More Permanent.
Beyond what we just outlined as the most subtle differences, there are a few other differences to understand. For instance, hardscapes are more permanent in your yard compared to softscapes, which makes planning hardscapes more important. While you can always swap out the flowers or switch shrubs around, it isn’t as simple when you want to change out your stone patio. Make sure when you’re planning for hardscape, you’re thinking more long-term.
Softscapes Tend To Be Higher Maintenance.
As you already know, any living thing needs proper care, and such is the case with your softscape. Your grass will need water and fertilizer, your trees will need to be trimmed, and your plants may need to be moved or covered when cold weather hits. If this type of care isn’t something you’ll be interested in, then perhaps change the ratio in your yard for more hardscape than softscape. You can also choose low-maintenance softscape too, like cacti and the like, in order to lessen your involvement overall.
Hardscape Is Much More Functional.
While they both work together, the hardscape in your yard is much more functional overall. This will be the place where people congregate, walk, or relax. Many times, the hardscape in your yard will be the focal point, perhaps the deck, a fire pit, or a stone patio with the dining table.
Softscape Can Contribute To Ambiance.
While the hardscape is busy being the functional aspect, the softscape will be quietly contributing to the ambiance. If your yard was simply hardscape, it would come off as cold and unwelcoming. Softscaping adds a bit of balance to everything, whether it be color from plants or fragrance from flowers.
Think of hardscape and softscape as the perfect complement to each other. Each of these design elements works in tandem to create the perfect space outside of your home. As always, if you’re looking for a bit of held hardscaping and softscaping, then you can always count on us at Handsome Lawn Service.