When designing a landscape, two elements make up outdoor living spaces: hard landscaping and soft landscaping, or simply, Hardscape and Softscape. You can actually choose between the two, but a real landscape is all about balancing the different elements of both. While both are necessary to create a lovely outdoor space, the key thing to remember is that they are polar opposites. However, all materials for hardscape and softscape are always available in a landscape supply near me (like Labrador Landscape Supplies in Brisbane and Gold Coast).
These are the artificial features of landscape designs such as walls, pathways, retaining walls, walkways, patios, and outdoor kitchens. Hardscape is the constructed part of your landscape because they use “hard” materials such as rocks, bricks, hollowed blocks, cement, etc.
Softscape is the living horticultural aspect of landscaping that involves items like flowers, trees, plants, and grass. It also involves soil since this provides the land part of the landscape and the natural beauty that hardscape supports. Water can also be added as part of the softscape.
The importance of balanced landscaping
As mentioned before, hardscape and softscape can be chosen separately, but balancing both can create a beautiful and attractive landscape design even in a small backyard. A pure hardscape atmosphere can be uninteresting and monotonous. Both hardscape and softscape should be addressed together, and not piecemeal. When balancing the landscaping, take into consideration:
- Planned use – Maximise the use of the garden area. For instance, if this is a backyard for children, provide a large, green, and safe space. If this is for outdoor relaxation, consider pathways, benches, and patios.
- Overall aesthetic – You can’t have a backyard filled with just grass, or completely covered in cemented stonework. These extremities aren’t pleasing. Design both hardscape and softscape with natural beauty in mind. Don’t forget things like vertical spaces for shrubs, hanging planters on walls or fences, raised planters and patios, and access pathways.
- Maintenance and water conservation – A combination of patios, walkways, and drought-resistant plants can provide a low maintenance landscape. This is essential, especially in Australia.
- Water flow – If you opt for something with water flow in your landscape, take note that much of the landscape may be impermeable. This can lead to pooling and flooding. Correct design and balance can allow hardscape water to flow either to flow around in a circle that replenishes itself or into a softscape that absorbs the water.
Consult a landscaping professional like Labrador Landscape Supplies
The most critical aspect of balancing a landscape’s hard and soft components is during the planning and designing phase. It’s always a good idea to consult with a landscaping professional, a ”landscape supply near me” like Labrador Landscape Supplies, to consult about ideas you have, suggestions they give, and materials needed for the project. Call Labrador Landscape on 07 5537 2841 or take a look at their materials at https://landscape-supply.com.au/.