Landscape design can be divided into two types: hardscaping and softscaping. They may sound like opposites, but they are actually two essential components that contribute to a fully functional landscape design. In today’s post, local landscaper Sherwood Gardens explains what each term means, and how they differ from one another.
Hardscaping Vs. Softscaping
Hardscaping is the part of a landscape that is made of hard components such as stone and concrete. These parts include paths, walls and benches, as well as features such as swimming pools and birdbaths. These components are unchanging, unless purposely done so by the landscaper. Softscaping, on the other hand, is the living part of the landscape. It includes trees, flowerbeds, grass and practically all plant life that’s included in landscape design.
A typical landscape design features a good balance between hardscaping and softscaping. Hardscape components define boundaries and create spaces where humans can enjoy the landscape design without harming plant life. Some components, such as automated water sprinklers, help with maintenance tasks, while others like electrical lighting, enhance the landscape aesthetically.
Whereas hardscape is built, softscape is grown. There has to be a good balance between the plants so they live long and healthy lives while coexisting in the same environment. Some landscaping designs favor one over the other. For example, a Japanese rock garden features areas where pebbles or gravel are the dominant design element. In contrast, some homeowners would prefer “natural” landscaping by letting plants and trees grow without human intervention.
Combining Hardscaping and Softscaping
The differences between the two are clear cut. However, much like other types of exterior home design, achieving balance between the two takes a good deal of planning. Starting landscaping design from scratch makes it easier to plan everything, down to the plumbing needed for the water sprinklers.
Designing hardscaping around existing landscaping presents more of a challenge, but when properly done, the results can be more rewarding. If you’re not sure where to start, a local landscaper can help you through the entire process, from planning to completion.
Sherwood Gardens is your leading provider of landscaping services, including hardscaping, softscaping and outdoor lighting installation. Give us a call at (405) 478-4600 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in Oklahoma City, OK, and surrounding communities.