Hardscaping and Softscaping: The Perfect Landscaping Duo

backyard with landscaping and softscaping for house with black back deck and outdoor living space

If you are new to the world of landscaping, then it can be overwhelming. It may be hard to keep up with the assorted lingo used in the nursery or when talking to another landscape enthusiast. Whether it be terms regarding types of irrigation, to those referring to types of plants, there is a lot to learn about landscaping. However, two of the most common landscaping terms are hardscaping and softscaping. These two main elements of landscape design are significantly different, yet your yard needs to include both. Including both elements will create a landscape that is both functional and inviting. So, you might wonder, “What is hardscaping and softscaping and how can they affect my lawn?”  Glad you asked. Outdoor Makeover & Living Spaces is one of the premier softscaping and hardscaping companies in Atlanta.

What is Hardscaping and Softscaping?

Hardscaping includes elements such as concrete, brick, stone, rocks, and structural elements. Structural elements of hardscaping are retaining walls, patios, water features, and landscape architecture. Hardscaping landscape elements are great for regions where drought is an issue. They require little, if any, watering. These elements are low maintenance and have a long life span due to their solid nature.

Softscaping is the natural aspect of landscaping. Softscape elements include the soil, plants, shrubs, trees, turf, and color schemes. Some of the most common softscaping options are flowers, trees, shrubs, and mulching. These elements need fairly regular maintenance. Maintenance for softscaping includes watering, aeration, weeding, mowing, and trimming. Softscape elements are not as permanent as hardscape elements and are much easier to modify.

Typically, hardscaping components stay the same for years. Softscaping elements are more fluid and changing as they mature. To create an inviting yard that meets your needs, it is important to balance hardscaping design and softscaping.

Balancing Hardscaping and Softscaping

For an eye-catching landscape, having a perfect balance of softscaping and hardscaping features is a must. But if you are new to the landscaping world that can seem challenging. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you begin thinking about a landscape makeover.

Offset Hardscaping with Softscaping Elements

When introducing tall hardscape elements, incorporate similarly sized softscape elements. Tall hardscape elements, like gazebos, backyard fireplaces, or a high retaining wall are complimented by trees, shrubbery, or other organic elements. This allows the eye to flow naturally from feature to feature without being blocked or overwhelmed.

Don’t Forget the Greenery!

Hardscape elements can be softened in appearance by introducing planters on steps, along a retaining wall, or on pillars. This greenery gives the illusion that your hardscape items and softscape features are not independent of each other. Balancing the two will make the space more natural and inviting.

Include Focus Points

Make sure to incorporate focus points in your backyard living area. These include fire pits, a water feature, outdoor seating, and even retaining walls. Each of these elements is a great way to draw the eye along the property. This will cause one to be curious as to what else might be “hidden” along a pathway. Incorporating focus points allow the major elements to stand out but also accentuates the details of your yard.

Keep Things in Proportion

If you have a small patio, then don’t dwarf it with large shrubs or trees. Conversely, if you have a large driveway or outdoor space, select softscape elements that complement the size and style of your yard. Landscaping small backyards can be made simple with some creative thinking.

Softscaping and Hardscaping Installation in Atlanta

If all the talk of softscaping and hardscaping leaves you overwhelmed, don’t panic! Working with an experienced landscape designer, you can have a balanced look and feel to your yard. Outdoor Makeover & Living Spaces design and install hardscaping and softscaping throughout the metro Atlanta area. Contact our landscape design professionals for high-end hardscape installation services.